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Canton’s Chelsea Mitchell wins Class S title, leads Warriors to fourth place finish

Chelsea Mitchell became the first Canton girl to win a state championship in indoor track and field by winning the long jump at the Class S championships. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

NEW HAVEN, February 7 – Canton junior Chelsea Mitchell had a lead over Granby’s Lauren Roy in the long jump at the Class S indoor track and field championships of just one inch.

But Mitchell was looking to put the event away. Mitchell leaped 17 feet 8 ½ inches on her final leap of the event to clinch the victory and become the first Canton girl to win a state title in indoor track.

Mitchell also finished second in the 55 meters with a school record time of 7.27 seconds to help Canton finish fourth in the Class S championships – their best finish ever in the event.

Canton’s Madeline Archangelo had a pair of top five finishes along with Maeve Balavender and Julia Caputo to lead the Warriors, who had a school record 36 points.

Bloomfield won the Class S title with 97 points followed by Old Saybrook (58¼), Immaculate (42) and Canton.

Mitchell’s win enabled her to become the sixth Canton athlete to win a Class S championship in indoor track. Max Sparks was the most recent state champion from Canton after winning the 1,600 meters last February.

Mitchell ran well in the 55 meters dash with a time of 7.38 seconds in the preliminary round, which was third behind Bloomfield’s Terry Miller and Cromwell’s Andraya Yearwood.

In the final, Mitchell had an excellent start and finished second with a school-record time of 7.27 seconds. Miller won the race in time of 7.03 seconds, tying a meet record. Mitchell beat Yearwood, who ran a 7.33 second race, for the second time in her career. The first time was in the preliminary round at the State Open in the 100 meters last spring.

Mitchell has cut 0.19 off her own school record in the 55 meters this season, according to Canton High head coach Tim O’Donnell.

Senior Madeline Archangelo, shown earlier this season, set a new school record in the 55-meter hurdles at the Class S championships. Archangelo finished third in the race. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Archangelo finished third in the high jump with a leap of 4-foot-8 and had a solid finish in the 55 meter hurdles, finishing third with a school-record time of 9.19 seconds in the finals. She ran a time of 9.41 seconds in the preliminary to qualify for the finals.

“A little slow out of the blocks (at the start of the final), she came on like gangbusters catapulting all the way to third,” O’Donnell said.

Seymour’s Patricia Jurkowski won the event in 8.86 seconds with East Catholic’s Sophie Kisner (9.11) finishing second.

Caputo finished fourth in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:47.05 with Maeve Balavender taking fifth in the 600 meters with a time of 1:48.14.

Canton’s Julia Caputo, shown earlier this season, took fourth in the 1,600 meter at the Class S championships. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Mitchell and Archangelo qualified for the upcoming State Open championships on Saturday, February 16, at noon at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. Mitchell qualified in the 55 meters — where she is the fourth seed — and in the long jump. Archangelo qualified in the 55 meter hurdles.

Each Class LL, L, M and S champion qualifies along with the next fastest 14 times or performances.

Canton’s Maya-Sutton Hall takes the turn in the 4×400 meter relay at the Class S championships. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton’s 4×800 relay (Emma Gallant, Caputo, Balavender and Helena Winkler) and the sprint medley relay (Kaylia Bailey, Maya Sutton-Hall, Brooke Shepard, Winkler) each finished sixth.

Canton’s 4×200 relay (Bailey, Sutton-Hall, Shepard, Mitchell) was the No. 2 seed in the race but the team was disqualified for a handoff outside of the zone where handoffs are allowed.

The Canton boys finished 18th with six points. They were led by Peter Fuller, who finished third in the high jump with a leap of 6-foot-2. Fuller cleared 6-2 on his final attempt during the event. Each competitor gets three attempts to clear the height.

Canton’s Andrew Obrzut ran on three relay teams for the Warriors at the Class S championship meet — the 4×800, 4×200 and sprint medley relay. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Defending State Open champion Ja’Kwan Hale of Derby won with a leap of 6-6 while Bloomfield’s Chaddane Williams had a personal-best 6-4 to finish second. Fuller advanced to the State Open with his performance.

Fuller finished ninth in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.52 seconds, two spots away from qualifying for the event finals. The slowest time to qualify for the finals was 8.36 seconds.

Canton also had a pair of relays finish tenth.

The 4×200 relay (Brandon LaClair, Fuller, Andrew Obrzut, Michael Cavanaugh) was tenth with a time of 1:39.07 while the sprint medley relay team (LaClair, Michael Cavanaugh, Chase Lashgari, Andrew Obrzut) was also tenth with a time of 4:01.46.

Canton’s Brandon LaClair picks up speed in the 4×200 relay at the Class S championship meet. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

It’s the fewest points that the Warriors have scored at the Class S championship meet. The previous low was nine points in 2012.

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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