NEW BRITAIN, May 31 – Junior Carly Carpino was primarily a jumper her first two years with the Avon High girls track and field team. She won a NCCC title in the triple jump as a freshman and finished in the top 20 in the national championships in the triple jump and long jump in 2015.
Carpino finished third in the long jump Wednesday at the CIAC Class MM championships but she made her biggest impact in the hurdles, sweeping the 100 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles to help the Falcons finish second with a school record 79 points.
Twice, Carpino broke her own school record in the 100 hurdles. In the 300 hurdles, she stumbled over the second-to-last hurdle but still had enough to get the win to become the first Avon girl to ever win two state championships on one afternoon in track and field.
“She has a tremendous will and it doesn’t matter what the distance is,” said Don Bartomioli, the hurdling coach for the Avon track program. “She’s a great athlete. You put anything in front of her and she will fight through it.”
A year after winning their first-ever state championship in track and field with a one-point win over Berlin, the Falcons had 12 athletes finish in the top eight and score points.
Avon’s 4×800 relay (Madison Sides, Emily Foley, Rhiannon Richmond, Christine Oberhausen) won a state title with a school record time of 9:36.39, breaking the mark set 21 years ago at the 1996 State Open championships by nearly two seconds.
Still, Tolland had too much with 100 points. The Eagles won five individual events led by Amyerin Zadroga (javelin, pole vault) and Katherine Deloreto (800, 1,600) along with top three finishes in all three relay events.
Avon head coach Al Dadario was pleased with his squad’s performance. “Everyone would have had to do exceptionally well for us to beat Tolland,” he said. “Everything would have go right.”
There were plenty of performances to smile about – starting with Carpino, who was busy from the moment she arrived. She broke her own school record in the 100 hurdles twice with a time of 15.92 in the preliminary round and a time of 15.48 in the finals to outlast Nonnewaug’s Stephanie Davino by 0.02 of a second.
“That felt good,” Carpino admitted afterward. She is the first Avon girl to win a state title in the 100 hurdles.
Then, she went to the long jump pit where she finished third with a leap of 17 feet and a quarter inch. Then it was off to the 300 hurdles race. It’s not her favorite race. “It’s too long,” she said. “But we had (hurdler) Carly Regalado graduate. (The team) needed someone to come in and fill that spot (hurdling).”
Carpino started strong and had the lead coming down the final 50 meters of the race. But she was awkward in clearing the second-to-last hurdle and stumbled after landing. She didn’t fall but she slowed, allowing the rest of the field to close in.
“I got a little tired and went over with the wrong leg,” she said. “At that point, I just wanted the race to be done.”
Carpino won with a time of 48.32 seconds with Watertown freshman Morgan Dodge finishing second in 48.41 seconds and Hand’s Jordan Bass taking third in 48.71.
Junior Hayley Dougela took second in the high jump for the Falcons with a leap of 5-0 feet, coming in behind Berlin’s Patricia Mroczkowski, who cleared 5-2.
Junior Haley Gens finished third in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:28.53 and was eighth in the 1,600 meters. Teammate Emily Foley was a strong fourth in the 1,600 meters in 5:13.49, knocking nearly seven seconds off her best time of the season. Foley was also sixth in the 800 meters.
Oberhausen finished fourth in the 400 meters with a time of 59.88 seconds while Riley Abate took second in the 100 meters in 12.99 seconds. Sara Leavens was eighth in the 3,200 meters.
Molly Milligan was fourth in the triple jump in 34-5½ while Audrey Worth took eighth in the pole vault, clearing 8-6.
Avon’s 4×400 relay (Milligan, Abate, Sides, Oberhausen) finished third with a season-best time of 4:08.73, cutting nearly eight seconds off their previous time. Tolland (4:07.84) and Sacred Heart Academy (4:05.43) finished ahead of the Falcons. Avon’s 4×100 relay team that was seeded third didn’t finish after dropping the baton.
Tolland finished with 100 points with Avon earning 79 – the most ever for the Falcons at a CIAC championship meet. Hillhouse was third with 63 points with Guilford finishing fourth with 46 points. It was Tolland’s sixth straight state championship.
The Avon boys finished 27th in Class MM with sophomore Marek Cierniewski taking fifth in the javelin with a throw of 161-11 feet, good enough to qualify for next week’s State Open championships.
NOTES: A year ago, Avon won the Class MM championship by beating Berlin, 61-60. Carly Regalado was the first Avon hurdler to win an individual state title by taking the 300 hurdles. … Seven Avon boys have won multiple state titles in the same year in track and field. Jeff Hyman won three individual titles in 1982 while Bob Loeffler (1966), Dave Starr (1966), Brian Lenihan (1985), Lance Graney (1987), Dushawane Simpson (1991) and Jeff Cavanaugh (1994) won two titles each in the same day. … The 4×800 relay team broke the school record held by Sarah Nitsche, Megan Grenter, Hadley Fitzgerald and Ashley Wallace. It was the oldest of the relay school records on the books — 9:38.18.