West Hartford’s Hall High School girls indoor track and field team as well as the Conard High School boys indoor track and field team, competed at the CIAC Class L championship meet on Feb. 10, while the Hall boys and Conard girls compete Feb. 11 in the Class LL meet.
By Howie Lam
In a competitive and exciting championship on Feb. 10, Hall’s girls indoor track and field team placed fourth overall, and Conard’s boys team placed 17th at the 2023 CIAC Class L Championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, CT.
To start off the meet, the Hall girl’s 4x200m, consisting of Katie Moskal, Lauren Moskal, Sarah Punt, and Maya McMillian placed fifth overall in a time of 1:53.95 in a thrillingly fast race. Following, the Conard boys (Jean Carlo Barquinero, Ryan Gillis, George Musto, Giancarlo Fedolfi) put down points on the scoreboard after a fourth place finish in the boys 4x200m with a time of 1:36.39.
In the 4x800m, the Hall girls (Julia Zydanowicz, Maddy Peterson, Abby Sanderson, Rylan Priest) won the race in 9:55.67 with a nationals-qualifying time after battling against New Canaan and Windsor before Priest, the anchor leg, pulled away on the last lap. The Conard boys (Sawyer Bloom, Grant Walters, Evan Piccioli, Sean Morley) placed fourth overall in a time of 8:42.50, a new season record.
William Ladd represented Conard in the 55m Hurdles with a time of 8.66s, an eighth place finish overall for Class L. In the 55m, Conard’s Barquinero blazed to a 10th place finish with a time of 6.72s, with his teammate Fedolfi, who finished 13th overall in a time of 6.76s, on his heels.
Hall’s Priest bettered her own school record that she broke just two weeks ago for the girls team and placed third overall in the 600m with a time of 1:38.50. This is the third time she has broken the school record this season, showing her tremendous success and improvement. “The biggest contributor to my success has been learning to trust myself and my training. I think the change in my attitude has helped me to push myself more and continue to keep pushing harder,” Priest said.
Hall’s Caitlin Striff-Cave battled through in the 1600m to run right around her personal record in a time of 5:47.89, which placed her 16th overall in the division. “Overall my season was really great. It was my fourth year of indoor [track] but my first time doing distance and I could not be more happy with my decision. I finally ‘hit my stride’ with what I’m good at and what I enjoy,” Striff-Cave said about her final indoor season.
Conard’s Grant Walters returned from the 4x800m to double in the 1600m with a time of 4:59.24, finishing 19th overall.
Returning to double in their second event, Hall’s K. Moskal, Punt, L. Moskal, and Maddy Peterson placed fifth in their heat and seventh overall in the 1600m SMR, (200m-200m-400m-800m), with a time of 4:36.09, just shy of their season best.
Conard’s Musto and Fedolfi completed their double in the 300m, running times of 39.10s and 39.58s which placed them 20th and 24th respectively.
In an electric 3200m race, Hall’s Zydanowicz placed sixth overall in a time of 11:53.55, while her teammate Abby Sanderson placed 10th overall in a time of 12:18.26. Conard’s Morley cruised to a new personal best of 10:11.23 in the 3200m, which put him seventh overall.
In the last running event of the meet, the 4x400m, the Hall girls closed it off earning the team four more points in a time of 4:13.93. K. Moskal, Punt, and L. Moskal completed three different events, a challenging feat to conquer in a championship meet this important. “My favorite part about tripling is always being able to run with different people on my team. … Hall’s teamwork and work ethic together in groups is so strong, and just all around such a great thing to be a part of … I look forward to setting more PR’s this indoor season at New Balance Nationals and pushing my limits more in outdoor,”,Lauren Moskal added about her performance’s significance Friday night.
Conard athletes Joseph Paliai, Nathan Parker, Ryan Gilis, and Howard Pham ran 3:50.65 to place 12th in the 4x400m.
The field events did not disappoint either.
Hall’s Pri Magavi cleared 8-00.00 feet in the girl’s pole vault, which placed her ninth overall, while Anna Siciliano launched the shot put 34-09.50 feet, an indoor track personal best. Conard’s Ladd placed sixth in a three-way tie in the high jump with a height of 5-06.00 feet. Hall’s Rowan Ivens also three-way tied in the girl’s high jump, which placed her fifth overall with a height of 4-10.00 feet.
Teams or individuals that win an event automatically qualify to the State Open meet on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, while 14 other teams/individuals qualify through the fastest times or top distances through all four divisions.
On Feb. 11, Hall’s boys team will chase a sixth consecutive indoor championship, while Conard’s girls will be looking to be Class LL state champions. For live results, follow: https://live.athletic.net/meets/20152
For more results from the Class L Championships, check https://live.athletic.net/meets/20150
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