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At State Open, Carpino, Dougela, Mitchell earn bids to New England meet

Avon’s Carly Carpino, shown competing in the 300 meter hurdles at the Class MM championship meet, qualified for the New England championships in the long jump.

NEW BRITAIN, June 5 – Avon High junior Carly Carpino finished in the top 10 in three events at the CIAC State Open track and field championships at Willow Brook Park Monday to secure a pair of invitations to compete in this Saturday’s New England meet in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Carpino is one of two Avon High athletes to earn a bid to the New England championships. Hayley Dougela leaped a career-high 5-foot-2 to finish fourth in the high jump to earn a chance to compete in the New England meet.

Canton freshman Chelsea Mitchell also qualified. Mitchell finished seventh in the 100 meters at the State Open with a time of 12.69 seconds. But since State Open champion Caroline O’Neil declined to run at the New England championships, it opened up a spot for Mitchell.

The top six athletes in each event earn invitations to the New England tournament.

Avon’s Hayley Dougela took fourth in the high jump at the State Open

Carpino, a two-time state champion in the 100 and 300 hurdles at the Class MM championships, will be competing at the New England championships for the second year. Carpino was sixth in the long jump with a leap of 17-1¼ feet while she just missed qualifying in the 100 hurdles, taking seventh with a school-record time of 15.38 seconds.

Carpino finished 0.26 of a second behind Granby’s Nicole Szilagyi with a time of 15.12 seconds. Carpino also ran in the 300 hurdles and finished ninth with a season-best time of 46.76 seconds.

Dougela has been on the roll the past two weeks. At the Class MM meet a week ago, she cleared 4-foot-10 for the first in competition and finished second with a career-best leap of five feet. She topped that mark on Monday by clearing 5-foot-2. It’s the best high jump by a junior and is the No. 2 high jump mark in school history.

The only other top 10 finish from an Avon athlete came from Haley Gens, who was eighth in the 3,200 meters with a season-best time of 11:22.18, shaving off more than six seconds from her previous best performance this spring.

The Avon 4×400 relay team (Molly Milligan, Riley Abate, Madison Sides, Christine Oberhausen) was also tenth with a time of 4:08.82.

Canton freshman Chelsea Mitchell was seventh at the State Open in the 100 meters.

Mitchell barely made the final in the 100 meter hurdles. She stumbled out of the blocks in qualifying but still recovered to run a time of 12.60 seconds – her third best time of the season.

In the final, she was rattled a bit when Weaver’s Tiandra Robinson was disqualified for a false start. For a second, Mitchell thought that the meet official was pointing at her.

“The adrenaline was still coursing through her when the race started and she got a better start but then didn’t have the pop in the finish and ended up seventh with a (time of) 12.69,” Canton coach Tim O’Donnell said. O’Neil won the race in 12.14 seconds, beating Lauralton Hall’s Kathryn Kelly with 12.36 seconds.

Mitchell took 14th in the 200 meters with a school-record time of 26.01 seconds. She lowered her own school record in the event.

Canton teammate Abbe Skinner did tie her own school record in the high jump, leaping five feet, which was good for 13th place.

Canton’s Max Sparks had a pair of top 20 finishes. He was 16th in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:27.74, just 2.5 second away from his best time in the event. Sparks also took 13th in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:42.71.

Dustin Van Kirk was 15th for the Warriors in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.44 seconds while Chaz Williams was 20th in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.33 seconds, the second best performance in school history.

Canton’s 4×100 relay team (Sophia Langou, Madeline Archangelo, Emily Mitchell, Chelsea Mitchell) was 17th with a time of 51.31 – their third best time of the season. The Warriors’ 4×800 relay (Jane Frawley, Helena Winkler, Emily Briggs, Abby Briggs) also ran their third best time of the year, finishing 20th with a time of 10:19.72.

The Avon girls scored a school record 11 points to finish 17th at the State Open. It broke the record set in 1997 when the Falcons scored 10 points and finished 21st. This was the best-ever finish for an Avon girls team at the State Open.

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.

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