By KEVIN ROBERTS
The Southington girls outdoor track and field team continues to grow and set new standards for itself. After winning their first state open title last year, the Lady Knights followed it up this spring with a fourth place finish at the Class LL championship meet.
The fourth place finish came at the end of a two-day span at Willow Brook Park in New bristin, and it is the best finish in program history at the Class LL meet.
Rain suspended the meet on its original date of May 29, so the meet was finished on May 30.
“As a coaching staff we were very pleased. We had contributions in almost every event we were entered in and that is what I really like to see,” coach Connor Green said. “It shows that our program has grown from a few key athletes to a true team that can help lift each other up if one person has an off day.”
Southington moved some girls on to the state open, held on Monday at Willow Brook Park. The Knights took seventh place at the open.
Class LL meet
MAY 29, 30—Junior Trinity Cardillo won gold in the discus (118’4”) to lead a balanced Southington effort.
“Trinity went into discus with the goal of improving on her season mark and finishing in the top three,” Green said. “She was the top seed, and in this event she does have a lot of potential, but it comes down to execution and that is still a work in progress.”
Cardillo claimed silver in the shot put (38’10.5”) in the rain that wound up suspending the meet.
“The rain being a factor for shot put, she did her very best to get the win but came up just a little short,” Green said.
Balance helped Southington secure 54 team points, which put them behind only Danbury (154), Greenwich (60) and NFA (56). Individuals are awarded a certain number of points for finishing in the top eight. It starts with 10 points for first place, followed by eight, six, five, four, three, two and one point.
“Our girls as a whole did a great job at LL,” Green said.
Junior Sydney Garrison took silver in the high jump (5’4”). Senior Alijah Vega claimed bronze in the javelin (104’11”), and sophomore Alexah Zaczynski was fourth and also medaled (102’). Also finishing fourth and picking up medals were the 4x800m relay team (9:55.54), which was made up of freshman Jackie Izzo, junior Anny Moquete, freshman Megan Wadman and sophomore Lauren Verrilli.
Senior Kate Kemnitz took fifth place and medaled in the 800m (2:18.60). Zaczynski claimed sixth place and medaled in the pole vault (9’), and fellow sophomore Natalie Reeves was right behind her in seventh place (9’). When multiple people have the same height in the pole vault, the tie is broken by the number of misses.
Sophomore Livvy Pizzitola took sixth place and medaled in the 200m dash (26.68). Seniors Sam Przybylski, Kailey Schmarr and Natalie Verderame competed in their final meet for Southington at Class LL.
JUNE 3—Cardillo nearly came back to win the shot put after falling short in Class LL.
Cardillo threw the same distance as gold medal winner and Bacon Academy junior Natalie Rolon-Issa (41’5.5”), but fouls made the difference in the tiebreaker. The same thing happened in the discus, where Cardillo finished fourth and medaled (125’).
Garrison took bronze in the high jump (5’4”, misses) and just missed out on silver. The 4x800m relay of Verrilli, Izzo, Moquete and Kemnitz took fifth place and medaled (9:36.18). The other four Southington team points came from Zaczynski and Vega in the javelin. Zaczynski finished sixth and medaled in the javelin (111’9”), and Vega was eighth (107’8”).
Up next: The Southington girls will be bringing some athletes to the 74th New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, which will be held on Saturday at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. The top six in each event move on to the New England meet, with the seventh and eighth place finishers serving as alternates.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com