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Canton prepares for delayed NCCC championships

CANTON, Feb. 1 — Snow and ice postponed the NCCC championship meet at Hillhouse in New Haven until Monday, February 8. It will be a challenging meet for the Warriors.

On the boys side, a very deep Ellington team returns two defending conference champions and Suffield has a strong group of distance runners along with some high jumpers and pole vaulters. Enfield has a strong group of sprinters. Canton has depth among its runners and will need to gather points throughout the meet to contend for a championship.
Last year, the Canton boys finished second in the NCCC behind Tolland, which joined the Central Connecticut Conference in September.

On the girls side, Suffield is the definite favorite with several girls from the team that finished second in Class M during the cross country season and several athletes from the girls soccer team. Ellington and Coventry should also be in the mix. Canton has some good athletes but may not have enough depth to challenge for a title.

Even as the Warriors prepare for the NCCC championships and the Class S championship meet just five days later on February 13, they have been breaking some school records.

For the second time this winter, the school record in the 1,600 meters went down. This time, it was Brian Magna, who ran a time of 4:35.16 at the Shoreline Coaches Invitational, breaking the school record set earlier this winter by Mike LeDuc (4:39.50).

Alexandra Summa broke the school record in the 55 meter dash for the second time this winter with a run of 7.96 seconds at the Shoreline Coaches meet, snapping the mark of 8.01 seconds set by Katie Talbot a week earlier. And Summa did it without starting blocks, which weren’t allowed.

Canton’s 4×400 meter boys relay got bumped and dropped the baton in at the Shoreline Coaches meet but they nearly erased a 10-second deficit to finish second in their heat and eighth overall. James Solomon, Kevin Kurnat, Ryan Gallagher and Magna still were able to run their fastest time of the year, 3:44.30.

The boys 4×200 meter relay team also set a school record at the recent Yale Interscholastic Track and Field Classic. Solomon, Gallagher, Brian Lochner and Magna finished sixth in 1:37.66 out of a field of 22 teams. Teams from throughout the Northeast, New York and New Jersey participated in the 28th annual event.

At the same meet, Canton’s girls 4×200 meter relay team finished 13th with a season-best time of 2:00.32. Summa, Elise Minichello, Rose Minichetto and Talbot ran that race.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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