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Call ’em champions

Balanced effort lifts Canton to first track title

Canton won its first track and field championship at the NCCC championship meet in Stafford.

STAFFORD, May 24 — It’s appropriate that the team with no track gets no trophy.

The Canton High boys track and field team put a stamp on its dominance in the NCCC for the past two years by winning its first outdoor track championship.

With six individual champions and two winning relays, Canton captured the NCCC championship meet last week at Stafford High for the second straight year with a 58-point victory over Coventry.

Thanks to an undefeated dual meet season of 12-0, the Warriors claimed the league championship. A year ago, four dual meet losses kept Canton from winning the overall league championship. Teams earn one point for every team they beat in the dual meet season and at the league championship meet.

“This means a lot to us,” said Canton senior Dylan Smith, who won the shot put and discus and took seventh in the javelin. “A lot of pride came from us today. We all stepped it up a notch.”

Why was there no trophy? The league doesn’t award team plaques to its cross country, indoor or outdoor track champions. But that’s OK. The Warriors won’t soon forget this performance.

The championship also gave Canton a unique sweep. The Warriors have won NCCC titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. A year ago, they won the cross country and indoor titles, too.

“Canton has a large group of dedicated runners,” Granby coach Bob Casey said. “They are runners first who happen to run track. These guys are runners and they run all the time and they have built off that.”
Canton had three athletes earn points in the 800 meters, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. They won the 4×800 relay and 4×400 relay.

But Canton also has some exception field athletes that have risen to the top of the league despite having no facility to train. Oh, there are some hurdles that can get set up in the parking lot. But there is no throwing circle for the shot or discus athletes, no jumping pit for the long jumpers and no equipment to practice high jumping or pole vaulting.

Smith said YouTube was an invaluable tool when he began learning about his event. For many Canton field athletes, a meet is a chance to compete, practice that other schools take for granted and an opportunity to watch and learn from other top-level athletes.

Canton’s David Kucia races toward a meet record time in the 110 high hurdles, snapping a record set in 1984.

At the NCCC meet, many athletes were watching senior David Kucia, who was exceptional. Kucia won the 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles for the second straight year. He set a new meet record in the 110 hurdles, winning in 15.17 seconds, snapping a record that had stood since 1984 when Granby’s Ernie May won the race in 15.34.

“I wish I had someone pushing me but I can’t complain. It felt good. I’ll get faster at states,” he said. “I don’t hear anything when I run. I look at the hurdles and jump them.”

Kucia also took third in the triple jump with a school record leap of 40 feet and two inches, snapping his own mark set a year ago.

Canton had plenty of depth in the field events. Smith and Matt Graziano finished first and second in the discus and first and seventh, respectively, in the shot. In the javelin, Canton had four athletes in the top seven, led by Tim Gavin in fourth place.

In the long jump, Kyle Hall won with a leap of 19 feet, 10 inches while teammate Jeff Lochner finished third.

“The kids knew what they had to do and they got it done,” Canton coach Mike Hughes said. “It was a great performance.”

Jon Cahill outsprinted Coventry’s Taylor Vann and Ellington’s Dave Bergeron in the last 50 meters to win the 800 meter race. Tyler Fitzpatrick (4th) and Kevin Kurnat (6th) also scored points.

In the 1,600 meters, Kurnat was third with Cahill fourth and Nick Chekas taking sixth. In the 3,200 meters, Chekas was fourth with Ned Furtney in seventh and Peter LeDuc taking eighth.

Canton’s 4×800 meter relay team of Cahill, Chekas, Fitzpatrick and Jon Melite won by 6.3 seconds while the Warrriors’ 4×400 relay team of Kurnat, Fitzpatrick, Melite and Keith Wilson won by 1.25 seconds.

On the girls side, a young Canton team was 11th in the field of 12 teams. Jamie Haberern led the Warriors with a school-record leap of 31 feet, 1.75 inches in the triple jump, good enough for fourth place. She also took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 14-1.

2011 NCCC Championships
At Stafford
Boys results – 1. Canton 152, 2. Coventy 93½, 3. Enfield 67, 4. Ellington 66, 5. Avon 55, 6. Suffield 51, 7. Granby 50, 8. Somers 37, 9. East Windsor 33, 10. East Granby 29, 11. Bolton 25. 12. Stafford 23½, 13. Windsor Locks 22
Final league standings (top teams)
1. Canton 24, 2. Coventry 21½, 3. Enfield 19, 4. Avon 17, 5. Ellington 16, 6. Suffield 15, 7. Granby 14½, 8. Somers 11, 9. East Windsor 9. Teams get 1 point for each dual meet win and one point for each team they beat at the league championship meet.

