CANTON, Jan. 11 – Indoor track is a unique sport among high schools in Connecticut. There are no dual meets. Many of the meets are developmental events geared to provide young athletes with an opportunity to try an event or two and get a feel for the sport of track and field.
For Canton, there are really just two big meets – the NCCC championship meet on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Hillhouse High in New Haven and the CIAC Class S championship meet on Saturday, Feb. 13, also at Hillhouse.
The idea is to allow athletes to performing their best at these meets. So, it is a bit surprising for a team to set a new school record in the first meet of the season. But four Canton runners did that at the Bacon Academy developmental meet in the last week of December.
Ryan Gallagher, Mike LeDuc, Kevin Kurnat and Brian Magna ran on Canton’s 4×800 meter squad that shattered the school record with a time of 8:41.31. The old record was 9:00.01 set twice last year.
Gallagher ran the 800 meters for the first time and LeDuc turned in his best-ever time for 800 meters.
Canton coach Tim O’Donnell isn’t sure if the team will remain together for the NCCC or Class S meet. There are other ways to employ the runners to score points with the move of Tolland to the Central Connecticut Conference, Canton is a legitimate contender for the NCCC championship among the boys.
The Canton boys finished second in the NCCC a year ago, 37 points behind Tolland. Ellington is the favorite with a deep squad while Suffield and Enfield look strong again.
Preparations continued for the Warriors over the weekend. The boys finished seventh at the Shoreline Invitational in New Haven. The medley relay team of Brian Lochner (200 meters), James Soloman (200), Kevin Kurnat (400) and Brian Magna (800) finished second with a 3:50.76, four seconds than its winning time of a year ago. Old Lyme had a new meet record that was a second faster.
Magna also finished third in the 1,000 meters in 2:43.39 and 3,200 meters in 10:19.83. LeDuc was fourth in the 1,000 and 1,600 meters. David Kucia continued to chip away at his own school record in the 55 hurdles with a sixth place finish in 8.57.
The Canton girls competed at the Shoreline Invitational and did well, despite not scoring a point. “They only score through the first six places,” O’Donnell said. “We were competitive and very solid but just in seventh to tenth place.”
Alli Summa knocked a second off her school record in the 55 meters, running 8.00 seconds and finishing ninth. Teammate Katie Talbot was tenth with a time of 8.01. Deanna Nappi was eighth in the 1,000 meters while Summa took seventh in the shot.