ELLINGTON – Lost amid the sustained excellence of the Canton High boys track and field team was the success of the Canton High girls track and field team this season.
The Warriors had their best-ever record of 9-4 and they finished fifth at Tuesday’s NCCC championship meet with a school-record 69½ points.
It was Canton’s best finish at the NCCC championship meet by far. Their previous best finish was 10th place a year ago. The Warriors scored more points on Tuesday than it had in the previous six seasons (66 points) at the NCCC meet.
“In many ways, the girls season is much more remarkable than the boys in terms of growth,” O’Donnell said. “They’re a good bunch of kids who work hard.”
The Warriors were led by sophomore Lucy Tanner, who became the first Canton girl to win a NCCC outdoor track championship event when she won the 300 hurdles in a meet-record time of 47.34 seconds.
Tanner broke the old record set by Ellington’s Katherine Harty (47.42 seconds) nearly a decade ago in 2005. The closest Canton girl had previously come to a championship was Erin Belford, who was second in the 100 meters in 2005 – the first season that the Warriors fielded a team.
Tanner surged at the finish in the 300 hurdles to beat Avon’s Carly Regalado by 0.53 of a second. Granby’s Cassandra Miller, the top seed coming into the race, was third in 48.77 seconds.
Tanner has been bothered by several injuries this year, including shin splints. But it hasn’t slowed her down too much. She won the NCCC title in the 55 hurdles during the indoor season.
At Tuesday’s championship meet, Tanner also took second in the100 hurdles to SMSA’s Eugenia Weaver, 0.21 of a second off the pace with her time of 16.92 seconds. Tanner also ran on Canton’s 4×400 relay team (Abby Briggs, Alex Martin, Jenna Janssen, Tanner) that finished third with a time of 4:23.45. That’s the best finish ever for a Canton relay team at the NCCC championship meet.
Canton’s 4×100 meter relay team (Emily Mitchell, Amber Harraden, Taryn Asklof, Martin) also finished third at the meet and share in that historic achievement.
Martin and Harraden finished second and third, respectively, in the 400 meters. They led the field that trailed Avon’s Maddi McHugh, who won the race by over three seconds. Martin ran the race in 1:03.19 with Harraden close behind with a season-best effort of 1:03.22. Harraden also took sixth in the triple jump.
Eliza Chekas took fifth in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters while Emily Mitchell was fifth in the long jump and ninth in the 200 meters, just 0.10 out of eighth place.
Emily Chouinard and Lindsey Milligan finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the pole vault with leaps of 7 feet, 6 inches. It was the first points ever scored by Canton in the pole vault at the NCCC championship meet.
Canton’s 4×800 relay (Jocelyn Rossito, Chekas, Emily Jarka, Briggs) finished fourth — Canton’s best-ever finish in that event at the NCCC championships.
The Warriors will be looking to build on this at next Wednesday’s Class S championship meet at Danbury High.