Girls results – 1. Suffield 141, .2. Ellington 134, 3. Coventry 92, 4, Avon 88, 5. Enfield 61, 6. Stafford 46, 7. Granby 40, 8. Windsor Locks 26, 9. Somers 24, 10. East Windsor 13, 11. Canton 12, 12. East Granby 9
Final league standings (top teams)
1. Suffield 23, 2. Ellington 22, 3. Avon 20, 4. Coventry 19, 5. Stafford and Enfield 15, 7. Granby 14

BOYS 4x800m Relay:
1. Canton A (Jon Cahill, Tyler Fitzpatrick, Nick Chekas, Jon Melite), 8:19.84
2. Ellington A, (David Bergeron, Neal Hulstein, Cameron Waters, Alex Smith), 8:26.38
3. Avon A, (Eric Spencer, Sean Deneen, Tom Brisco, Cory Dibacco), 8:36.93
4. Suffield A, (Dj Labarre, Jimmy Clark, Conner Gates, Dan Moroney), 8:40.94
5. Granby A, (Glen Calder, Dylan Chicoine, Michael Cote, David Hollm), 8:41.55
6. East Windsor A, (Nick Parker, Tyler Gibbs, Ramis Saleem, Tim Sauerhoefer), 8:46.89
GIRLS 4x800m Relay:
1. Suffield A, (Kellen McGann, Liz Rigby, Brennan Taylor, Sarah Wilson), 10:04.25
2. Avon A, (Cassie Sahl, Maeve Reiss, Emily Kelly, Sara Stokesbury), 10:22.48
3. Coventry A, (Ada Peters, Raquel Pouliot, Hannah Rauchle, Sarah Willey), 10:32.07
4. Granby A, (Megan Almagro, Audrey Turcotte, Bryana Newton, Ashley Piccirillo), 10:35.82
5. Bolton A, (Tracy Roe, Samantha Nyser, Alyssa Cleary, Hannah Bodner), 10:42.45
6. East Windsor A, (Kelly Strba, Maira Pantoja, Molly Gallant, Ashley Gallant),
10:44.08;
BOYS 4x100m Relay:
1. Enfield A, (Kyle Casey, Nick Bevilacqua, Adrian Kluk, Andrew Buanno), 44.74
2. Avon A, (Ethan Buyse, Ross McDonald, Kyle Brady, Mitch Gauthier), 46.02
3. Granby A, (Peter Brodeur, Nicholas Holden, David Hollm, Jakob Yankauskas), 46.17
4. Windsor Locks A, (Robert Williams, Eric Jones, Chase Dargie, Donovan Ford-Hayes), 46.35
5. Ellington A, (Ben Friedman, Alex Oliwa, E. Shirvariandya, Alec Weiner), 46.68
6. Somers A, (Joe Pantuosco, Brendan Coverdill, Cody Gneiding, Joseph Pellegrini), 46.83;
GIRLS 4x100m Relay:
1. Enfield A, (Taylor Demur, Tiara Johnson, Patience Bearse, Rachel Boulette), 51.60
2. Avon A, (Kelsey Burton, Stephanie Koo, Kristina Shayler, Catherine Jordan), 51.96
3. Somers A, (Kelsey Charette, Kayla Renaud, Victoria Lavallee, Catherine O’Connor), 53.56
4. Ellington A, (Annie Sawamura, Laura Schneider, Nicole Paparian, Emily Gerber), 53.72
5. Stafford A, (Jen Bourque, Kianna Woods, Amanda Jacobsen, Lauren Webb), 54.29
6. Granby A, (Caroline Wutka, Michele Guttermuth, Cindy Jones, Katie Jones), 54.61
BOYS 110m High Hurdles:
1. David Kucia, Canton 15.17;  2. Evan Cummins, Stafford 16.84;  3. Matt Plante, East Granby 16.93; 4. Shane Wilson, Coventry 16.98;  5. Sean Witte-Meredith, Granby 17.18; 6. Dan Manzi, Coventry 17.63;
GIRLS 100m High Hurdles:
1. Peri Stevens, Suffield 16.60;  2. Stephanie Oliver, Coventry 17.29; 3. Megan Oliphant, Coventry 17.36;  4. Melanie Byrne, East Windsor 17.61; 5. Alissa Rogers, Ellington 18.00; 6. Marianna Sticca, Granby 18.12
