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Ridgefield boys, Staples girls take home Class LL track titles

Published 9:46 pm, Thursday, June 5, 2014

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  • The Ridgefield boys track and field team poses after winning the CIAC Class LL Connecticut Outdoor Track & Field State Championship at Danbury High School in Danbury, Conn. Thursday, June 5, 2014. Photo: Tyler Sizemore / The News-Times
    The Ridgefield boys track and field team poses after winning the CIAC Class LL Connecticut Outdoor Track & Field State Championship at Danbury High School in Danbury, Conn. Thursday, June 5, 2014. Photo: Tyler Sizemore

 

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DANBURY -- Ridgefield's boys track and field team got its revenge at the home of its rival on Thursday. And it did it with what looked like a cross country meet for a few laps.

The Tigers took the lead with a solid pack of runners in the 3200 meters, then won the 4x400 to beat Danbury by seven points in the Class LL championships.

Staples ran away with the girls meet by 33 points over Glastonbury, rolling through events Thursday that were postponed from Tuesday by thunder and the threat of worse.

But Ridgefield's boys had to work their way from behind, finally doing it in the 3200, in which they had the top four seeds. Though Fairfield Prep's Christian Alvarado ran away in first place with a meet record, the next five spots belonged to Tigers (Clint Corso moved from the eighth seed to sixth place, a two-point pickup), giving the team a three-point lead. The 4x400 win clinched the title.

"We've had so much heartbreak that I was sort of going to be sick to my stomach," Ridgefield coach Bryan Kovalsky said, holding the trophy as if he wanted to make sure it didn't go anywhere.

"I thought it was going to be a point or two, and we were going to be on the losing end. ... The one thing I didn't account for is the fight in these guys. I don't know if I could have come back like they did."

On May 28, Danbury's 4x400 relay beat Ridgefield by 0.01 seconds to win the FCIAC championship by one point.

The Tigers turned the tables this week, earning a few crucial points in throws and getting that win in the 4x400, to win the school's first boys track title. The Staples girls last won Class L in 1982, when there was no Class LL.

"We were confident going into the meet," Staples coach Jesse McCray said. "I was really nervous about NFA and Glastonbury. We told the girls, (those schools) have been there for years; they're outstanding programs."

But the Wreckers' depth was just too much in the events that remained Thursday. Senior Olivia Wiener won the 300 hurdles, her second individual victory to go with Tuesday's javelin title. Sophomore Hannah DeBalsi shattered the meet record in the 3200. Other top finishes built up points for Staples, which also won the Class LL indoor track title.

"I'm so proud of their hard work, our assistant coaches," McCray said.

DeBalsi earned her second meet record in three days: She set the 1600 record Tuesday, then blew away the mark in the 3200 by 20 seconds at 10:27.59, 46 seconds better than anyone on the track with her Thursday.

"I'm obviously happy about it," DeBalsi said. "Both races, I didn't go all-out. I was saving energy for nationals, the State Open."

Three meet records fell in just a few events Thursday. In the boys 3200, Alvarado had been in a pack with three Ridgefield runners and a Xavier runner for most of the race. He broke away from the pack in the last lap, seeing a seven-year-old record in reach.

"I wasn't planning to run that fast," said Alvarado, a senior, who said he'll only run the 1600 (he won that Tuesday) or the 3200 Monday in the Open to focus his efforts on running a best time.

"Obviously, I had to stay with (the Ridgefield) guys if I wanted to win. ... I felt good in the last 800, so I decided to go for the record."

Trumbull's Katie Foley won the girls 800, passing Staples' Tyler Scanlin in the last 100 meters. They both finished better than the meet record, set last year, but Foley's 2:13.47 won by a half a second.

"I didn't have a great FCIAC meet," Foley said. "Coming into this meet, I really, really wanted to win for my senior year. I saw the meet record was in my range."

Bridgeport Central's sophomore standout Kanajzae Brown won the 200 in 25.31. On Tuesday, she'd won the 100 and was in on the Hilltoppers' victorious 4x100 relay.

NOTES: New Britain's Stephon Brown finished with three individual wins, in the boys 200 and both hurdles. East Hartford's Dana Bramble won the girls long jump and triple jump. Hamden's Desean Nixon won the boys triple jump. Discus titles on Tuesday went to Shelton's Peter Cotto (155 feet, 1 inch) and Newtown's Amy Anyoha (111-8).

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

Class LL track results

at Danbury

Completion of meet suspended Tuesday

Girls

Team scores: 1. Staples 85; 2. Glastonbury 60; 3. Norwich Free Academy 51; 4. Newtown 45; 5. New Milford 40; 6. Shelton 39; 7. Fairfield Ludlowe 36.3; 8. Amity 36; 9. Conard 34; 10. Central 30; 11. McMahon 29; 12. Danbury 28; 13. Cheshire 26; 14. Ridgefield 25.3; 15. Greenwich 25; 16. East Hartford 24; 17. Manchester 21; 18. Trumbull 15.3; 19. Hamden 13; 20. Norwalk 12; 21. Stamford 11; 22. Westhill 10; 23. New Britain 6.

