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Stiff tests await Avon track teams Tuesday – The Collinsville Press
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Stiff tests await Avon track teams Tuesday

AVON, April 22 — The undefeated Avon High boys and girls track and field teams will be tested on Tuesday when they host Canton and Suffield at the high school.

On the boys side, Canton (6-0, 6-0 NCCC) is the defending Class S and NCCC champion and have won 18 straight NCCC meets. Avon (6-0, 6-0) is looking to be a contender in the league after finishing fourth a year ago. Suffield, which features strong core of runners, will be no pushover, either.

On the girls side, Suffield is the defending league champion with Avon (6-0, 6-0) looking to establish themselves as a threat for the championship. Canton is a young team with some talented athletes but not a lot of depth.

BOYS TRACK: A deep lineup has boosted Canton (6-0, 6-0). In a 92-57 win over Ellington and a 107-34 victory over Hartford-based Sport Medicine Science Academy, Canton won 10 of 16 events including all six field events. Not bad for a program with no field facilities.

Matt Graziano has been on fire in the discus, twice shattering his own school record in the discus. Against Ellington, he threw the discus 175 feet, over 19 feet longer than the record he set a week earlier and 34 feet longer than his best throw a year ago. He also swept the javelin and shot. Julian Franklin won the high jump while Jeff Lochner captured the long jump.

In the hurdles, brothers Dave and Mark Solomon finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. Jon Cahill won the 3,200 meters and took second in the 1,600 meters while Tyler Fitzgerald grabbed the 800 meters.

Avon remained undefeated with easy wins over Stafford, 119-18 and Bolton, 118-21 last week. The Falcons won 14 of 18 events. Ethan Buyse won three events (100, 200, long jump) and ran on winning 4×100 relay. Lenny Dupee (shot, discus) won a pair of events.

Avon also beat Coventry, 80.5 to 66.5 and Somers, 108-42 earlier this month.  Buyse swept the 100 and 200 meters for Avon, Colin Ponzani won the 800 meters and Nathan Eckhardt won the pole vault. The Falcons used their strength on the track to win all three relay races (4×100, 4×400 and 4×800).

On opening day, Avon used its depth to beat Ellington, 72-66 and Granby, 85-64 despite winning only three individual events and two relays. Dupee won the shot and discus while Evan Edgar won the triple jump.

GIRLS TRACK: With a small squad due to spring vacation, Avon (6-0, 6-0 NCCC) outlasted Stafford 84½-63½ and Bolton, 126-15. Molly Hamel (1600, 3200) and Kelsey Burton (high jump, triple jump) win twice. Stephanie Koo and Maeve Reiss win individual event and run on winning 4×4 relay.

In wins over Coventry (87.5 to 62.5) and Somers (108-42) earlier in April, the Falcons won 10 of 16 events on the strength of its core of runners. Stephanie Koo swept the 100 and 200 meters while Sarah Hudak (400), Maddi McHugh (800), Rachael Rosow (3200), Alaina Noonan (100 hurdles) and Caroline Rendeiro (high jump) each won events.

In a 102-48 win over Ellington and a 85.5-61.5 win over Granby, Koo swept the 100 and 200 meters and ran on Avon’s winning 4×100 and 4×400 meter relay teams.

A year ago, Avon’s only dual meet loss came to Suffield last April, 94-57. Avon, Suffield and Ellington were all 11-1 going into the NCCC championship last May. Each team earns one point for each dual meet win and teams they beat at the league meet. Suffield won the league title by winning the NCCC meet with Ellington taking second and Avon finishing fourth.

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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