Track fans get brief taste before the snow

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

Southington traveled to Hillhouse High School in New Haven to compete in the 15th annual Hillhouse Invitational on Friday, Dec. 16.

Julia McPherson (11.62) and Russell Hotchkiss (10.65) paced the Knights in the 55m hurdles. Rylee Van Epps (8.09) and Tyler Cyr (7.18) led in the 55m dash. Natalie Verderame (45.02) and Joe Verderame (40.54) led in the 300m.

Kate Kemnitz, Kelly Doyle, Sarah Minkiewicz, and Isabella Scalise took third in the distance medley with a time of 14:00.51, and Anthony Riccio, Dylan Breutzmann, Teagan Duffy, and Tyler Strong finished ninth with a time of 13:07.85.

“We definitely have some talented sprinters coming up and working up through the ranks that are new, and that’s fun to see,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “The varsity returnees are off to a good start with some good times.”

Day two of the invitational on Saturday was cancelled due to inclement weather. Dachelet said that the cancellation was a minor setback for the program, but it still would have been nice for the varsity group to get some marks in before the holiday break with limited opportunities.

“It’s tough to get a feel and get that full effort to really see where everyone is at in a practice environment in the cold on our local track,” the coach said. “That helps us actually design workouts. We use that information to help us with workouts to get an idea of where they are at.”

Southington will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 27 and when the Knights travel to Hartford Public High School to compete in the Hartford Public Developmental meet.

Instead of bringing mostly junior varsity and freshmen athletes, the coach plans on bringing most of his varsity squad this time.

“I think we’ve learned that the facility is good,” said Dachelet. “The track is fast. It’s a well-run meet with fully automatic timing. We’re going to be bringing everyone except for the varsity distance crews because it’s tough to run fast times on a 160-meter track.”

The competition begins at 10 a.m.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.

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