By JOHN GORALSKI
Elementary school and middle school athletes descended on the Southington High School track for the fourth annual Knights Cup. On Sunday, June 10, they were challenged to an abbreviated track meet designed to test their track and field potential.
The meet is a collaboration between the Southington High School track program and the Southington YMCA. Co-director John Myers, the executive director of the local YMCA, called it a joint effort between a group of community running partners, sponsored in part by local attorneys Sheffy, Mazzacaro, DePaolo & DeNigris.
“We are thrilled to partner with Southington High School track and field to provide this track meet for our youngest aspiring athletes,” said Myers. “It was a perfect inspiring and supportive atmosphere that had all competitors leaving the meet with smiles.”
Elementary students competed in five co-ed events, and local athletes held their own.
Riley Jachym (St. Paul) edged Cohen Wernicki (Plantsville) for the 100m title. St. Paul student Maddie Bielecki edged Jachym to win the 400m, and Jason Mathews (Thalberg) edged Alannah Terry (Derynoski) in the 1600m race.
Locals dominated the field events. Wernicki edged Kevin O’Neill (Thalberg) in the long jump. Mathews edged O’Neill in the softball toss.
“The Knights Cup is community athletics at its best,” said co-director and SHS track coach Dan Dachelet. “There’s no organization, no long term practices, just kid against kid, school against school.”
The middle school division was just as competitive. Aiden Halpin (DePaolo) edged Nick Caron (Smith-CT STORM) to win the 100m. Brandon Leone (Kennedy) edged classmate Kailyn Hourigan in the 400m. Kennedy’s Grayson Borla edged cross-town rival Halpin in the 1600m.
Kennedy’s Grayson Borla out-distanced classmate Kelsi Hourigan in the long jump. Cameron Parke (Kennedy) out-threw Ryan Ogren (Kennedy) in the softball toss. Parke beat Jordan Hallett (Kennedy) and Ogren in the girls javelin.
“This event is as exciting to watch as any other level of athletics that we coach,” said Dachelet. “These kids are out her doing this for all the right reasons. Love of the sport. Love of the competition It as pure of competition as it comes.”
“This event is as exciting to watch as any other level of athletics that we coach,” said Dachelet. “These kids are out her doing this for all the right reasons—love of the sport and love of the competition. It as pure a competition as it comes.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact Observer editor John Goralski, email him at JGoralski@SouthingtonObserver.com.