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Area athletes aiming for state titles at CIAC meets – The Collinsville Press
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Area athletes aiming for state titles at CIAC meets

Track logo DSC_1740State championship meets will be held this weekend at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at New Haven’s Hillhouse High for indoor track and field teams from across Connecticut.

Simsbury will be competing in the Class LL championship meet on Saturday at 10 a.m. with Canton and Granby racing in the Class S meet on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Avon will be running at the Class M meet on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The last time that a local team brought home a team championship was over 40 years ago when the Avon boys won the third of four state titles in five years with a Class S championship in 1968.

The Simsbury girls have an opportunity in Class LL but it will take another big effort. The Trojans had five individual champions and scored in nine of 15 events to nip defending champion Glastonbury by 1½ points to capture its first-ever Central Connecticut Conference championship on January 26.

Junior Stefenie Muller (8.85 seconds) won the 55-meter hurdles and captured the high jump with a leap of five feet. Sarah Mattison won the 3,200 meters in 11:15.31. The Trojans also won the 4×800 relay (Abby Hotaling, Mattison, Caroline Smith, Sarah Joja) and the 1,600 meter sprint medley relay (Alexa Guglielmino, Vickie Milledge, Mueller, Smith).

Simsbury owns the best time of the season in the 4×800 relay (9:47.41) in Class LL. The sprint medley relay’s time of 4:25.54 is the second fastest of the season in Class LL behind Staples.

Riley Brayton took second in the pole vault (10-0) and Mattison was second in the 1,600 meters in 5:10.32. Her time is the third fastest of the season in Class LL. Milledge was third in the 55 hurdles and she has the third fastest time of the year in Class LL.

In a bigger meet, Simsbury will need to get a balanced performance again to contend for a state championship. Glastonbury is expected to contend as well. The best recent finish for Simsbury was sixth place in 2011.

The Simsbury boys won’t contend for a state championship but they’ll have some state contenders led by senior Jacob DeLorme (pole vault) and senior Will Rice (300 meters). DeLorme was impressive at the CCC championship meet, winning the pole vault with a leap of 13 feet, 6 inches, the second best mark in Class LL and fourth best vault by a state pole vaulter this winter.

Rice was third in the 300 meters with a time of 36.77 seconds, the sixth fastest time this season in Class LL. Tommy Newton is ranked in the top 10 in 55 hurdles with his time of 8.19 seconds.

Canton’s best performance in the Class S championship meet came in 2010 when the Warriors boys were third with 44 points. A year ago, they were eighth.

Canton’s boys don’t have enough depth to challenge Bloomfield for a state title but senior Keith Wilson will be a contender.

Wilson won three individual events at the recent NCCC championships (55 meter dash, 55 hurdles, 300 meters). At the Class S meet, he is top seed in the 55 hurdles with a time of 7.92 seconds and in the 300 meters with a time of 36.02 meters. He’ll skip the 55 meters and run on Canton’s 4×400 relay team.

Canton’s three relay teams (4×200, 4×400, sprint medley) are each among the top five in Class S. Colin Martin is ranked in the top 10 in the long jump (fourth) and 300 meters (seventh) while James Yost is ranked in the 1,600 meters (ninth) and 3,200 meters (sixth). Riley Hollis (long jump, 7th) and Dean Yost (1,000 meters, 8th) are also ranked in the top 10.

Among the Canton girls, Lucy Tanner is seeded eighth in the 55 hurdles. She became Canton’s first individual champion since 2007 at the NCCC championships with a school-record time of 9.37 seconds.

The Avon High girls team is looking for its best-ever performance in its short five-year history at Friday night’s Class M championship meet. The Falcons, who won their second straight NCCC championship earlier this month, have been rewriting their record book this season. Avon has set new school records in all four relays this winter.

Chamiyah Rowland is the No. 2 seed in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.48 seconds while the sprint medley relay team (Rowland, Shilip Donde, Jennier Koo and Maddi McHugh) is also a No. 2 seed with a school record time of 4:28.96.

Avon’s strength is with their runners. McHugh and Molly Hamel are seeded in the top 10 in the 1,000 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. Amanda Holtzman and McHugh are seeded in the top 10 in the 600 meters. Athletes are limited to three events so Avon coach Al Dadario will have some flexibility on where to use McHugh.

Avon’s 4×400 and 4×200 relays are seeded fourth at the Class M meet.

The girls meet is projected to be one of the tighter competitions with Weston, Tolland and Hillhouse competing for the championship.

No Avon boys are seeded in the top 10 of their respective events at the Class M event.

Granby’s Cynthia Jones and Catherine Pinson are seeded in the top 10 of their respective events at the Class S meet. Jones has the sixth fastest time of the season in Class S in the 1,600 meters and the No. 10 time in the 1,000 meters. Pinson is the sixth seed in the 3,200 meters and the eighth seed in the 1,600 meters.

No Granby boys are seeded in the top 10 of their respective events at the Class S meet.

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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