By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knight outdoor track and field team closed the regular season out with a fourth-straight win in their final dual meet of the regular season.
Next up for the Knights is their first meet of the postseason, and instead of focusing on a top finish for the team, Southington coach Dan Dachelet said that he doesn’t think his team will be challenging for conference title.
“I’m not running kids in three events, so that we can grab more points,” said Dachelet. “We’re entering the kids in races that they can all do well in.”
Dachelet said that the goal is for his athletes to peak at the end of the season.
“For the ones that aren’t going to the state meet, you want them to have that positive lasting experience to wrap up the year,” said Dachelet. “At the same time for the ones that are going on to the state meet, you want them to continue what they’ve been doing and set themselves up for a good state meet.”
The Knights closed out the regular season on Monday, May 14 with a 107-38 rout of divisional NW Catholic. Southington finished first in 14 of the 18 events, sweeping the relays, the 110m hurdles, the 1600m, the 300m hurdles, the javelin, the high jump, and the pole vault.
Southington’s other first-place finishes included Cameron Clynes (300m hurdles, javelin); Jake Monson (discus, shot put); Elijah Rodriguez (110m hurdles); Conner Leone (1600m); Joseph Verderame (400m); Shane Leone (800m); Jack Terray (high jump); Jeffrey Hannigan (triple jump), and Casey Selinske (pole vault).
Terray qualified for the Class LL meet in the long jump (20’10.5”). Verderame (400m, 52.65) and Clynes (javelin, 160’5.5”) improved their state marks.
“I talked to the NW Catholic coach, and they went really hard Saturday at the Hartford Invitational as a pre-state meet,” said Dachelet. “So, they were resting themselves, but they’re a quality team in a head-to-head matchup. When they’re all in, they can really go. It could have been a much tighter meet.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.