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Three Avon girls win silver medals as Falcons finish fifth in Class L

NEW HAVEN, Feb. 8 – Three Avon High athletes finished second in their respective events at CIAC Class L indoor track and field championships on Thursday to help the Falcons finish fifth.

Carly Carpino was second in the long jump, Rhiannon Richmond was second in the 1,600 meters while Haley Gens was second in the 3,200 meters to help the Falcons score a CIAC championship meet school record 36 points.

The top 32 athletes, on the basis of time or their performances, qualify for the State Open so all three have a good shot at competing again on February 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High.

Carpino leaped 16 feet, 8 inches on her first jump of the day and was second throughout the competition to Hall’s Olivia Bowes, who jumped 16-9 on the second of her three preliminary jumps. Bowes cemented the victory with a leap of 17-2 on her final leap of the day in the finals.

Richmond was a distant second in the 1,600 meters with her time of 5:25.40. Guilford’s Meredith Bloss ran away with the race, winning in 5:18.39. Gens finished fourth in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:29.00.

Gens brought home a silver medal by taking second in the 3,200 meters with her time of 11:44.87. Bloss easily won this race, too, with a time of 11:27.31.

Senior Hayley Douglea finished third for the Falcons in the high jump with a leap of 4-feet-10. She finished behind Hall’s Taryn Smith, who had a personal-best leap of 5-feet and Bristol Central’s Shyann Whitten, who also leaped 5 feet.

In the 1,000 meters, Richmond was fifth for Avon with a new personal best time of 3:11.45 while Ashley Martin was 12th with a time of 3:24.08. Douglea was 14th in the 55 hurdles with a time of 10.08 seconds. Carpino, the top seed in the 55 hurdles, had a tough day in the event with a time of 10.40 seconds.

It was the second time that Avon has finished fifth in Class L. They also took fifth in 2013. It is the highest finish for a girls indoor track team at Avon.

No Avon girl has won a state title yet in indoor track and field although six individuals – including Carpino, Gens and Richmond on Thursday — and two relay teams have finished sixth.

The Avon boys competed in the Class M meet on Friday and set three new school records.

Zach Tilsch led the Falcons with a fifth place finish in the long jump. Tilsch had a leap of 20-0¼ to take fifth.

Anish Rajamanickam was ninth in the 300 meters with a new school record time of 38.03 for Avon while Matthew Nyklicek was tenth in the 1,600 meters with a personal-best time of 4:45.65. The Avon 4×400 relay (Tilsch, Venkata Patchigolla, Jack Stokesbury, Rajamanickam) was tenth with a school record time of 3:43.70.

Stokesbury set a new school record in the 600 meters with a time of 1:29.10, good enough for 13th place.

The Falcons finished 25th as a team with two points.

UPDATE, Feb. 11: Four Avon athletes qualified for the upcoming State Open. Richmond (1,000), Gens (3,200), Douglea (high jump) and Carpino (long jump) qualified to compete at the State Open.

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