By KEVIN ROBERTS
Halfway through the CCC West Division outdoor track and field championship meet, Southington girls coach Connor Green sensed something special could be happening.
The Lady Knights were doing well, really well. So well in fact that it had a chance to “pull the upset” and win the meet.
That’s exactly what the Southington girls did on May 21 at Hall High School in West Hartford. The Knights scored 179 points to claim the CCC West team championship. Glastonbury finished second with 153.5 points while Hall was third with 149.5 points.
“Going into the meet, I had pre-scored it based on entries and I knew we had a chance,” Green said, “but Hall would be tough given their depth in the distance events as well the throwing events. Glastonbury is always a factor, and I knew it would be close between us three.”
Southington’s depth was the deciding factor in the three-team race.
“Depth was critical and it was efforts from our freshman and sophomores that truly made the difference,” Green said. “By having numerous athletes in each event, it really made it possible for us to feel confident at least one point would come from most events.”
For sure, Southington had some big winners. Sophomore Livvy Pizzitola claimed first place in the 100m (12.94 seconds) and 200m (26.83) dashes. Junior Trinity Cardillo took first in the shot put (41’1”) and discus (119’1”). Junior Sydney Garrison finally accomplished her goal of passing 5’4” in the high jump, and her jump of 5’4.75” gave her a first place finish. Sophomore Alexah Zaczynski won the javelin with a throw of 107’6”.
As far as team points go, Pizzitola (28 points); Cardillo (20); Zaczynski (20); and Garrison (14) combined with seniors Samantha Przybylski (22) and Natalie Verderame (20) to score 124 team points.
“These individuals were critical to our success,” Green said.
Pizzitola ran in the 4x100m relay with Przybylski, Verderame and sophomore Shannon Litchfield, and the quartet finished second (51.45). Przybylski took second in the 200m (26.96) and third in the 100m (13.10). Verderame finished third in the 400m (1:03.76), and she was part of the third place 4x400m relay (4:16.03), along with senior Kate Kemnitz, junior Anny Moquete and junior Meghan Sheline. Zaczynski took part in the pole vault and long jump, where she finished second (9’6”) and seventh (14’9.25”). Garrison also competed in the long jump and triple jump, where she finished sixth (14’9.5”) and eighth (31’5.5”).
The depth showed up in single events, such as the javelin. Zaczynski was first, followed by senior Alijah Vega in second (101’10”), sophomore Marisa Imme in sixth (82’7”) and junior Brianna Harris in eighth (81’). Southington secured 22 of the possible 39 team points available in just the javelin.
There were plenty of other Knights who finished in the top eight and earned team points. Southington’s 4x800m relay of freshman Jackie Izzo, Moquete, sophomore Lauren Verrilli and freshman Megan Wadman finished third (10:12.32). Picking up fourth place finishes for the Knights were: Kemnitz in the 800m (2:23.18) and 1600m (5:20.11); junior Lily Scalise in the 300m hurdles (52.34); and sophomore Natalie Reeves in the pole vault (9’). Fifth place finishers were: freshman Nina Muir in the 100m dash (13.20) and 200m dash (27.53); Izzo in the 3200m (12:14.32); and Kelly Perrotti in the triple jump (33’1.75”). Sixth place finishers were: junior Emma Plourde in the 400m dash (1:06.33); Verrilli in the 1600m (5:31.49); and sophomore Grace Michaud in the 3200m (12:16.20). Seventh place finishers were: Sheline in the 400m dash (1:06.37); Verrilli in the 3200m (12:18.89); junior Kayla Markette in the pole vault (8’6”); and junior Alexandra Padden in the shot put (28’11”).
Up next: Southington was scheduled to compete in the Class LL state championship meet on Wednesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com