BOYS 100m Dash:
1. Andrew Buanno, ENFIELD 11.44;  2. Alex Oliwa, Ellington 11.60; 3. Jehandrae Grant, East Granby 11.77; 4. Ethan Buyse, Avon 11.77;  5. Ross McDonald, Avon 11.79; 6. Nick Bevilacqua, ENFIELD 11.83
GIRLS 100m Dash:
1. Claiborne Jones, Ellington 12.67;  2. Stephanie Koo, Avon 13.13;  3. Rachel Boulette, ENFIELD 13.25; 4. Catherine O’Connor, Somers 13.33; 5. Lauren Webb, Stafford 13.54; 6. Tiara Johnson, ENFIELD 13.64
BOYS 1600m Run:
1. Adam Seften, Bolton 4:29.29;  2. Dan Moroney, Suffield 4:34.36; 3. Kevin Kurnat, Canton 4:40.80; 4. Jon Cahill, Canton 4:42.83;  5. D.J. Labarre, Suffield 4:44.51; 6. Nick Chekas, Canton 4:44.80
GIRLS 1600m Run:
1. Brianna Bishop, Suffield 5:22.37;  2. Jennifer Hulstein, Ellington 5:26.34; 3. Liz Rigby, Suffield 5:26.64;  4. Rachael Rosow, Avon 5:27.65; 5. Ashley Piccirillo, Granby 5:42.94;  6. Kayla Sgarlata, Ellington 5:45.41
BOYS 400m Dash:
1. Dan Clark, Granby 52.80;  2. Kyle Casey, Enfield 52.80; 3. Alec Weiner, Ellington 53.23;  4. Keith Wilson, Canton 53.28;  5. Matt Marchand, Coventry 53.71; 6. Peter Brodeur, Granby 53.83;
GIRLS 400m Dash:
1. Claiborne Jones, Ellington 59.73;  2. Hannah Bodner, Bolton 59.87; 3. Sarah Wilson, Suffield 1:00.55; 4. Patience Bearse, Enfield 1:02.64; 5. Laura Schneider, Ellington 1:03.66;  6. Cindy Jones, Granby 1:04.30;
BOYS 300m Hurdles:
1. David Kucia, Canton 41.25;  2. Dan Manzi, Coventry 43.28;  3. Shane Wilson, Coventry 43.54; 4. Dylan Zimmerman, ENFIELD 43.88;  5. Evan Cummins, Stafford 44.36; 6. Erik Strba, East Windsor 44.45
GIRLS 300m Hurdles:
1. Peri Stevens, Suffield 48.91;  2. Alissa Rogers, Ellington 49.02; 3. Megan Oliphant, Coventry 50.04; 4. Kristina Shayler, Avon 50.89; 5. Caroline Eastman, East Granby 51.22; 6. Katie Carson, Suffield 51.28;
BOYS 800m Run:
1. Jon Cahill, Canton 2:04.01;  2. Taylor VanN, Coventry 2:04.48;  3. David Bergeron, Ellington 2:04.80; 4. Tyler Fitzpatrick, Canton 2:05.06;  5. Dan Moroney, Suffield 2:05.44; 6. Kevin Kurnat, Canton 2:07.25;
GIRLS 800m Run:
1. Sarah Wilson, Suffield 2:20.28;  2. Brennan Taylor, Suffield 2:23.91; 3. Raquel Pouliot, Coventry 2:24.10;  4. Brianna Bishop, Suffield 2:26.67; 5. Emily Kelly, Avon 2:28.15;  6. Liz Rigby, Suffield 2:29.54;
BOYS 200m Dash:
1. Andrew Buanno, ENFIELD 23.16;  2. Alex Oliwa, Ellington 23.45; 3. Kyle Casey, ENFIELD 23.91; 4. Jakob Yankauskas, Granby  23.94; 5. Jehandrae Grant, East Granby 23.96;  6. Jerome Grant, East Granby 24.34;
GIRLS 200m Dash:
1. Claiborne Jones, Ellington 26.11;  2. Patience Bearse, ENFIELD 27.23; 3. Rachel Boulette, ENFIELD 27.33;  4. Stephanie Koo, Avon HS 27.56; 5. Catherine O’Connor, Somers 27.65;  6. Taylor Demur, Enfield 27.80;
BOYS 3200m Run:
