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Canton boys win Small Division title; Quijano’s record leap sparks Avon girls – The Collinsville Press
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Canton boys win Small Division title; Quijano’s record leap sparks Avon girls

Kaely DSC_5360

Avon’s Kaely Quijano, who shared the pole vault crown at the Greater Hartford Invitational, clears the ball earlier this spring.

SIMSBURY, May 10 – Canton High track and field coach Tim O’Donnell knows the score better than most. He was the one that alerted tournament officials at the Greater Hartford Invitational that it was the Warriors that won the Small Division championship – not Bloomfield.

In the overall tournament, defending Class M champion Bloomfield finished ahead of Canton by 18½ points. But when you separate out the small schools, Canton actually came out ahead of the Warhawks by twenty points, 129-109. Bloomfield may have plenty of top athletes but among the small schools, Canton pulled off many top five finishes to give the Warriors the Small Division trophy.

Canton, who finished eighth overall, won the Small Division title for the second time and first time since 2011.

The Avon High girls track and field team finished seventh overall and fourth in the Large Division competition, led by junior Kaely Quijano, who shared the pole vault championship with a school-record leap of 10 feet. 

Canton (9-0, 9-0 NCCC) was led by senior Keith Wilson, who was second in the 300 hurdles and 110 hurdles. He also ran the anchor leg on Canton’s 4×400 relay team that finished second overall, a little over a second behind Staples. Cameron Daley, Nico Tucillo and Colin Martin ran with Wilson on the 4×400 team, that turned in the third fastest time in school history.

“It was a very solid performance with a healthy dose of season and/or personal bests,” O’Donnell said.

Not only did Wilson finish second in the 300 hurdles in 41.22 seconds, just 0.13 of a second from the school record set by David Kucia in 2010, but Daley was fifth with his time of 41.96 seconds. Fitch’s Tyler Latham won the 300 hurdles with a meet record time of 38.63 seconds.

Wilson was second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.57 seconds, just behind Bunnell’s Ruvens Exantus in 15.38 seconds.

Canton teammate Colin Martin was sixth in the 200 meters in 23.44 seconds with the second fastest time in school history. Only Jasen Watson in 2007 ran faster in 23.17 seconds. Martin also took 10th in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, eight inches.

Devon Glasser was 10th in the discus with a season-best throw of 125 feet, eight inches. Daley was 11th in the javelin with a throw of 147 feet, two inches while the Yost brothers were 10th (Dean, 4:36.89) and 11th (James, 4:37.06), respectively, in the 1,600 meters.

While O’Donnell was thrilled to see his Warriors perform well and finish first, he isn’t compiling future results based on this meet.

Canton, which won its second Class S title in three years last spring, and Bloomfield will meet in the Class S championship meet in June. At Saturday’s meet, the Warhawks were missing defending State Open champion Izaiah McEwen and the top shot and discus athlete in Class S this season, Curtis Jackson.

Still, there won’t be any piece of paper stuck to the trophy proclaiming who wasn’t there for Bloomfield. It will simply proclaim Canton champion of the Small Division of the 2014 Greater Hartford Invitational.

Quijano’s victory was the highlight for the Avon girls at the meet. Quijano tied Glastonbury’s Chloe Brown for the championship. She broke the record that she set a year ago with a leap of 9 feet, 6 inches on three different occasions last spring.

The Falcons (10-0, 10-0 NCCC) had several top 10 performances. Caroline Rendeiro was third in the high jump (4-10) while Maeve Reiss took third in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 31 feet, 10 inches. Maddi McHugh was fifth in the 400 meters in 1:00.41 while Jen Yade was sixth in the shot (30 feet, 4.75 inches).

Molly Hamel was eighth in the 3,200 meters (11:41.28) on a hot, sticky afternoon while Carly Regalado was ninth in the 300 hurdles (17.33). Chamiyah Rowland was ninth in the 100 meters in 13.27 and tenth in the 200 meters in 27.93.

Avon’s 4×800 relay of Hannah Carpino, Sarah Katherine Mascoli, Ryley Higgins and Sara Stokesbury was seventh with a time of 10:30.25 while the 4×400 relay (Shilip Donde, Jennifer Koo, McHugh, Taylor Ann Jacobs) was eighth in 4:27.41.

Simsbury was the top girls team with 110 points, followed by Tolland with 65 points. Avon finished with 29½ points.

The Canton girls scored just four points in the overall meet but ran well. Eliza Chekas set a new school record in the 3,200 meters and three other athletes turned in the second fastest times in school history in their respective events. “It was a great day for the girls,” O’Donnell said. “Solid all-around competitiveness by the team.”

Canton’s 4×400 relay of Amber Harraden, Abby Briggs, Lucy Tanner and Alex Martin finished seventh with a time of 4:21.35.

Tanner finished seventh in the 100 hurdles in 16.65, the second fastest time in school history. Harraden was 20th in the 400 meters in 1:04.10 with the No. 2 time in program history. Canton’s 4×800 relay team (Briggs, Rossitto, Coleman, Chekas) was 14th overall with a time of 11:10.62, the second fastest in Canton history.

Chekas finished 19th in the 3,200 meters but her time of 12:16.43 shattered the old mark set by Kim Powell (12:23.35) in 2007.

The Avon boys scored five points in the meet. They were led by Jake Sartain and Justin Reichler, who each had a pair of top 10 finishes. Sartain was seventh in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 41 feet , 10 ½ inches. Teammate Evan Edgar was 11th with a leap of 39-8.

Sartain finished eighth in the long jump with a season-best leap of 19-8 feet. Reichler was ninth with a leap of 19-8. Sartain also was tied for 11th in the high jump (5-8). Reichler was seventh in the high jump with a season-best performance of 5 feet, 10 inches.

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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