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Great effort isn’t enough

Northwest Catholic too strong for Canton in Class S

Avon girls set record; Simsbury relay wins LL title

Canton finished 2nd at the Class S championship meet in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, May 30 — Sometimes your best isn’t good enough.

Despite setting three school records and scoring points in 13 of 18 events, Canton finished a distant second behind Northwest Catholic at last week’s Class S boys track and field championship meet. The Indians won the state title for the second time in three years, 81.5 to 66 with victories in seven events.

Senior Brian Poirer won the 1,600 meters in a meet record time for NWC and also grabbed the 800 meters. Junior Jared Delane won the 100 and 200 meters while Galo Rodriguez won the 110 hurdles and took third in the 300 hurdles. The Indians capped off the meet with a victory in the 4×400 meter relay, outrunning Canton by about a second.

“We had a lot of season-best performances,” Canton coach Tim O’Donnell said. “We just needed more.”

There was plenty to smile about from the Warriors. Matt Graziano won a state title in the discus with a throw of 167 feet, 11 inches, the second longest throw in Class S history.

Sophomore Keith Wilson set a new school record in the 400 meters with a third place finish in 50.51 and ran on two record-setting relay teams. The 4×100 relay team relay (Cameron Daley, Wilson, Colin Martin, Jeff Lochner) was third in 45.25 while the 4×400 relay team (Wilson, James Spatcher, Dave Solomon, Tyler Fitzpatrick) was second in 3:28.96.

“This is a nice deep group of kids,” O’Donnell said. “They gave it their all and most of them performed better than their seeds.”

Peter LeDuc, left, and Jon Cahill, center, get some instructions from Canton High coach Tim O’Donnell.

Not only did Wilson break his own school record in the 400 but Tyler Fitzpatrick did with his fourth place finish in 50.87. Jon Cahill (3,200), Mark Solomon (110 hurdles) and Dave Solomon (300 hurdles) each finished fourth for the Warriors. Cahill and Dave Solomon each had season-best performances.


Canton’s 4×800 relay (Julian Franklin, Spatcher, Cahill, Fitzpatrick) also finished third while Jeff Lochner (long jump), Graziano (shot) and Cahill (1,600) each finished sixth in their respective events. Lochner leaped a personal-best 20 feet, nine inches.

With no girls finishing among the top eight in any event, the Canton girls didn’t score a point. Yet, they still had an impressive meet breaking five school records.

Jamie Haberern broke her own school record in the triple jump with a leap of 32 feet, 5½ inches to finish 11th. Alex Martin also finished 11th in the 300 hurdles with a school record time of 50.62. She also a school-record time of 27.84 in the 200 meters.

Canton’s 4×400 relay (Taryn Asklof, Sarah Allen, Kiley Loureiro, Martin) finished ninth in 4:25.27, breaking the existing school record by 0.12 of a second. The 4×800 relay (Leigh Ann Rossito, Emily Jarka, Amanda Curvino, Eliza Chekas) also set a school record with a time of 11:16.39.

In the javelin, Anna Waite took 11th with a throw of 84 feet, 11 inches, the second-longest throw in school history.

Canton’s Alex Martin set a new school record in the 300 hurdles

AVON: Colin Ponzani ran his fastest time this spring in the 800 meters to finish third at the Class MM championship meet with a time of 1:59.88. Ponzani missed qualifying for the State Open by 0.88 of a second.


Cori DiBacco ran his best time of the year in the 400 meters, finishing sixth with a time of 52.21. Ethan Buyse’s best time of the season in the 100 meters (11.59) was good enough for 15th place. The Falcons finished 19th in the field.

On the girls side, Avon finished 13th in Class MM as the 4×100 relay team finished fourth with a school record time of 51.32. Freshman Alex Johnson, junior Stephanie Koo, freshman Chamiyah Rowland and freshman Emma Schweitzer shaved nearly 0.6 of a second off the record of 51.96 set at the 2011 NCCC championship meet.

The 4×800 relay team of Sara Stokesbury, Sarah Kate Mascoli, Maddi McHugh and Molly Hamel finished third.

Hamel finished fourth in the 3,200 meters while Stokesbury was sixth in the 800 meters. Koo was seventh in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 meters for the Falcons.

SIMSBURY: Simsbury’s fabulous 4×800 relay team continued to break records at the CIAC Class LL championship meet. For the third time this spring, they shattered a meet record. Senior Joel Kirk, junior Kyle Heubner, senior Jefferson Wilkes and senior Kevin Stanko won the 4×800 in a record time of 7:48.89, smashing the record of 7:56 set in 2010 by Hamden. But it wasn’t easy. Fairfield Prep kept the pressure on, finishing two seconds off the pace but also breaking Hamden’s old record.

The 4×800 relay team sparked Simsbury’s seventh place finish in Class LL.

Stanko finished second in the 800 meters, about 0.40 of a second behind Staples’ Henry Wynne, who also won the 1,600 meters. Simsbury’s Stephon King was fifth in the 100 meters while Eric Glynn and Greg Bombara finished second and third, respectively, in the javelin.

Simsbury’s 4×400 relay team of Wilkes, John Sullivan, Stano and Heubner finished fifth in 3:26.72 and qualified for Monday’s State Open championship meet.

On the girls side, Simsbury finished sixth in Class LL, led by Madeline Nicholson, who won a state title in the discus by over nine feet with a throw of 125 feet and three inches. She also took seventh in the shot.

In the long jump, Simsbury senior Meredith Willis came up in a duel with Amity’s Alexa Eldracher. Both leaped 17 feet, 2 inches but Eldracher did it in fewer jumps. Willis also finished fifth in the 110 high hurdles.

Claire Stewart was fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5-2, good enough to qualify for the State Open while Alexandra Rechen cleared 11 feet to finish fourth in the pole vault and qualify for the Open.

The 4×800 relay (Victoria Schuler, Alison Heubner, Caroline Smith, Caitlin Daly) finished sixth in 9:42.58 but it was fast enough to qualify for the Open.

GRANBY: Senior Dan Clark outran two competitors to finish second in the 300 hurdles in a time of 40.14 and earn a spot at the State Open. Clark beat Woodland’s Tim Madormo by 0.03 of a second and Griswold’s Brian Beckwith by 0.53 of a second. Clark, who was sixth in the 110 hurdles, sparked Granby, which finished 22nd at the Class M championship meet.
On the girls side, Granby finished 12th in Class M, led by Ashley Piccirillo-Horan, who was fifth in the 800 meters and sixth in the 1,600 meters. Heather Longley took third in the discus while Paige Kibby was fifth in the high jump.
Class S boys champions
Recent winners of the Class S boys track and field championship.

Year:    Team     Points
2012:  NW Catholic  81.5
2011:  Canton          67
2010:  NW Catholic  92
2009:  Bloomfield     91
2008:  Bloomfield     108
2007:  Bloomfield     112.5
2006:  NW Catholic  86.7
2005:  Hyde             118
2004:  Hyde              83
2003:  Coginchaug   95.5
2002:  Hyde              85
2001:  Hyde             107
2000:  Coginchaug  79.5
1999:  Shepaug       86
1998:  Suffield         68
1997:  Coginchaug  67
1996:  Ellington       113
1995:  Rocky Hill      83
1994:  Avon             126
1993:  Ellington        68
1992:  Prince Tech   105
1991:  Avon              65
1990:  NW Catholic   64

1989:  NW Catholic   63

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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