1. Adam Seften, Bolton 10:17.35;  2. Dj Labarre, Suffield 10:17.71; 3. Alex Smith, Ellington 10:19.23; 4. Nick Chekas, Canton 10:26.25;  5. Neal Hulstein, Ellington 10:27.60; 6. Jimmy Clark, Suffield 10:37.17;
GIRLS 3200m Run:
1. Rachael Rosow, Avon 12:25.83;  2. Jennifer Hulstein, Ellington 12:26.01; 3. Leah Cawthorn, Ellington 12:32.84; 4. Megan Almagro, Granby 12:46.29; 5. Hannah Gardocki, Suffield 12:51.98;  6. Alexandra MacIolek, Ellington 13:00.08;
BOYS 4x400m Relay:
1. Canton A, (Kevin Kurnat, Jon Melite, Tyler Fitzpatrick, Keith Wilson), 3:34.15
2. Coventry A, (Matt Marchand, Josh Sparveri, Taylor VanN, Shane Wilson), 3:35.40
3. Avon A, (Talal Siddiqui, Mitch Gauthier, Cory Dibacco, Tom Brisco), 3:36.34
4. Granby A, (Peter Brodeur, Glen Calder, Dan Clark, Nicholas Holden), 3:39.18
5. Suffield A, (Dalton Shank, Peter Zaffetti, Andy Dodds, Chris Allan), 3:41.60
6. Ellington A, (David Bergeron, John Kuehn, Alec Weiner, Cameron Waters), 3:41.69
GIRLS 4x400m Relay:
1. Suffield A, (Brianna Bishop, Paxton McNierney, Peri Stevens, Brennan Taylor), 4:14.02
2. Ellington A, (M. Costello, Nicole Paparian, Annie Sawamura, Laura Schneider), 4:20.61
3. Coventry A, (Megan Oliphant, Raquel Pouliot, Hannah Rauchle, Erika Trudon), 4:21.67
4. Stafford A, (Lauren Webb, Jen Bourque, Amanda Jacobsen, Shaina Wilson), 4:23.24
5. Avon A, (Maeve Reiss, Sara Hudak, Kristina Shayler, Catherine Jordan), 4:28.07
6. Bolton A, (Tracy Roe, Lindsay Wasserman, Alyssa Cleary, Hannah Bodner), 4:35.74;
BOYS  Long Jump:
1. Kyle Hall, Canton 19’10”;  2. Greg Rendeiro, Avon 19-8½;  3. Jeff Lochner, Canton 19-1”; 4. Brendan Coverdill, Somers 18-5½;  5. Matt Graham, East Windsor 18-4½; 6. Nicholas Holden, Granby 18-2”;
GIRLS  Long Jump:
1. Sara Moore, Ellington 15-3”;  2. Jen Novak, ENFIELD 15-3”; 3. Gabija Pileika, Suffield 14-8½;  4. Erika Trudon, Coventry 14-4.75″; 5. Jamie Haberern, Canton 14-1”;  6. Kianna Woods, Stafford 14-0.25″;
BOYS  Shot Put:
1. Dylan Smith, Canton 46-5½;  2. Chris Gonzalez, Coventry 45’10”;  3. John Ratcliffe, Windsor Locks 43-2”; 4. Ryan Sadosky, ENFIELD 42-6”; 5. Brandon Stinson, Somers 41-9”;  6. Lenny Dupee, Avon 40-6”;
GIRLS  Shot Put:
1. Kelly Myers, Coventry 36’10½;  2. Stephanie Oliver, Coventry 33-0½; 3. Noom Patamaporn, Stafford 31-1½; 4. Natalie Snow, Ellington 30-9½;  5. Ashley Novakowski, Windsor Locks 29-5”; 6. Valerie Price, East Granby 29-3½;
BOYS  Pole Vault:
1. Matt Graham, East Windsor 11-6”;  2. Chris Mitta, Stafford 11-0”; 3. Matt Marchand, Coventry 10-6”; 4. Nick Alcutt, Ellington 10-6”;  5. Bumjoon Park, Suffield 10-0”; 6. Nick Bevilacqua, ENFIELD 10-0”
GIRLS  Pole Vault:
1. Gaby Attanasio, Suffield 9-0”;  2. Emily Barnhart, Ellington 9-0”; 3. Amanda Jacobsen, Stafford 8-0”;  4. Allison Bruce, Stafford 8-0”; 5. Wendy Paul, ENFIELD 8-0”;  6. Diane Zhao, Avon 7-6”;
