NEW BRITAIN, May 31 – A year ago, Canton High sophomore Chelsea Mitchell was step for step with Weaver’s Tiandra Robinson in the finals of the 100 meter race at the Class S championships.
Robinson beat Mitchell by 0.01 of a second to win the state title.
This year, Mitchell pulled away down the stretch to win two individual events and ran the anchor leg on Canton’s state championship 4×100 relay team Thursday at the Class S championships at New Britain’s Willow Brook Stadium.
Mitchell swept the 100 and 200 meters and ran the anchor leg in the 4×100 relay, coming from behind to help her team (Brooke Shepard, Madeline Archangelo, Maya Sutton-Hall, Mitchell) win – the first Canton relay team to capture a state title.
Mitchell helped the Canton High girls track and field team finish fourth in Class S for the second straight year with a school-record 46 points.
On the boys side, Max Sparks won a state championship in the 3,200 meters and finished second in the 1,600 to lead the Warriors. Canton finished tenth with 24 points – their lowest finish since taking 12th in 2009. Derby outlasted Bloomfield, 115-104 to win the boys championship. Sacred Heart was a distant third.
Mitchell pulled away from Kolbe’s Olivia D’Haiti to win the 100 meters with a time of 12.61 seconds. D’Haiti took second with the time of 12.89 seconds.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “Last year, I lost it by a hundredth of a second so to win it feels really good. I just made sure I went as fast as I could and ran through the finish line.”
In the 200 meters, Mitchell had the winning time of 25.53 seconds, beating Bloomfield’s Jillian Mars (25.97) to the finish line.
In the 4×100 relay, Canton never led until the fourth leg. Mitchell was about a second behind when she took the baton for the fourth leg from Maya-Sutton Hall. But she made it up and passed Bloomfield to help the Warriors win by 0.53 of a second with the time of 50.27 seconds.
It was the first time all season that the four athletes ran the 4×100 together in competition.
Athletes are limited to three events at the CIAC championship meets.
Jane Frawley took fifth in the 1,600 meters with an outstanding time of 5:16.78, taking eight seconds off her previous best in the 1,600 this season. Julia Caputo took seventh with her time of 5:20.73, taking nine seconds off her previous best in the event.
Caputo finished third in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:09.99, taking 11 seconds off her previous best time in the event.
Canton’s 4×400 relay (Archangelo, Sutton-Hall, Shepard, Frawley) finished fifth with a time of 4:24.10.
Other top performances for the Warriors came from Sutton Hall, who was tenth in the 200 meters (27.28) and Emma Gallant, who was 12th in the 3,200 meters.
In the girls competition, the top four teams were the same as last year. Bloomfield (124) captured their 11th straight Class S title easily beating Immaculate (73) and Old Saybrook (63½).
Sparks took third in the 1,600 meters and he was upset with his performance, immediately exiting the track at the end of the race.
Sparks (4:27.02) had the lead with one lap to go but Derby’s Ken Little surged and pulled away, opening up a big lead on Sparks. Little won the race with a time of 4:25.25, eight seconds better than his seed time. Old Saybrook’s Shane Henderson held off Sparks at the finish to take second.
Sparks didn’t let up in the 3,200 meters beating Immaculate’s Connor McNerney by a little over a second to win the championship with a time of 9:42.39.
Sparks also helped the Warriors finished second in the 4×800 relay with teammates Andrew Obrzut, Matthew Webb and Aidan O’Donnell with a time 8:20.98, 13 seconds better than their seeded time. Old Saybrook won the race in 8:09.88.
O’Donnell finished 14th for Canton in the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.97.
Top qualifiers in all five classes will compete in Monday’s State Open championships in New Britain.