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Avon’s Richmond, Martin, Raha and 4×800 relay team qualify for State Open

AVON, February 9 – Avon junior Rhiannon Richmond is going back to the State Open indoor track and field championships.

Richmond will be joined at Saturday’s State Open by five members of the Avon High boys indoor track and field team that qualified after the recent Class M championship meet.

Freshman Jack Martin, Max Raha and the 4×800 relay team each turned in top five finishes to earn invitations to the State Open at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High in New Haven.

Richmond qualified for Open for the second consecutive year by finishing second in the 3,200 meters at the Class L championships with a time of 11:33.49. Guilford’s Meredith Bloss was far ahead of the field with a time of 11:25.92.

Richmond was second in the 1,600 a year ago in Class L and followed that up with a top 10 finish at the State Open. This year, Richmond was the only girl to score for the Falcons at the Class L meet with Avon finishing 18th with eight points.

At the Class M meet, the boys team turned in their best performance since the indoor team was reinstated in 2010, finishing 13th with 12 points. Avon had an indoor track team in the 1960s.

Martin had an outstanding run, finishing a close third in the 1,600 meters with a school-record time of 4:29.83, just 0.25 of a second off the winning pace set by Suffield’s Nick Sinofsky. Suffield’s Kyle Englander was just ahead of Martin in second place with a time of 4:29.81.

All three came across the finish line virtually together.

Martin was also a runner on Avon’s 4×800 relay team (Martin, Tyler Hinrichs, Hari Patchgolla, Anish Rajamanickam) that finished fourth with a school record time of 8:24.95. The team shattered the previous school record by 20 seconds and knocked 26 seconds of their previous best time this season.

In the long jump, Raha leaped 20-3 feet on his final jump of the finals to finish fifth. Teammate Jack Grady was 15th with a leap of 17-8.

Raha also competed in the 55 meter dash, finishing 12th with a time of 6.90 seconds.

Rajamanickam had a pair of top 10 finishes – taking seventh in the 600 meters with a time of 1:27.94 and eighth in the 300 meters with a time of 38.12 seconds. Hinrichs was tenth in the 600 meters in 1:29.50 while Alvin Guo was 17th in the 600 with a time of 1:31.64.

In 2010, Avon reinstated indoor track for the boys and began a girls team. The Falcons are still looking for their first indoor track state champion in this century. Seven girls and two girls relay teams have finished second since 2010 with Martin’s third place finish being the best finish for the boys in that span.

 

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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