By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys outdoor track and field put together some solid efforts during the CCC West championship meet, held on May 21 at Hall High School in West Hartford.
The Blue Knights finished fifth as a team with 68.5 points. Hall won the team championship with 179.5 points.
“I had hoped for a few more season-bests at the championships, but we did have quite a few,” coach Dan Dachelet said.
The highlight of the day, however, came from senior captain Elijah Rodriguez. Sidelined by an injury for most of the season, Rodriguez has been able to practice hurdles recently. That practice paid off at the CCC West meet when Rodriguez finished first in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.27 seconds.
“The hurdles is different than other running events where you just go out and try and go as fast as you can. The timing and rhythm that’s involved is incredibly important,” Dachelet said. “The fact that he’s been able to not miss a beat is remarkable.”
The 4x100m relay of Kolby Rogers, Joseph Verderame, Anthony Penta and Trevor Porter finished second (45.27), and it was the second-fastest time of the season for the quartet. Ryan Slesinski finished second in the 800m (2:01.33), Casey Selinske took second in the pole vault (12’), and Porter was third in the 200m dash (22.95). Dachelet said Porter ran a great race, and his time is the third-fastest in program history.
Penta was fifth in the 100m dash (11.74), Verderame took fifth in the 400m dash (53.17) and Aiden Chesanow placed fifth in the high jump (5’6”). Southington saw a glimpse of the future at the CCC West meet.
“I enjoyed watching the boys javelin and seeing our young throwers helping each other to improve during the meet,” Dachelet said.
Sophomore Donovan Greenlaw finished seventh in the javelin (134’7”), and his throw is the 10th-best in program history. Also scoring team points for the Southington boys were: Penta in the long jump (seventh, 19’8”) and Matt Penna in the 3200m (seventh, 10:23.61). The 4x400m relay of Johnny Carreiro, Porter, Slesinski and Verderame also finished seventh (3:24.24). Carreiro took eighth place in the 100m dash (12.05).
Above all, Dachelet continued to see the hard work that his team has been putting in throughout the season.
“The squad’s focus and energy has been great this entire season, CCC’s included,” Dachelet said. “As a coach, I’m very fortunate to have a group of such driven and ambitious athletes.”
Up next: Southington was scheduled to compete in the Class LL state championship meet on Wednesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com