NEW HAVEN, Feb. 17 – Canton’s 4×400 relay team and senior hurdler Keith Wilson earned bids to the New England championships in Boston on March 1 with top six performances at Monday’s State Open indoor track and field championship meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.
The relay team finishing fifth at the State Open with a school record time of 3:34.23, slicing more than three seconds off their previous best time. Wilson tied his own school record of 7.92 seconds when he finished sixth in the 55-meter hurdles.
The 4×400 team of seniors Wyatt Campbell, Colin Martin, Riley Hollis and Wilson are the second relay team to earn a berth to the New England indoor championship meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. A 4×800 relay team from Canton qualified in 2010 and finished 15th in New England.
It’s been a strong winter for the 4×400 relay team. They were seeded 11th at the State Open but they received some exceptional personal performances to win their heat, pulling away from teams from Staples and Xavier. They finished third in Class S with a time of 3:37.43 and captured the NCCC championship in January. John Solomon ran in Wilson’s spot at the NCCC meet. The fifth place finish at the State Open ties the best ever for a Canton relay team. A sprint medley relay from Canton was fifth in 2009.
Wilson was fifth in qualifying with a time of 8.04 seconds. He improved his time in the final but still dropped one position into sixth place.
Wilson also qualified to race in the 300 meters at the State Open but he skipped that event to focus on the hurdles and the relay race.
Wilson is the fourth Canton individual to earn a bid to the New England meet. Matt Graziano (2013, shot), Brian Magna (2009, 1,000 meters) and Mike LeDuc (2010, 3,200 meters) previously qualified for the Warriors.
Martin also participated in the long jump for Canton. He finished 14th out of 14 with a leap of 18 feet, 7 inches.
Molly Hamel was the lone representative from Avon at the meet. She ran in the 1,600 meters and finished 13th with a time of 5:26.43. Avon’s medley relay team, which qualified by taking second in Class M, did not participate.