BOYS  High Jump:
1. Levi Peterson, Coventry 6-0”;  2. Donovan Ford-Hayes, Windsor Locks 5’10”; 3. Mike Brown, Coventry 5’10”;  4. Matt Graham, East Windsor 5-6”; 5. Sean Witte-Meredith, Granby 5-4”;  5. Tom Bartoes, Granby 5-4”; 5. Taylor Stephen, Suffield 5-4”;
GIRLS  High Jump:
1. Alyssa Burton, Avon 4’10”;  2. Kelsey Burton, Avon 4’10”;  3. Caroline Rendeiro, Avon 4-8”; 4. Helen Huynh, East Windsor 4-8”;  5. Tiara Johnson, ENFIELD 4-6”; 5. Alyssa Keeney, Coventry 4-6”; 5. Paige Kibby, Granby 4-6”;
BOYS  Discus Throw:
1. Dylan Smith, Canton 128-3”;  2. Matt Graziano, Canton 125-6”;  3. Chris Gonzalez, Coventry 125-2”; 4. Brandon Stinson, Somers 125-0”;  5. Luke Sotil, East Granby 116-0”; 6. Ryan Sadosky, ENFIELD 112-0”
GIRLS  Discus Throw:
1. Kelly Myers, Coventry 99-6”;  2. Heather Longley, Granby 98-4”; 3. Ashley Novakowski, Windsor Locks 88-4”;  4. Patience Turkson, Ellington 87-4”; 5. Natalie Snow, Ellington 83’10”;  6. Amanda Schroth, Ellington 80-2”;
BOYS  Javelin Throw:
1. Tommy Myers, Coventry 164-1”;  2. Nick Alcutt, Ellington 144-4”;  3. Mike Benoit, Somers 132-6”; 4. Tim Gavin, Canton 132-2”;  5. Ryan Sadosky, ENFIELD 131-1”; 6. Matt Graziano, Canton 126-1”
GIRLS  Javelin Throw:
1. Jenna Wojtas, Windsor Locks 101-8”;  2. Kelsey Charette, Somers 99-0”; 3. Sabrina Guzzi, Suffield 92’10”;  4. Noom Patamaporn, Stafford 92-0”; 5. Casey Ryan, Suffield 89-6”;  6. Katherina Lohmann, Granby 85-9”;
BOYS  Triple Jump:
1. Cody Gneiding, Somers 41-0”;  2. Greg Rendeiro, Avon 40’10”;  3. David Kucia, Canton 40-2”; 4. Ross McDonald, Avon 39-9”;  5. Jaisean Bowens, East Windsor 39-6”; 6. Mike Brown, Coventry 39-2”
GIRLS  Triple Jump:

1. Stephanie Oliver, Coventry 32-1½;  2. Shannen Staves, Suffield High School 32-1½; 3. Kianna Woods, Stafford 31’10”;  4. Jamie Haberern, Canton 31-1.75″; 5. Rachel Kaliff, ENFIELD 30’10”;  6. Sara Moore, Ellington 30-5.25″

NCCC boys championship meet
Recent winners of the NCCC championship meet, which isn’t necessarily the league champion, determined by dual meet wins and teams beaten at the league meet

Year:    Team     Points
2011:  Canton         152
2010:  Canton       122.5
2009:  Tolland         140
2008:  Tolland         124
2007:  Tolland         156
2006:  East Windsor 136
2005:  Ellington       155
2004:  Ellington       194
2003:  Ellington       202
2002:  Ellington      126
2001:  Ellington      126
2000:  Ellington      98.5
1999:  Ellington    128.5
1998:  E.O. Smith    141
1997:  Tolland         135
1996:  Ellington       167
1995:  Ellington  177.75
1994:  Avon        177.75
1993:  Tolland       137
1992:  Ellington    140
1991:  Ellington    138
1990:  Tolland   134.25

1989:  Tolland      129

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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