Indoor Track: Knights are charging for the postseason

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Lauren Verilli circles the banked track at Yale’s Coxe Cage during the recent Yale Invitational. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

SPENCER DREHER

STAFF WRITER

There is still close to a month remaining until the Central Connecticut Conference championship meet, but the Southington indoor track and field team has already began breaking school records and posting personal best times and scores.

The Blue Knights competed in the two-day Yale invite, and each day was full of excitement.  The record-breaking started on day one and it seemed as though the more records that each relay team or individual broke, the more the rest of the team wanted to get in on the action.

It started with the girls 4x800m relay team of Anny Moquete, Grace Michaud, Lauren Verrilli, and Jackie Izzo.  Head coach Connor Green said they broke the school record by over 4 seconds with a time of 9:49.05.

The same group came back and ran the girls distance medley relay and shattered the only record by 50 seconds.  Their time of 12:43.51 was very solid, anchored by Jackie Izzo’s 5:08 mile.

The boys then took to the track and chased down a record of their own.  Green said the boys distance medley relay team of Lucca Riccio, Brendan Kiyak, Jackson Landino, and Matt Penna broke the previous record by 13 seconds.

While they did not break a record, Green said the boys 4x200m of Anthony Penta, Brendan Kiyak, Johnny Carreiro, and Justin Zitofsky ran the second best time in school history.

In day two, the Knights shined in the individual events.  Green said three more records were broken, including Grace Michaud in the 3000m, Sydney Garrison in the high jump, and Jackie Izzo in the1000m.  Jaison Carusone also broke the Southington freshman record in the 300m.

“As a team, both boys and girls we had a stellar two days in New Haven,” Green said.  “Top-three finishes in multiple events was only the tip of the ice burg.  In total we had 6 schools records broken.  A lot of the marks achieved also moved some of our athletes into the top 25 in the country.  Yale is always a great meet for us and this weekend was no expectations”

One Blue Knight ranked nationally is Trinity Cardello, currently tied for eighth in shotput and second in Connecticut.  In Connecticut, Izzo is ranked in the top-five in the mile, the 1600m, and the 3200m.  Izzo and the rest of the 4x800m relay team is currently ranked seventh in the state.

Garrison is also second in the state on the high jump while Alexah Zaczynski is tied for fourth in the state in the pole vault.

“Trinity Cardillo and Sydney Garrison are two of our nationally ranked field event athletes,” Green said.  “They also happen to be great friends so when one succeeds, the other is right there cheering.  We also have some great talent in the pole vault in Alexah Zaczynski and some great sprinters in Nina Muir and Kayla Pellitier.  But our girls team is full of many talented young ladies. It takes a team effort to break records and this team is very close!”

On the boys side, Matt Penna and Ryan Asido are both ranked in the top-five of the two-mile, while Evan Kristopik is ranked eighth in the 3000m.

“Our boys are also loaded with some very talented individuals,” Green said.  “Johnny Carreiro, Anthony Penta, and Justin Zitofsky have helped shape our sprints crew and, along with Brendan Kiyak, put up the second best 4x200m performance in school history.  We have a very young but solid throws cohort who have been working tirelessly to get on the state level radar. We have a lot of great athletes and more names to come.”

The team will next compete in the East Coast invitational in Providence, R.I. on Saturday (Jan. 18) and their last meet before the CCC championships is the Hillhouse Track Classic in New Haven on Jan. 25.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.