Multiple athletes from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools will compete Saturday in the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships.
By Ronni Newton
Nearly two dozen athletes from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools will compete in the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston – including Conard sophomore Gavin Sherry, the favorite for the 2-mile race with a seed time of 8:57.57, which is faster than the meet record.
“I don’t emphasize running to a time, rather to running a general race strategy decided before the meet that is fluid until each runner takes the starting line dependent on the needs of our team and the athlete’s state of physical and mental health that day,” Conard head boys track and field coach Ron Knapp said. “Experience has taught me to only ask of them to compete to their potential, be confident of their training and unafraid of finding new limits.”
In his first season of indoor track after swimming last winter, Sherry, the 2019 Connecticut Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, has certainly found new limits.
The sophomore has set new Conard records this season in the 1600, mile, 3200, and 2-mile, currently has the fastest time this year among U.S. high school runners in the 3200 (8:54.47) as well as the 2-mile (9:02.58), and was both Class LL and State Open champion in the 3200.
By finishing in the top six at the State Open, several of Sherry’s Conard teammates also qualified for the 2-mile race at New Englands – including his twin brother, Callum, seeded eighth, and senior Vebjoern Roeed who is seeded 11th.
Conard junior Chloe Scrimgeour, who won the 3200 at the State Open Feb. 22 in 10:47.72, is the top seed for the girls in the 2-mile for the New England Championship meet. Hall sophomore Katherine Sanderson is seeded 10th.
Also running Saturday will be Hall senior Jenna Zydanowicz, who punched her ticket to New Englands with a second-place finish in the 1600 at the State Open in 5:02.23 and is seeded fourth.
In addition to the individual track events, relay teams from both West Hartford high schools will compete in the New England Championships on Saturday.
Qualifiers include the Hall girls 4×800 relay team of Mia Healer, Nora Holmes, Rose Kitz, and Jenna Zydanowicz; the Hall boys 4×800 team of Walker Beverly, Yonah Goldberg, Zachary LaPolla, and Jackson Grady; and the Conard boys 4×800 team of Callum Sherry, Vebjoern Roeed, Sophoias Dires, and Gavin Sherry.
The Conard boys 4×200 relay team of Brenden Hill, Christopher Maglio, John Gabinelle, and Nathan Rinaldi will also run in the New England Championships.
Field athletes competing Saturday include Conard freshman high jumper Audrey Kirkutis, who finished fifth at the State Open, and Hall senior Katherine George, who placed fifth in the shot put at the State Open.
Hall junior Marcus Ramsey, a fourth-place finisher in the shot put at the State Open, will also compete in the New England Championships.
Many of the athletes have already qualified for national competition based on their results at the State Open.
Knapp said he and the other coaches are proud of the success of their athletes, “where personal best efforts in training and competition have resulted in a successful season.”
Knapp, who coaches the boys, said he was “extremely grateful and proud to be able to guide this team of young men as they continue to excel in their academics while committing to the rigors of competing in a varsity sport,” and noted the impact and leadership of captains Sophonias Dires, John Gabinelle, Justin Goldstein, and Nathan Rinaldi
Complete State Open results can be found here.
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