Schools Sports

Hall, Conard Track and Field Teams Bring Home Hardware at New England Championships

Hall's Anna Siciliano won the shot put and set a new school record in the New England Indoor Track and Field championships. Courtesy of Hall High School

West Hartford’s Hall and Conard indoor track and field athletes won several events and placed in others at the 2024 New England Interscholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Sports reporting is sponsored by Keating Agency Insurance

The Hall girls relay team came in third in the 4×800 and fourth in the 4×400. Photo courtesy of Hall High School

By Howie Lam

After a long afternoon of riveting and thrilling competition, the West Hartford track and field teams scored some big wins at this past weekend’s New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, highlighted by performances in the boy’s 4x800m, girl’s 4x800m and 4x400m, and the girl’s high jump.

The crowd witnessed numerous state and championship records go down, beginning at the 4x800m, with the Ridgefield squad (Aidan Nelson, Magnus Manley, Charles Lovett, and Princeton commit Steven Hergenrother) blowing away the competition in the last leg by Hergenrother’s split of ~1:52. Their time of 7:47.62 broke the Connecticut state record, previously held by Ridgefield, as well as the New England Championship record which was 8:06.96 by Suffield in 2019.

The competition started with a bang, as the Hall girl’s 4x800m obliterated their previous school record which was set just a little under two months ago at the Yale Invitational. Moving into the meet, they were heavy contenders for the New England title. Lauren Moskal, Abby Sanderson, Julia Zydanowicz, and Rylan Priest collectively ran a time of 9:18.50, a school’s best by over three seconds, as well as placing them third overall in the championship. This new time also ranks them 12th in the entirety of the U.S.

Hall boys 4×800. Photo courtesy of Hall High School

The Hall boys, who were in the mix to podium, put together their best relay which brought back three of the four relay legs from last year’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals team, as they earned All-American honors and ran the second fastest time in school history. Gabe Sisk found himself in the middle of the pack as the race went out. Going into the last lap, Sisk made his move, running his second 400m faster than his first 400m, and handing off in first place to Connor Mayr. This time around, senior Connor Mayr filled in for the fourth leg and did not disappoint. A strong 1:58 from Mayr put the team up in the front against the other competitors. Isaac Mahler, who received the baton after Mayr’s monstrous leg, maintained a valiant effort and hung onto Ridgefield who began to wind up the race even more. Jon York sealed off the race, as the Titans battled it out and squeezed a fourth-place finish. Their time of 7:54.44 smashed the old school record of 7:58.69, about a four-second difference.

Anna Siciliano not only met her season’s best, but she shattered it by over a foot on Saturday, as well as earning the title of New England Champion, school record holder (again), CT No. 1, and finally U.S. No. 20 in the shot put. Her competition was tense, with many of her fellow competitors throwing well over forty feet. The New England title came down to the final throw, as Shalisha Robertson from Connecticut’s Hillhouse, threw 42 feet, 5.5 inches. Siciliano, going into her final throw, was just at 41 feet 8 inches, meaning that to win, she would have to throw a lifetime best. The pressure wasn’t enough to take down Siciliano, as she launched the shot put an astonishing 43 feet, 9.5 inches. 

Tess Sherry was second in the mile. Photo courtesy of Conard High School

The Conard Red Wolves also brought great competition, as the Sherry twins continued their outstanding indoor seasons as juniors. Tess Sherry, who ran the mile, raced against longtime competitor, Newington’s Katie Bohlke, and Cary Drake of York, Maine. The eight-lap race sparked tons of lifetime best performances, as five of the top eight finishers ran a personal best. Sherry stuck behind Drake up until the final lap, following the footsteps of Bohlke’s staple kick. Sherry finished second overall, in a time of 4:57.20, a season’s best, Connecticut’s No. 3 time, and U.S. No. 38.

Liv Sherry was second in the 1000m. Photo courtesy of Conard High School

Liv Sherry posted an impressive second-place finish in the girl’s 1000m in a time of 2:56.61, following Glastonbury’s Brooke Strauss who has had a phenomenal season, at one point holding the U.S No. 1 time, running 4:45 in the mile race.

Lizzy Bidwell soared in the rankings in the girls high jump, clearing 5-feet-9 inches, earning her first New England title. Her clearance skyrocketed her to a U.S. No. 3 ranking, as well as a Connecticut No. 1 for this season.

Lizzy Bidwell won the high jump, clearing 5-feet-9 inches. Photo courtesy of Coanrd High School

The Hall girl’s 4x400m relay closed off an exciting night, as the Titans (Lauren Moskal, Abby Sanderson, Julia Zydanowicz, and Rylan Priest) finished fourth overall in the fast heat, in a time of 4:01.16. Not only was this performance their second school record of the night by over six seconds, but this ranks the athletes as the second fastest Connecticut performance this season and a U.S No. 65 ranking overall.

Most athletes will move onto the final championship of the indoor track and field season, ending at either New Balance Nationals Indoor which is being held March 7-10 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center in Boston, as well as the Track at New Balance, or at Nike Indoor Nationals which is held at the world-famous Armory Track in Manhattan, New York.

For more information about either of these meets, including schedules, entries, or directions, please visit the following links:

Nike Nationals: https://nikeindoornationals.runnerspace.com/

New Balance Nationals: https://nikeindoornationals.runnerspace.com/

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