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Track: Strong finishes for undefeated Canton boys, Canton girls

Julian Franklin has broken the school record for the triple jump twice in the past two weeks.

Julian Franklin has broken the school record for the triple jump twice in the past two weeks.

CANTON, May 14 – The Canton High boys and girls track and field teams are finishing the regular season with a flourish. 

The Canton boys finished the NCCC dual meet portion of the schedule with a perfect 13-0 record after easy wins over East Windsor, 107-43, and East Granby, 129-12 on Tuesday. The Warriors have won a school-record 38 straight dual meets since 2010 and finished undefeated for the third straight year. 

Canton was also impressive at the 82nd Greater Hartford Invitational four days earlier in Simsbury, taking second in the Small School Division and in the overall meet to Bloomfield. The impressive Warhawks, who won the State Open indoor track title in March, rolled with over 172 points. Canton was second with 92 points with Large School champion Staples-Westport third with 83.5 points. 

Three athletes earned medals by finishing in the top eight. For the second straight year, senior Matt Graziano won in the discus, throwing the discus over the fence and into the woods three times. He was credited with a throw of 179 feet, six inches. He also finished seventh in shot with a throw of 44-6¼ feet. 

Julian Franklin finished third with a school record leap of 42 feet, 1 inch in the triple jump. He snapped his own record of 41-3½ that he established a week earlier at the Middletown Invitational. 

Keith Wilson finished fourth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.99. Teammate Cam Daley was ninth with a time of 16.6 seconds. 

At the meet, Keith Goeben (400 meters), Colin Martin (400), Jimmy Spatcher (800), James Yost (3,200), Dean Yost (3,200), Franklin (110 hurdles) and Daley (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) either qualified for the Class S championship meet or improved their state qualifying times. 

The week began with 14 Canton boys qualifying to participate in 32 events at the Class S meet. To this point, there have been 290 athletes who have qualified to participate in the Class S meet from 48 teams – an average of six athletes per team. Still, a high number of qualifying athletes doesn’t win a team a state championship – it is the performance on the field. 

Canton has one final meet before the Class S championship meet when they try to win a third straight NCCC championship next Tuesday, May 21 at Coventry High School. 

For the Canton High girls team, Sarah Allen turned in a pair of school record performances at the Greater Hartford Invitational. 

Allen finished ninth in the 100 hurdles with a record of time of 17.52 seconds, just nipping the time of 17.56 set by teammate Lucy Tanner a week earlier in a dual meet with Suffield and Bolton. Tanner finished 10th on Saturday with a time of 17.58. 

Allen also set a new school record in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 1½ inches, good enough for 11th place. It was an inch longer than the former record set by Jamie Habererns. Allen also qualified for the triple jump at the Class S meet with her performance in Simsbury. 

The Canton girls 4×100 relay team of Emma Skinner, Lucy Tanner, Jenna Janssen and Alex Martin finished 10th with a school record time of 54.79 seconds, snapping the old record set in 2010 by Lucy Mentzer, Shiney Douglas, Camila Rich and Katie Talbot. 

The girls finished 11th at the Greater Hartford Invitational out of 14 teams. Alex Martin was 13th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.11 while Tanner was 15th in 51.22 seconds. Thirteen Canton girls have qualified to participate in the upcoming Class S championship meet. 

The Canton girls also finished with the first winning record in program history with victories over East Granby, 87½ to 53½ and East Windsor, 89-55 on Tuesday. The Warriors conclude the regular season with a record of 7-6.

Graziano wins at Middletown Invitational
MIDDLETOWN — Senior Matt Graziano won the discus and finished fourth in the shot put to lead the Warriors at the recent Middletown Invitational on May 4. Graziano had a throw of 180 feet, 3 inches in the discus and 45 feet, six inches in the shot.

Julian Franklin finished fourth in the triple jump with a school record leap of 41 feet, 3 1/2 inches. He was also 15th in the long jump with a leap of 19-6.25 inches. Keith Wilson finished sixth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.61 seconds.

Other outstanding performances came from Cam Daley, who was 11th in the javelin with a throw of 139 feet, 10 inches and Matt DeMarco, who was 15th in the 1,600 meters in 4:41.06.

Canton finished 16th in the field of 51 teams with 81 points.

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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