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Another record breaking performance in 800 for McHugh at Class MM meet

Avon High's Maddi McHugh was third at the Class MM championships Tuesday in the 800 meters.

Avon High Maddi McHugh was third at the Class MM championships Tuesday in the 800 meters.

Avon High junior Maddi McHugh broke her own school record in the 800 meters and qualified for next week’s State Open championships by finishing third at the Class MM championships Tuesday at Middletown High.

McHugh, who was the anchor runner on the school record setting 4×400 relay team, helped Avon finish eighth in Class MM with 29 points. Windsor won the Class MM title with 90 points, easily out distancing Wilbur Cross of New Haven with 66½ points.

The Avon High boys team was led by a pair of fourth place finishes from Jake Sartain (triple jump) and Justin Reichler (long jump) as the Falcons finished 17th – its best finish in Class MM since 2009. Bunnell outlasted Hillhouse, 76½ to 69 for the Class MM boys title. 

McHugh took third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:14.85 seconds, easily surpassing her previous best time of 2:17.79. She was 0.79 behind second place runner Christine Bendzinski of RHAM. Wilbur Cross’ Danae River won the race in 2:10.98.

She also ran on Avon’s 4×400 relay team that finished fourth with a school record time of 4:08.52. Jennifer Koo, Carly Regalado and Tara Shayler ran the first three legs of the race. Avon was 0.52 of a second from qualifying for the State Open.

Avon junior Kaely Quijano  finished second in the pole vault at the Class MM championships Tuesday.

Avon junior Kaely Quijano finished second in the pole vault at the Class MM championships Tuesday.

Several other Avon athletes earned medals. Junior Kaely Quijano finished second in the pole vault with a leap of nine feet, six inches. Bacon Academy’s Danielle Maffried won with a vault of 10 feet. Twin sister Kiely Quijano was eighth with a season-best leap of eight feet.

Junior Molly Hamel was fourth in the 3,200 meters with a season-best time of 11:26.16. She was one second shy of qualifying for the State Open. Regalado was sixth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.78 seconds.

Avon’s 4×100 relay (Shayler, Emma Schweitzer, Karina Bucci, Kaleigh Sherman) finished eighth with a time of 52.79 seconds. The Falcons’ 4×800 relay (Hannah Carpino, Risa Lewis, Sarah Kate Mascoli, Sara Stokesbury) was ninth in 10:22.01.

In the boys competition, Sartain took fourth in the triple jump with his best jump of the season, 42 feet, five inches. He actually tied Ledyard’s Joseph Carter but Carter got the third place medal because his second best jump was a half inch longer than Sartain’s second best jump.

Sartain also was sixth in the high jump with a leap of six feet while Reichler was tenth at 5-10.

Reichler, in his first year participating in track, took fourth in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 11½ inches. He tied Branford’s Carl Williams but took fourth because Reichler’s second best jump of 19-9½ was a half inch longer than Williams’ second best leap.

Evan Edgar finished eighth in the 400 meters in 53.33, 0.01 of a second behind Branford’s Nathan D’Amico in seventh place.

Pole vaulter Patrick Howard had his best vault of the season, clearing 11 feet. But he finished 11th in a deep field with the top nine vaulters clearing 12 feet. East Lyme’s Andrew Peitzsch won with a leap of 13-3.

 

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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