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Canton girls indoor team finish second at pair of invitational meets

Canton’s Chelsea Mitchell won two individual events at the recent Shoreline Coaches Invitational and the NCCC Invitational in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

NEW HAVEN – There are no dual meets in the indoor track and field season. But there are plenty of invitational meets.

The Canton High girls indoor track and field team earned a pair of second place finishes in meets this month. The Warriors finished second in the Shoreline Coaches Invitational at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on January 12, finishing nine points behind champion Old Saybrook, 64-55.

A few days later, Canton was a distant second to Glastonbury at the Snowflake Invitational at Wesleyan University in Middletown. The Tomahawks dominated the meet with 147 points with Canton finishing second with 80 points. Ellington was third with 63 points.

The Canton boys indoor track team also participated in both meets. They took tenth out of 17 teams in the Snowflake Invitational and were 16th out of 26 teams at the Shoreline Coaches meet.

At the Shoreline Invitational, Canton’s Chelsea Mitchell won two individual events – long jump and 55 meters – and ran on Canton’s winning 4×200 relay team (Mitchell, Kaylia Bailey, Brooke Shepard, Maya Sutton-Hall) that beat Bloomfield by more than three seconds with a winning time of 1:50.66 — the second fastest time in school history.

Mitchell won the long jump with a leap of 16-9¼ feet and took the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.31 seconds, well ahead of Griswold’s Audrey Strmiska with a time of 7.70 seconds. Mitchell tied her own school record with that time. Sutton-Hall also made the finals in the 55, taking seventh with a time of 7.95 seconds.

Canton had other top 10 finishes at the meet. Julia Caputo finished third in the 3,200 meters with a time of 12:04.31 while Madeline Archangelo was fourth in the high jump with a leap of 4-10 feet and fifth in the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.71 seconds.

Helena Winkler finished seventh in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:50.36 with teammate Emma Gallant finishing eleventh in 5:56.86. Canton’s 4×400 meter relay team (Archangelo, Maeve Balavender, Lila Hunt, Shepard) was fifth with a time of 4:33.34 while the 4×800 relay team (Balavender, Winkler, Gallant, Hunt) was seventh (11:02.02).

Mitchell again did well at the Snowflake Invitational by winning the 300 meters and long jump. Mitchell outlasted Conard’s Kate Shaffer by 0.10 of a second to win the 300 meters with a time of 43.34 seconds and had a leap of 17-3 to win the long jump – one inch shy of her school record of 17-4 that she set earlier this year.

Canton’s Peter Fuller, shown in the 55 meter hurdles, set a new indoor school record in the high jump at the recent NCCC Invitational in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton had several top 10 finishes at the Snowflake Invitational.

Balavender finished second in the 600 meters with a personal-best time of 1:50.02, trailing just Lewis Mills’ Celina Daigle (1:49.40). It was the third fastest time in school history in the event.

Sutton-Hall also took second in the 55 meters with a time of 7.90 seconds. Glastonbury’s Selina Soule won the race in 7.49 seconds.

Canton’s 4×200 relay (Archangelo, Theresa McClain, Bailey, Shepard) finished second with a time of 1:57.10. Glastonbury easily won the race in 1:54.10.

Archangelo finished third in the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.59 seconds while Canton had four runners in the top seven in the 300 meters. Mitchell won the event with Sutton Hall (45.61) finishing fourth, Bailey (46.26) taking fifth and Archangelo (46.55) finishing sixth.

Canton also had three runners in the top six in the 1,600 meters led by Caputo, who was fourth with a time of 5:56.60. Gallant (5:57.89) was fifth and Winkler (6:01.28) took sixth.

Kaylia Bailey races for the Warriors at the NCCC Invitational.  She was part of Canton’s winning 4×400 relay team. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton also did well at the recent NCCC Invitational at Hartford Public. No team scores were kept but the Warriors had some excellent performances.

Mitchell won two events. She won the 55 meters with a winning time of 7.37 seconds, beating Malia Wilson of Metropolitan Learning in Bloomfield by 0.46 of a second. Mitchell also won the long jump with a leap of 17-8½ with Granby’s Lauren Roy (16-11½) finishing second. Archangelo was fourth in 15-8.

Caputo finished second in the 3,200 meters (12:42.78) with Balavender taking third in the 1,000 meters (3:32.25) with Gallant finishing fifth in 3:33.53. Winkler was fourth in the 1,600 meters in 5:44.89. Archangelo also took second in the 55 meter hurdles (9.83).

Canton won the 4×400 (Bailey, Balavender, Hunt, Winkler) with a time of 4:39.76

Among the boys, Canton’s Peter Fuller won the high jump at the Shoreline Invitational with a leap of 6-4 – four inches better than Immaculate’s Spencer Brown. Fuller also took eighth in the 300 meters with a time of 38.38 seconds.

Other top 10 finishes for the Warriors came from Brandon LaClair, who was sixth in the long jump (19-2¾) and the 4×200 relay team (LaClair, Fuller, Oluwafemi Taiwo, Andrew Obrzut) which finished sixth with a time of 1:38.97.

Canton’s Sean Richard carries the baton for the Warriors in the recent NCCC Invitational. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

At the Snowflake Invitational, the Canton boys had some top 10 finishes.

Andrew Obrzut took fourth in the 300 meters with a time of 38.90 seconds with teammates Michael Cavanaugh (10th place, 40.33) and Chase Lashgari (14, 40.99) also running well. Obrzut also finished tenth in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:56.82.

Canton’s 4×200 relay team (Justin Conforti, Gabe Mower, Liam O’Donnell, Keith Thomas) finished sixth with a time of 10:19.33.

At the NCCC Invitational in Hartford, Fuller set a new indoor school record in the high jump with a leap of 6-foot-6. He also finished third in the 55 hurdles (8.72) and long jump (20-7¾).

Andrew Obrzut took fourth in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:53.93 while brother Adam Obrzut was fifth in the shot with a throw of 34-2½

Big meets approaching for the Warriors include the NCCC championship meet on Tuesday, January 29 at Hillhouse and the Class S championships on February 7, also at Hillhouse in New Haven.

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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