By BRIAN JENNINGS
As they come up on the final week of the regular season, the Blue Knight outdoor track and field team has athletes qualified for the Class LL meet in 16 out of the 18 events available and four boys in the 400m.
The Knights won a dual meet, improved state marks, and broke a school record this past week in meets that featured both ideal and unfavorable track weather. The goal is obviously to peak at the state meet, and Southington coach Dan Dachelet said that he’s starting to see athletes hit personal bests in multiple events.
“That progression is happening at about the right point in time,” said Dachelet. “People in the technical events are starting to figure things out as well. Everyone is motivated and pumped up for the conference meet.”
The Knights (4-2) will close out the regular season this week when they host divisional NW Catholic on Monday, May 14 and then travel to Danbury High School for the Dream Invitational on Friday, May 18.
Win vs. Simsbury
MAY 8—The Knights swept six events, five of them coming on the track, and dominated the relays to earn their third-straight and largest win of the season on Tuesday with a 112-38 rout of Simsbury at home. They swept the relays, the 100m, the 200m, and the high jump. The Knights also finished first in 16 of the 18 events.
Other than the three relays, Southington’s individual first-places finishes included the following: Elijah Rodriguez (110m and 300m hurdles), Jack Terray (high jump, long jump), Johnny Carreiro (100m), Matthew Penna (1600m), Trevor Porter (400m), Shane Leone (800m), Kolby Rogers (200m), Conner Leone (3200m), Cameron Clynes (javelin), Jeffrey Hannigan (triple jump), and Zachary Burleigh (pole vault).
Clynes improved his state mark in the javelin (155’11”) by more than 10 feet. Rodriguez improved his state time in the 300m hurdles (41.43). Burleigh (13’) and Selinske (12’) tied their state marks in the pole vault.
Irv Black Invite
On a dreary day of unseasonable temperatures and on-and-off rain, the Knights capped off the week with a trip to New Britain High School for the 12th annual Irv Black Invitational, held from Friday to Saturday, where they still managed to improve state marks and break a school record.
Southington’s medalists on the day included Rogers, Terray, Verderame, and Rodriguez in the 800m sprint medley (3rd); Slesinski, James Ringrose, Shane Leone, and Conner Leone in the distance medley (3rd); Conner Leone in the 3200m (4th); Penna in the 3200m (5th) and 2000m steeplechase (6th); Burleigh in the pole vault (5th); and Slesinski in the 800m (6th).
The distance medley’s time of 11:03.29 broke the school record of 11:04.74 that was set by Mark Murdy, Jeffrey Hannigan, Shane Leone, and Sean Garrison in 2016.
Conner Leone (3200m, 10:04.7), Slesinski (800m, 2:01.89), and Shane Leone (800m, 2:03.6) improved their Class LL times.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.