By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Southington boys and girls track and field teams celebrated senior day on Tuesday, May 19 in their last meet of the regular season against New Britain. Parents and families posed for pictures with the seniors at midfield during a portion of the meet.
The boys team (5-3) qualified three more athletes for the Class LL state meet, and the girls team (4-4) qualified seven more.
The girls defeated New Britain, 130-20, in one of their most successful meets of the season. Southington took first in the 4x800m and 4x400m relays and swept every event but the 100m, 200m, and triple jump.
Rylee Van Epps (50.89) won the 300m hurdles and qualified for the state meet. Jami Pliego (63.33) and Erin Angelillo (63.53) both qualified for the state meet by taking first and second in the 400m. Katherine Mellitt (2:26.74) took first in the 800m and qualified for the state meet in the process.
Megan Albert (12:19.96) threw her arms up in elation when she crossed the finish line in the 3200m after finding out that she qualified for the state meet with a second place finish.
Sarah Palko (15-7.5) leapt into first place and into the state meet with a first-place mark in the long jump. Raquel Romano (4-8.0) launched herself into first and the state meet with first-place height in the high jump.
“It was a good meet all around,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “We certainly have a much deeper team this year than last year. It’s been a while since we’ve had a winning record in girls track. Last year we won zero track meets, so to win four the very next year is a testament to the kids for pushing themselves in practices and meets and also the staff to developing the full spectrum of the track and field program. We have quality kids in just about every event.”
The boys’ team came close against New Britain, falling short by just four points, 77-73.
The Knights took first in the 4x800m relay. Jack Myers (4:48.17) took first in the 1600m. Sean Garrison (2:02.36) added another distance event to his list by qualifying for the state meet with a first-place finish in the 800m. Vincent Zhang finished right behind Garrison and will be joining him in the same event at the state meet. The boys swept the 3200m with Anthony Riccio (11:20.81) leading the way.
Dave Massabni (110’03.05”) has had the strong arm all year as he threw for first in the discus. Massabni (42’01.00”) carried the momentum into the shot put with another first-place throw. Matt Steeves (39’06.00”) and Kyle Barry (38’06.00”) helped to sweep the event right behind in second and third. Matt Maxwell (40’05.00”) flew into first place in the triple jump and Tom Perzanowski (10’06.00”) catapulted himself into first place in the pole vault.
The both girls’ and boys’ teams have qualified all three relay teams for the state meet. The following individual boys have qualified for the state meet: Alessio Diana (100m); Alex Jamele (100m); John Meade (100m, 200m); Anthony Plantamuro (100m); Jasen Rose (100m); Vance Upham (100m, 200m); Mark Howland (200m); Antoine Harris (400m); Sean Garrison (800m, 1600m, 3200m); Vincent Zhang (800m); Tom Perzanowski (pole vault); and Matt Maxwell (triple jump).
The following individual girls have qualified for the state meet: Sarah Palko (100m, long jump, triple jump); Rylee Van Epps (300m hurdles); Erin Angelillo (400m, 1600m, 3200m); Jami Pliego (400m); Katherine Mellitt (800m); Gaby Napoli (1600m); Megan Albert (3200m); Catherine Myers (3200m); Lauren Perkowski (3200m); Amanda Howe (javelin); Raquel Romano (high jump).
The Knights will have their chance to qualify more athletes for the state meet this week at the CCC West championship meet at Simsbury.
“I hope that the people that are going do well,” said Southington coach Colleen Roarty. “There are some people still looking to get state qualifying marks, specifically Adam Dorau. He’s so close in the 300m hurdles to qualify for states, so hopefully he can get that mark at Simsbury. I think we have a really good chance do pretty well individually. Hopefully, we have some people that get all-conference, like Dave Massabni, Sean Garrison, Antoine Harris, and Matt Maxwell.”
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennnings@SouthingtonObserver.com.