Schools Sports

Record-Breaking Week for West Hartford High School Sports [Updated]

Gavin Sherry (right) and Callum Sherry in the top two spots on the podium after their record-breaking runs in the 2-mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Photo credit: Ron Knapp

Multiple West Hartford athletes earned All-American status at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, and the Conard boys basketball team has the most number of wins in school history. [Updated]

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford high school athletes have excelled in multiple sports over the past week, and as seasons are winding down many new records have been set on the court, in the pool, and on the track.

Boys basketball

The Conard boys basketball team has an official record of 20-2 – but that doesn’t count a pair of wins in the CCC tournament, where they won two games before losing to Northwest Catholic in the semifinals.

With a win over Westhill on Thursday night, followed by a win over Middletown Friday night, Conard has the most wins in a season in the school’s history. The last time Conard won two tournament games was in 1973-74.

In an all-West Hartford CIAC Division II semifinal match, Conard will meet Northwest (21-1) again on Tuesday night, on a neutral court at Enfield High School. The winner of that game will face the winner of the other semifinal matchup, which features the undefeated No. 1 seed Bristol Central (and UConn-bound 7-foot-1-inch Donovan Clingan) vs. No. 4 seed Wilton, in the final next weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Conard’s Riley Fox looks for the shot while Westhill’s Anderson Graham defends. Conard vs. Westhill. CIAC Division II, round 2. March 10, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Indoor track and field

It was a record-setting weekend for Conard and Hall athletes in the New Balance Indoor Nationals, with seven earning All-American status.

With a remarkable one-two finish, Conard seniors, twin brothers Gavin and Callum Sherry, both broke records Friday in the 2-mile race.

Gavin Sherry won his first national championship, and broke the state record he had been chasing, with his finishing time of 8:48.59 topping a Connecticut state record set seven years ago by Alex Ostberg of Darien (8:48.88).

Callum Sherry, in a remarkable finish, broke the 9-minute barrier for the first time, charging into second place with a finish time of 8:50.60.

The Hall Sprint Medley Relay team of Jonathan York, Samuel Sandler, Sean McDaniel and Toby Ruffo earned All-American honors Friday as well, speeding to a fifth-place finish in 3:33.23.

More about Friday’s competition can be found in a report by MySportsResults.com.

Day two of the New Balance Indoor Nationals saw more success for West Hartford athletes, with Conard’s Audrey Kirkutis, winner of last week’s New England championship, once again clearing the 5-foot-seven-inch bar in the high jump for a fourth place finish and All American honors.

Hall’s 4xMile Relay team (Colin Goldschmidt, Walker Beverly, Nathanial Aronson, and Isaac Mahler finished 10th, setting a new school record of 18:08.30.

For more about Saturday’s competition, see this report by MySportsResults.com.

Conard’s Gavin Sherry and Callum Sherry finish first and second in the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Photo credit: Ron Knapp

Hall’s Toby Ruffo anchors the Sprint Medley Relay team, finishing fifth in the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Photo credit: Ron Knapp

Conard’s Audrey Kirkutis earned All-American hours with a fourth place finish in the high jump at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Photo credit: Ron Knapp

Conard’s Audrey Kirkutis with a big smile after a fourth-place All-American jump of 5’7″ in the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Photo by Ron Knapp

On Sunday there were more records set, and Gavin Sherry earned another All-American honor, setting a new state record while placing fourth in the mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals with a 4:02.69 finish. Callum Sherry set a new PR, crossing the finish line in 14th place in a time of 4:09.80 .

Also on Sunday, the Hall boys 4×400 team (York, McDaniel, Sandler, and Ruffo) which finished fifth in the Sprint Medley relay had another All-American level finish, coming in second in a time of 3:21.58.

Boys hockey

No. 9 Conard started off last week with a decisive 4-1 win over No. 8 seed Tri-Town in the Division III boys hockey playoffs, and followed that up Thursday by eliminating the No. 1 seed E.O. Smith with a 2-1 overtime win.

With the win, Conard (11-9-2) advances to the semifinals for the first time in 26 years, and will face No. 4 seed BBD (Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury co-op) Monday night at 8 p.m. at the Northford Ice Pavilion in North Branford.

Conard boys hockey team before a game with Hall on Feb. 19, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Swimming and Diving

Hall’s Carson Raisner set three records in the CIAC Class L swim trials Friday, en route the state championship meet on March 15. That meet begins at 1:30 p.m. at Cornerstone.

In diving, Hall’s Jonah Genser finished second in the Class L championship on Thursday, March 10, with a score of 457.10, and Conard’s Daniel Kamin was seventh in 337.90.

Hall’s Jonah Genser set a new six-dive record. Hall vs. Farmington boys swimming and diving. Jan. 26, 2022. Photo credit: Paul Palmer (we-ha.com file photo)

Congratulations to all, and good luck to the teams and athletes whose seasons continue!

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  • I would like to hear a lot more about the accomplishments of our womens teams. We are a part of the a herstory of women’s athletics especially on this 50th anniversary of Title 9😎🏑🏌🏽🏆🥎⛷

    • This particular story focused on the teams and athletes that were participating in championships, and that’s why these particular teams and students – including Conard’s Audrey Kirkutis – were featured. We try hard to cover boys and girls, and Conard and Hall, equally during the season. We also welcome submitted stories and photos from parents/fans/others of games or meets that we are unable to cover. ~Ronni

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