Multiple athletes from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools competed Saturday in the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, with Conard athletes taking first place in the 2-mile and Hall athletes picking up two silver medals.
By Ronni Newton
Conard sophomore Gavin Sherry had a PR Saturday but it was more than just a personal record as he proceeded to not only break a school record and a meet record, but also set a new top time among high school athletes nationally in the 2-mile distance.
Sherry, who was seeded first and led for the entire 2-mile race, finished in 8:53.25 at the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships held Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston.
He was closely followed by Manchester (CT) High School sophomore Aidan Puffer, who finished in 8:58.25 – a time that is second-fastest among high school students nationally according to mysportsresults.com. Sherry and Puffer finished in the same order in the 3200 in the Connecticut State Open and Class LL Championships, held the previous two weeks.
Until Saturday, the meet record for the New England Championship was 8:57.99, set in 2018 by Ryan Oosting of Arlington, MA.
The gold medal for New England in the girls 2-mile race also belongs to a runner from West Hartford’s Conard High School.
Like her teammate Sherry, following a first-place finish in the 3200 at the State Open, Conard junior Chloe Scrimgeour entered the girls 2-mile race Saturday seeded first – and finished in first place, setting a new school record with her time of 10:48.63.
Ron Knapp, head coach for the Conard boys indoor track and field team, said it was one of the most successful meets the school has had in years – with all of the boys entered in the meet earning a place on the podium for All-New England honors.
In addition to Sherry’s performance in the 2-mile, the boys 4×800 and 4×200 relay teams both finished in fifth place.
The 4×800 relay team – which includes Gavin Sherry’s twin brother, Callum Sherry, Tyler Remigino, Veb Roeed and Gavin Sherry finished in a school record time of 8:02.66 – eclipsing the relay’s previous mark of 8:11.46 set last week at the State Open by the team of Callum Sherry, team captain Sophonias Dires, Veb Roeed, and Gavin Sherry. The team had been seeded 12th going into Saturday’s race.
“That same State Open team had continually reduced their time from the Elm City Invite (8:24.72) to the CCC Championship (8:14.32) to their Class LL Champion time of 8:14.77. The team of Callum Sherry, Captain Sophonias Dires, Veb Roeed, and Gavin Sherry will be honored on Thursday night at the CHSCA All-State Banquet,” Knapp said.
The 4×200 relay entered Saturday’s meet as a 13th seed based on the State Open time of 1:33.31, and the team of Brenden Hill, Christopher Maglio, captain John Gabinelle, and captain Nathan Rinaldi won their heat (heat five of seven) in a school record time of 1:31.77.
“[W]e had to anxiously wait for the completion of the final two heats to learn that we finished fifth overall. While the same team had set the previous school record of 1:33.22 at the Yale Classic Invite in January they had to overcome minor injuries as well as heart-breaking DQ in the CCC Championship. The team is excited that they qualified to compete in the Emerging Elite 4x200m relay at Nationals on Friday, March 13,” Knapp said.
Gavin Sherry will compete in the 2-mile Championship race in the New Balance Nationals on Friday, March 13 at the Armory in New York City, and Callum Sherry and Roeed will compete in the Emerging Elite 2-mile.
Callum Sherry, who raced two events as he has for the past four meets, finished eighth in the 2-mile in a tie of 9:26.61, just off his PR of 9:23.17 set in January.
“An incredible season by Callum for someone who was challenged to just break 10-minutes last year,” Knapp said. “Veb Roeed also raced twice in his fourth meet in as many weeks and finished strongly in 13th place in 9:40.57, a time that was short of his 9:25.77 best from January.”
Both Sherrys, Roeed, and Tyler Remigino will team up for the “infrequently contested” 4×1-mile Championship relay on Saturday, March 14 at Nationals.
Scrimgeour has also qualified for the girls 2-mile Emerging Elite event at the New Balance Nationals.
Running fresh because it was her only event of the day, Hall senior Jenna Zydanowicz had an outstanding outing at the New England Championship Saturday, entering the 1-mile race as a fourth seed and finishing in second place with a time of 4:58.78, a new school record. Zydanowicz finished the 1600 in the State Open in second place, behind Manchester’s Kate Hedlund, but finished one place ahead of Hedlund at New Englands.
“Our girls had a great experience at the New Englands,” Hall girls indoor track and field coach Betty Remigino-Knapp said. “They enjoyed the high level of competition and also enjoyed traveling together with the Conard teams and supporting each other.
“After the 2-mile we all gave Chloe a big hug to congratulate her. This is what high school sports is all about,” said Remigino-Knapp.
Running Saturday in the girls 4×800 relay, the team of Mia Healer, Kate Sanderson, Nora Holmes, and Rose Kitz also earned a silver medal, and set a new school record with a time of 9:24.11.
“Mia Healer ran a strong opening leg which put us in a perfect position. After that Kate Sanderson, Nora Holmes and Rose Kitz all ran their best splits of the season, said Remigino-Knapp.
Zydanowicz has qualified for the 1-mile Championship event at the New Balance Nationals, as have Hall’s 4×800 relay, distance medley relay, and 4×1-mile relay team – all comprised of Sanderson, Kitz, Holmes, and Zydanowicz. Remigino-Knapp said the athletes will likely participate in two of the three relays for which they have qualified.
The Hall boys sprint medley relay team and 4×800 relay teams will run in the Emerging Elite races at New Balance Nationals.
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