By KEVIN ROBERTS
The 2017-18 season was a tremendous one for the Southington girls indoor track and field team. The Lady Knights took fifth place out of 23 teams in the CCC, finished sixth in Class LL, and placed ninth at the State Open.
Megan Biscoglio finished first in the CCC and Class LL in the pole vault. Amanda Howe was second in Class LL, first at the State Open, and second in New England in the shot put. Biscoglio and Howe are both gone, Biscoglio to UConn and Howe to the University of Iowa.
Those are big holes to fill for Southington, but this is a big program that has shown that it’s capable of reloading.
“We graduated varsity athletes, but we also are able to replenish them, so it’s going to be about seeing how well we can develop the current crop of kids,” coach Connor Green said at the beginning of an outside practice last Thursday.
New athletes are ready to step up, but there are solid returnees as well.
“Trinity Cardillo is going to be one of the top returning throwers in the state for the shot put,” Green said. “Sydney Garrison is one of the top returning high jumpers. She is No. 2 in Class LL as a returning high jumper.”
There is plenty of solid depth in a variety of events. A strong group of sprinters is back, including sophomore Kayla Pelletier, along with a lot of the pieces of some good relay teams. For example, three members of the sprint medley relay—senior co-captains Kate Kemnitz and Natalie Verderame and senior veteran Samantha Przybylski—return this season. Kemnitz, Verderame and junior Meghan Sheline are back in the 4x400m relay.
Green expects young distance runners like freshman Jackie Izzo and sophomore Lauren Verrilli to have an impact, based on what they’ve done in previous seasons. Izzo and Verrilli will add depth to a distance group that already includes Kemnitz.
As for the younger runners, it’s all about commitment and improvement.
“They’re developing, they’re showing up every day, and that’s the best thing that we can get out of it,” Green said.
Southington may have lost some great athletes, but it’ll work hard to get back to where it was last year. The Lady Knights hope to improve on that fifth place finish in the CCC, and the sixth place finish at the Class LL state meet. Southington has over 90 girls on the team, so there is depth.
“We qualified a girl in every single event last year,” Green said.
The Lady Knights begin the season with two events this weekend. The varsity and select freshmen will be at the two-day Hillhouse Invitational (Friday and Saturday), while everyone else goes to Hartford Public High School for the Hartford Public Invitational on Saturday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com