By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys track and field continued to pick its battles last week. The Blue Knights were missing a large chunk of their team in a 111-38 loss to Hall on April 16 in a home CCC West Division dual meet.
Southington put in some strong performances, however, during the second-ever Connecticut Distance Festival on April 18 at Xavier High School in Middletown.
“It’s about the long picture and getting as many kids into the conference meet and into the state meet as we can,” coach Dan Dachelet said.
Aiden Chesanow won the high jump against Hall (5’10”) while Casey Selinske took first in the pole vault (11’6”). Chesanow also finished second in the pole vault (11’0).
The Knights picked up second place finishes from Joe Verderame (400m, 44.94); Ryan Asido (800m, 2:12.58); Craig McPherson (110m hurdles, 20.73); Michael Balachandar (300m hurdles, 48.31); Anthony Penta (long jump, 19’4”); and Ryan Andrews (discus, 97’9½).
Third place finishers included Penta (100m, 11.47); Verderame (200m, 24.05); McPherson (300m hurdles, 48.73); Russell Hotchkiss (pole vault, 11’0); Kolby Rogers (long jump, 19’2); Andrews (shot put, 36’4.5); and Selinske (javelin, 108’11”).
Chesanow’s high jump and pole vault marks tied personal records and qualified him for both the CCC West Division and Class LL state championship meets in each event. Penta’s finish in the 100m was a personal record and qualified him for both the CCC West and Class LL meets. Penta also qualified for the CCC West meet in the long jump.
Selinske and Hotchkiss each qualified for the CCC West and Class LL meets in the pole vault. Hotchkiss also tied his personal record in the pole vault.
Rogers qualified for the CCC meet in the long jump while Verderame did so in the 200m.
“The goal is to get the numbers and be consistent with the marks,” Dachelet said.
At the Connecticut Distance festival, Lucca Riccio led the way with a time of 16:24.05 in the 5000m.
“Lucca ran a very solid 5000m with a personal record as well as a new school record,” Dachelet said.
Riccio broke Mark Murdy’s record of 16:36.92, which Murdy ran on April 21, 2017, at the Trinity Elite Distance Invitational.
“It was a unique meet set up to run some fast times,” Dachelet said. “Unfortunately, it was quite windy so I think that some of the folks’ times were a bit off based on their effort and fitness.”
Up next: Southington hosted Conard on Tuesday in a CCC West dual meet. The Knights will compete at the O’Grady Relays at Bethel High School on Friday and Saturday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com