The Southington indoor track teams qualified 15 individuals and two relays for the Class LL state meet in their first competition of the season.
The Blue Knights qualified an individual or relay in 15 different events at the two-day Hillhouse Invitational, which was held on Dec. 15 and 16 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
Southington had one win in the two-day meet, and it was in the distance medley relay. The team of Lauren Verrilli, Meghan Sheline, Anny Moquete and Kate Kemnitz crossed the finish line first in 13:33.48.
The best finishers for the Southington Class LL state qualifiers were from Ryan Slesinski and Trinity Cardillo. Slesinski finished second in the 600 meters (1:26.91) and Cardillo was second in the shot put (38 feet, 4 inches). The boys 4×200-meter relay of Tyler Salzillo, Johnny Carreiro, Joe Verderame and Trevor Porter finished third (1:38.95). Kemnitz was third in the 1000 meters (3:08.93).
Southington had two Class LL qualifiers in the 1600 meters. Matthew Penna finished in fifth place (4:38.83) while Lucca Riccio claimed 11th (4:47.71). The Lady Knights had two Class LL qualifiers in the high jump. Sydney Garrison finished sixth (5 feet) in the high jump and Lily Scalise took 10th (4-8). Kayla Markette finished seventh and qualified for Class LL in the pole vault (8-0).
In the girls 1600, Lauren Verrilli finished seventh (5:47.68) and qualified for Class LL. Southington’s 4×200-meter relay of Emma Plourde, Karolina Kurzatkowska, Samantha Przylbylski and Natalie Verderame tied for eighth place (1:57.17) and qualified for the Class LL meet. Meghan Sheline and Lily Scalise each finished ninth and qualified for Class LL, Sheline in the 600 meters (1:49.68) and 55-meter hurdles (10:07).
Two boys qualified in field events. Justin Zitofsky was 11th in the long jump (19-11.5) and Aidan Chesanow tied for 12th in the pole vault (10-6). Southington had one boy qualifier and one girl qualifier in the 55-meter dash. Eli Rodriguez finished 15th (7.01) and Shannon Litchfield took 17th (7.93).
Southington set 24 personal records during the Hillhouse Invitational.
Up next: The Blue Knight varsity goes back to New Haven for the Hillhouse Qualifier on Saturday. Some select varsity and all JV will compete at the Hartford Public Invitational that same Saturday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.