Schools Sports

West Hartford Athletes Shine with Several First-Place Finishes at New England Track and Field Meet

Conard junior Audrey Kirkutis is the 2022 New England champion for high jump. Photo credit: Matt Redman

Multiple athletes from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools competed Saturday in the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston.

Hall boys first-place finish 4×400 relay team. Twitter photo

By Ronni Newton

Three first-place finishes, and broken meet and school records, highlighted the impact Conard and Hall made at the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday, as more than a dozen athletes from West Hartford came home with medals and All-New England honors.

“It was a huge day for West Hartford at New Englands today,” Hall High School boys coach Jeff Billing said regarding the meet which returned to the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston this year after being canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Conard junior Audrey Kirkutis had tied the Class LL meet record with a 5-foot-6-inch high jump that earned her the gold medal at the state divisional championship held Feb. 11, 2022 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. But at the State Open, held at the same facility on Feb. 19, she placed third with a jump of 5-feet-2-inches.

Seeded seventh based on her State Open jump, Kirkutis was back in top form Saturday, successfully clearing 5-feet-5-inches before initially failing to make the 5-feet-7-inch jump.

She ended up in an exciting jump-off with two other athletes who had also cleared the 5-feet-5-inch mark on their first try, according to Conard assistant indoor track and field and jumpers coach Matt Redman. In the jump-off, Kirkutis was the only one to clear the 5-feet-7-inch bar, earning the top spot on the podium as New England champion.

Conard’s Gavin Sherry (State Open and Class L winner in 2022), seeded first in the 2-mile race, not only won but also set a new meet record, crossing the finish line in 8:51.59. His twin brother, Callum Sherry (third place in State Open, second place in Class L) finished third in 9:01.34, his PR, with Framingham, MA runner Sam Burgess capturing second. The Sherrys, who are seniors, will both run at Stanford next year.

The other first-place West Hartford finish belonged to the four members of the Hall High School 4×400 relay team. The 3:23.84 time by the team of Jonathan York, Sean McDaniel, Toby Ruffo, and Sam Sandler, was almost four seconds faster than the second place Greenwich team (3:27.33).

Other highlights include a second-place finish by Hall’s 4×200 relay team (York, Sandler, Thomas Nash, and Charlie Cameron) in 1:31.82, which Billing said set a new school record by more than a second.

Other notable performances included:

  • Hall’s Kate Sanderson earned All New England Honors with a third-place finish in the 2-mile, in 11:02.14
  • The Conard boys 4×800 relay (Gavin Sherry, Nicolas Martin, Grant Walters, Callum Sherry) came in fifth 8:03.42
  • Ruffo’s sixth place finish in the 600 (1:22.99) broke a Hall school record previously held by Miller Anderson
  • York finished sixth in the 300 (35.86)
  • Hall’s 4×800 relay (Colin Goldschmidt, Nathanial Aronson, Jamie Rendon, McDaniel) team’s time of 8:05.51 was a season-best finish.

“There were only 13 boy and 13 girl events competed. That’s a lot of hardware from one town,” Billing said.

More details about the meet can be found in a report by MySportsResults.com.

Complete meet results can be found here.

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