Individual events, Thursday and late Tuesday (winner and regional top-six finishers; *-denotes meet record):

400: 1. Stefanie McArdle (Glastonbury) 57.81; 2. Emma Koether (Ludlowe) 58.11; 3. Meghan Dietter (New Milford) 58.74; 4. Hailey Conrad (Newtown) 59.11; 6. Rachel Hurst (Ludlowe) 59.72. 300 hurdles: 1. Olivia Wiener (Staples) 45.28; 2. Sarah Boyd (McMahon) 46.23; 3. Gabriela Collado (Danbury) 46.66; 4. Samantha Hartmayer (Shelton) 46.87; 5. Tamia Taylor (Norwalk) 46.96; 6. Lauren Duhl (Amity) 47.30. 800: 1. Katie Foley (Trumbull) 2:13.47*; 2. Tyler Scanlin (Staples) 2:13.98; 3. Erica Hefnawy (Staples) 2:15.00; 4. Helen Bayers (New Milford) 2:15.77; 5. Sierra Grazia (New Milford) 2:16.32. 200: 1. Kanajzae Brown (Central) 25.31; 2. Zoie Reed (Amity) 25.57; 3. Niema Riley (Danbury) 25.70; 6. Emma Koether (Ludlowe) 26.27. 3200: 1. Hannah DeBalsi (Staples) 10:27.59*; 6. Katelynn Romanchick (Trumbull) 11:43.94. 4x400: 1. Glastonbury (Cacie Rosario, Mara Cosentino, Kathryn Hastings, Stefanie McArdle) 3:55.89; 2. Fairfield Ludlowe 3:59.61; 3. New Milford 4:00.68; 4. Greenwich 4:02.83; 6. Shelton 4:06.32. Triple jump: 1. Dana Bramble (East Hartford) 38-3; 4. Bridget van Dorsten (Staples) 34-5; 5. Jessica Stiezel (Stamford) 33-10; 6. Thessianna Mesilus (Stamford) 33-9.5. Discus: 1. Amy Anyoha (Newtown) 111-8; 2. Michaela Nowacki (Newtown) 111-2; 4. Sarah Cicchetti (Greenwich) 104-2; 6. Annika Alexander (Newtown) 99-0.

Boys

Team scores: 1. Ridgefield 85; 2. Danbury 78; 3. New Britain 61; 4. Amity 54; 5. Hamden 51; 6. East Hartford 45; 7. Staples 37; 8. Simsbury 36.5; 9. Manchester 36; 10. Cheshire 31; 11. Glastonbury 28.5; 12 (tie). Shelton 25; 12 (tie). Fairfield Prep 25; 14. Southington 19; 15 (tie) Trumbull 13; 15 (tie) Greenwich 13; 17. Xavier 11; 18 (tie) McMahon 10; 18 (tie) Westhill 10; 20 (tie) Stamford 9; 20 (tie) Norwich Free Academy 9; 22. West Haven 8; 23 (tie) Central 3; 23 (tie) Conard 23; 25. Newtown 1.

Individual events, Thursday and late Tuesday (winner and regional top-six finishers; *-denotes meet record)

300 hurdles: 1. Stephon Henry (New Britain) 38.35; 2. Robert Jacowleff (Staples) 39.45; 4. Tyrice O'Connor (Danbury) 40.47; 5. Mark Pigatt (Amity) 40.63; 6. Aaron Rattley (Amity) 41.18. 800: 1. Randall Neish (Glastonbury) 1:53.99; 2. Chazz Winter (Danbury) 1:55.14; 3. James Lewis (Staples) 1:56.16; 4. Jack Keating (Ridgefield) 1:56.37; 5. Kristian Sogaard (Ridgefield) 1:57.02. 200: 1. Stephon Henry (New Britain) 22.26; 4. Devonte Clark (Danbury) 22.90; 5. Cyrus Brown (Danbury) 23.02; 6. Jamal Barrett (Stamford) 23.05. 3200: 1. Christian Alvarado (Fairfield Prep) 9:06.67*; 2. Austin Gilbert (Ridgefield) 9:17.35; 3. Trevor Hopper (Ridgefield) 9:23.11; 4. Will Bordash (Ridgefield) 9:24.43; 5. Gabe Altopp (Ridgefield) 9:26.56; 6. Clint Corso (Ridgefield) 9:33.91. 4x400: 1. Ridgefield (James Barile, Graeme Hewett, Kristian Sogaard, Jack Keating) 3:21.49; 2. Trumbull 3:22.46; 3. Danbury 3:23.06; 4. Amity 3:24.01. Triple jump: 1. Desean Nixon (Hamden) 44-6; 4. Bryant Backus (Hamden) 42-10; 5. Evan Walker (Hamden) 42-9. High jump: 1. Michael Robinson (New Britain) 6-2; 2 (tie). Judah James (Danbury) 6-0; 4. Christian Lodewick (Amity) 6-0; 5. Anthony Bravo (Staples) 6-0; 6. Olivier Alexis (McMahon) 6-0. Discus: 1. Peter Cotto (Shelton) 155-1; 5. Lucas Goff (Ridgefield) 129-5; 6. Dravaun Bailey (Stamford) 126-7. Javelin: 1. Gregory Bombara (Simsbury) 184-8; 2. Matthew Post (Amity) 171-6; 3. Christopher Rossini (Ridgefield) 167-5; 4. Vin D'Amore (Fairfield Prep) 165-11; 6. Taylor Moore (Greenwich) 148-4.

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