West Hartford’s Hall High School boys outdoor track and field team cruised to a victory in the CCC West with 263 points, with West Hartford’s Conard High School boys in second with 113 points. The Hall girls were third while the Conard girls were fourth.
By Howie Lam
Hall’s boys’ team started off its championship season this past Tuesday with a dominant win against its opponents in the seven-team CCC West Conference (Hall, Conard, Southington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, Farmington, Avon, and Northwest Catholic), defending their title from last year – and many years past – while scoring 263 points across 17 different events.
The Hall girls’ team edged out Conard by 2 points, placing third overall in the conference with 106 points.
The Hall boys started off strong in the 4x800m, with Jacob Szalewicz battling against the conference’s best 800m runners and handing off in third place. Connor Mayr and Jack Pastor both were able to run a strong second and third leg and anchor leg Jeremy Baun was able to drop the hammer on the first lap of his leg to create a gap and secure Hall’s first win of the morning.
The Hall girls were able to successfully snag a spot at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships, as they placed second in the girls’ 4x800m in a time of 9:37.67.
Defending Indoor Class LL Champion Joe Nham fought a tough battle against injury in his transition between the winter and spring season, however he pulled apart the field on Tuesday, winning the 110m hurdles in a convincing time of 15.49 which improved his personal best by nearly a tenth of a second. Nham doubled back in the 300m hurdles to place third on the podium in a blazing time of 40.04s, just a little over half a second from qualifying for the New Balance National Outdoor championships.
Isaac Mahler, a promising junior, continued his season with a gutsy win in the 1600m, and doubled back to also snatch a gold medal for Hall in the 3200m. In the 1600m, Mahler led from wire-to-wire and finished in a time of 4:17.91. Following Mahler was Colin Goldschmidt (4:20.64), Ethan Striff-Cave (4:26.46), Uri Noyman (4:39.95) in places 2-4, and Donovan Connole (4:43.94) in seventh place. Hall was able to bring home a hefty 31 points in the 1600m event.
Mahler returned in the 3200m a few hours later to hang behind Simsbury’s Luke Davis before blasting past him going into the final lap. Mahler was able to win in a time of 9:31.48. Davis came in second place with a time of 9:37.85. Mahler’s teammate, Avery Allen, followed behind Davis in third, as he ran a time of 9:42.98.
Caitlin Striff-Cave bested her personal record in the 1600m, as the senior finished 10th in the conference in a time of 5:36.08, just two spots away from scoring points for the Hall girls.
Following shortly in the 400m, the Hall boys raked in 32 points in the event alone, placing first, second, third, fourth, and sixth. Jonathan York led the Hall sweep in a time of 48.51. Samuel Sandler was not too far behind in a time of 49.85. Thomas Nash improved on his best with a time of 51.09. Gabriel Sisk was able to add more points, as he finished in 51.11. Julian Serrano followed behind in 52.92, which placed him sixth across the conference.
Hall’s Rylan Priest battled against a tough field in the 800m, as she put down 5 points for the girls’ team in a time of 2:18.90. Priest’s teammate, Madeline Peterson, was just a few places behind in a time of 2:27.65. Peterson also placed fourth overall in the girls’ javelin, with a throw that distanced 109-02 feet.
Hall senior captain Samuel Sandler came back a little over 30 minutes after taking second in the 400m to win the boys 200m in a time of 22.28, almost half a second ahead of second place.
In the field events, Sydney Burke earned the girls’ team 8 points and second place in the long jump, clearing a distance of 15-01.00 feet. Burke also cleared 32-05.50 feet in the triple jump, which earned the Hall senior 6 points and third place. Anna Sicilliano and Madison Vargas went 1-2 in the girls’ shot put, throwing 35-02.50 feet and 33-11.75 feet respectively. Sicilliano and Vargas also went 1-3 in the discus throw, with distances of 113-02 feet and 97-03 feet. Rowan Ivens cleared a height of 4-10.00 feet in the girls’ high jump and Priyanka Magavi cleared a new personal best of 9-00.00 feet in the pole vault.
For the boys, Aaron Sandler and Mark Zadi earned six points combined for Hall as they jumped 19-03.25 feet and 17-11.75 feet respectively. Both Sandler and Zadi doubled back to the triple jump, earning first and second place in jumps of 41-05.00 feet and 39-04.00 feet, respectively. Miguel Herrera, Josh Horenstein, and Nicholas Xaiver were able to score fifteen points for the boys team in the boys’ shot put. Xaiver won the discus with a throw of 142-04 feet. Dominic Russos and Jacob Walters launched the javelin to distances of 158-11 and 148-00 feet respectively, which earned the athletes first and second place. Jordan Brice hopped over 5-10.00 feet in the high jump shortly after running the second leg in the boys’ 4x100m.
Kathryn Moskal, Julia Zydanowicz, Abigail Sanderson, and Rylan Priest were able to win the girls’ 4x400m for Hall in a time of 4:03.50, edging out their cross-town rival team from Conard (Tess Sherry, Liv Sherry, Daphne Brewer, Macy McPhee) which finished second in 4:04.24. Thomas Nash, Gabriel Sisk, Julian Serrano, and Jonathan York were able to bring home another boys’ 4x400m title in a dominant win of 3:22.52.
The Hall boys will face off their Class LL rivals next Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Willow Brook Park at the Class LL State Championships, and the Hall girls will compete against their class opponents from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Class L State Championships. To follow along, click here. (https://live.nestiming.com/)
The Conard girls finished fourth overall with 104 points in Tuesday’s CCC West meet, highlighted not only by the second-place 4x400m finish but also with Gracelyn Williams’ second place finish in the 100m (12.82), Tess Sherry’s 800m victory (2:12.32), Liv Sherry’s first place finish in the 1600m (4:53.42), first and fourth place finishes in the 100m hurdles by Angela Dulnuan and Ava Peterson respectively, and a win for Dulnuan in the 300m hurdles.
In the field it was a 1-2 finish for Audrey Kirkutis (5-06) and Lizzy Bidwell (5-00) in the high jump. Bidwell also won the triple jump (35-07) and took fourth in the long jump. Sasha Belabe was fourth in the shot put.
The Conard boys earned 113 points to finish in second place, with highlights including first, second, third, and sixth place in the 100m by Giancarlo Fedolfi, JeanCarlo Barquinero, Miguel Algerin, and Anthony Catanzaro respectively. All four also scored points for the Red Wolves in the 200m.
Grant Walters was third in the 800m for Conard in 2:02.47, William Ladd was second in the 110m hurdles with Howard Pham in sixth, and Ladd was fifth in the 300m hurdles. Conard’s 4x800m relay took fourth place.
In the field, Ladd tied for second in the high jump (5-08), while Catanzaro and Michael Kirkutis tied for fourth. Eddie Valle was second in the long jump (19-06.50) and also fifth in the triple jump.
The Conard girls will compete in the Class LL Championship meet next week, while the Conard boys will compete in Class L.
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