Tracksters take on the conference elite: Girls win four CCC titles; Boys win one

Jordan McMeans leads the pack during the 3200m event in Simsbury at the CCC Central Championships.



Southington’s outdoor track and field program managed to qualify more athletes for the Class LL meet in their final attempt in the CCC Central championship at Simsbury High School on Tuesday, May 23.

The Blue Knights placed third overall out of 11 teams, finishing as runner-up in the Blue division behind Hall. The Warriors also won the CCC Central title.

“It’s a continuation of the rest of the season, in terms of the depth of the team and across-the-board performances,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “The storied point in some of the events and certainly one of the highlights of the season was to watch us have such a broad spectrum of points being scored, after scoring very few last year. As a coach, that was very satisfying.”

The Lady Knights placed third overall out of 10 teams, finishing as runner-up in the Blue division behind Glastonbury. The Tomahawks also won the CCC Central title.

“Going into it, we knew that Glastonbury was most likely going to be the frontrunner in our conference from our dual meet in the beginning of the season,” said Southington coach Connor Green. “They’re just very deep, and a lot of their strength is in their distance. When they’re able to put four or five girls in the top eight in a race, it makes it very challenging to break those points.”

Female medalists from the meet included the following: Amanda Howe in the shot put (1st) and discus throw (1st), Megan Biscoglio in the pole vault (1st), Alijah Vega in the javelin throw (1st), Trinity Cardillo in the shot put and discus throw, Sydney Garrison in the high jump, Julia Groll in the javelin throw, Gabriella Mondo in the javelin throw, Natalie Verderame in the 400m dash, Kate Kemnitz in the 800m run, and Isabella Scalise in the 3200m run.

Howe broke her own school record (133’9”) in the discus throw for the third time this season with a heave of 134’10.5”, improving her mark for a fourth time this season.

Trinity Cardillo throws the shot put. She was one of two Lady Knights to medal in the event.

“The more she does it, the more she gets comfortable with it,” said Green. “There’s certain technique things with age and experience that has come with it. She practices her form drills at home, really trying to make everything fine-tuned as possible. She wants that state record over the 140-mark, and I think she can definitely do it.”

Scalise (11:49.99), Vega (105’4”), and the 4x800m relay (10:02.23) improved their state marks as well. Garrison (5’) and Groll (96’9”) tied their state marks.

“Simsbury was a team that we lost to in dual meets,” said Green. “We got another chance at them in this meet, and we were able to finish in front of them. That shows that we’re really progressing in the right way going into our state meet.”

Male medalists included the following: Elijah Rodriguez in the finals of the 110m hurdles (1st) and 300m hurdles, Anthony Mondo in the long jump and triple jump, David Pastor in the shot put and javelin throw, Zachary Burleigh in the pole vault, Jeffrey Hannigan in the triple jump and high jump, Michael Mauro in the triple jump and finals of the 110m hurdles, Conner Leone in the 3200m run, and Paul Schweiger III in the javelin throw.

Leone (1600m run, 4:37.34), Schweiger III (140’10”), Cameron Coulombe (400m dash, 53.01), and Ryan Slesinski (1600m run, 4:38.76) qualified for the state meet. Rodriguez improved his state times in the 110m hurdles (15.17) and 300m hurdles (40.54). Mauro (triple jump, 40’1”) and Pastor (43’0.5”) improved their state marks as well. Burleigh tied his state height in the pole vault (13’).

Southington will travel to Manchester High School on Wednesday, May 31 for the Class LL championship. The meet is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

“It would be great to see a third to half of the kids get personal records or come close to personal records,” said Dachelet. “If we do that, we should have a really successful meet, in terms of total points scored. We’ll definitely be up there with the competitive programs, and I’m excited about that.”

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