Hatters rule at Class LL indoor track championships
NEW HAVEN — What a night for the Danbury High School boys and girls indoor track and field teams.
The Hatter girls won their second consecutive Class LL state title Wednesday night in a wild, four-team fight to the finish. The Danbury boys, meanwhile, flat-out dominated in capturing their fourth straight Class LL crown.
“It’s wonderful. We made our city proud, and we made our coach proud,” said Danbury senior Terrell Cunningham. “We’ve been working all season long just to come here and do what we did.”
The girls team title was decided on the final event of the night, the 4x400 relay, with four teams still in contention. Danbury and Greenwich were tied for the lead, with Ridgefield 2.5 points back and Glastonbury five points behind.
Glastonbury won the event with a Class LL-record time of 4:02.43. But Danbury placed second, with the team of Olivia Turk, Natalee Seipio, Cassandra Sturdevant and Leah Sarkisian finishing in 4:05.50. Their finish gave the Hatters 64 points and the title, while Glastonbury took second with 61, Greenwich third with 58 and Ridgefield fourth with 57.5.
“We came in here and we wanted to try really hard to prove ourselves and win it,” Sarkisian said, still gasping for air after running her guts out on the anchor leg. “We ran as fast as we could, and we won this as a team.”
That final relay was four minutes of sheer intensity. Glastonbury led from start to finish, but the Tomahawks were just a little too far behind in the team scores to pull off what would have been an improbable comeback.
“We just threw everything we had at it,” said Sarkisian, who earlier had won the 600 meters with a time of 1:37.91.
It was the seventh state title since 2001 for the Hatter girls.
“They knew what was at stake,” Danbury girls coach Nick Fraticelli said of that last relay. “I’m just so happy for them, so proud of them. They’re so tough and so strong, and they’ve got a will to succeed that just breaks barriers.”
The Hatter girls placed second in the first event of the evening, the 4x200, with the foursome of Bridget Chiaravalle, Zyniah Bunn, Seipio and Jessica Glowacki clocking in at 1:47.18, a fraction of a second behind Hamden.
Chiaravalle posted the fastest qualifying time in the 55-meter hurdles at 8.50 seconds, then went on to run even faster in the final to win in 8.44 seconds. She also ran the third-fastest qualifying time in the 55 meters (7.58) and went on to finish third in 7.51.
The Hatters took three of the top six spots in the long jump, led by Ruby M’Boya in third with a jump of 16-3.25.
The Danbury boys scored an eye-popping 116 points to claim their 12th state title since 2001. Greenwich finished second with 46 points, followed by Shelton with 44, Staples with 42 and Trumbull with 39.
“We’re really proud of their work ethic all season long and what they were able to accomplish tonight. It was just a total team effort,” Danbury boys coach Rob Murray said. “I would have never estimated that we would score over 100 points.
The Danbury boys finished the meet in record-setting fashion, as the 4x400 relay team of Sean-Michael Parkinson, Malcolm Going, Daniel Campbell and Cunningham won with a Class LL record-time of 3:28.94, beating the previous record of 3:29.07, set by Staples in 2011.
“I just wanted to go all out and see what our time would be,” Cunningham said.
Nathaniel Llanos won the boys pole vault for Danbury, clearing 13 feet. Teammate Brandon Gottwals tied for third at 12 feet. That gave the Hatters a 34-point lead in the team standings with three events to go.
They extended that lead when Cunningham and Parkinson took the top two spots in the 300 meters, with Cunningham winning in 36.42 seconds and Parkinson following closely in 36.64.
Cunningham took second in the 600 for the Hatters in 1:22.38. Chase Nalley placed second in the 55 hurdles in 8.06, shaving nearly two-tenths of a second off his seed time. Daniel Nichols placed second in the 3,200, trimming nearly 10 seconds off his seed time and clocking in at 9:28.89. Tumani Edwards placed third in the long jump with a jump of 20-9.
Danbury went 2-3 in the boys 55 meters, with Christopher Cledera taking second in 6.64 and Aaron Agosto third in 6.68.
The Hatter boys opened the meet by placing a close second in the 4x200 relay, with the team of Malachius Lorick, Parkinson, Agosto and Edmond Olivacce finishing in 1:32.79, less than half a second behind Hamden. Danbury then placed third in the 4x800, with the quartet of Christopher Leone, Christian Moraes, Bradley Fox and Pedro Pereira finishing in 8:19.17. The Hatters’ sprint medley team of Agosto, Olivacce, Going and Campbell placed second in 3:39.0.
While the night belonged to Danbury, there were plenty of other highlights to go around.
For the boys, Zakeer Ahmad of Staples won the 1,600 in 4:23.50, followed closely by teammate William Landowne in second in 4:23.81. Ahmad then placed third in the 3,200 in 9:34.81.
The Wreckers took second in the 4x800, with the team of Luke Lorenz, Sebastian Wick, Benjamin Seiple and Brian MacCordy finishing in 8:18.25, a fraction of a second behind Glastonbury.
Tyler Farris of Greenwich posted the fastest qualifying time in the boys 55 meters at 6.58 seconds, then went on to finish first in 6.56. The Cardinals took the top two spots in both the long jump and the high jump. Safir Scott won the long jump with a jump of 21-5.75, with teammate Isaac Floyd not far off in second with a jump of 21-4.25. Scott won the high jump by clearing 6-2, followed by Floyd in a tie for second with Westhill’s Kirk Goodrich at 6-0.
Shelton’s Ethan Shuster (8.05) and Zachary Deptula (8.14) posted the two fastest qualifying times in the boys 55-meter hurdles, then finished first and third, with Shuster winning in 8.04 and Deptula taking third in 8.09.
The Gaels’ Edward Radzion won the shot put competition with a throw of 50-9, followed by Jack Godfrey of Newtown in second (48-7.75) and Zachary Bailey of Amity in third (47-7.50).
Shelton’s Patrick English placed third in the 600 in 1:25.75, and third in the 300 in 36.72.
Trumbull’s Tyler Rubush won the boys 1,000 meters in 2:35.35. Trumbull’s Tyler Gleen won the boys 600 in 1:21.41 — just a fraction of a second off the Class LL record, set in 2009 by Cas Loxsom of Wilbur Cross. The Eagles’ sprint medley relay team of Colin McLevy, Nigel Hayes, Rubush and Gleen took first in 3:38.40, while their 4x400 relay team placed second in 3:33.06.
Warde’s William Brisman won the 3,200 in 9:26.47 and flirted with the Class LL record of 9:25.77, set by Christian Alvarado of Fairfield Prep in 2013.
McMahon’s Ajax Diamandis placed second in the 1,000 in 2:36.26. Westhill’s Joshua Appel placed second in the pole vault (12-6), while Amity’s Joseph Antaya tied forf third (12-0).
For the girls, Norwalk’s Penda M’Bengue was the fastest qualifier in the girls 55 meters (7.54); she went on to tie for first in the final with Char’Nae Epps of West Haven, both finishing in 7.48. M’Bengue also placed second in the 55 hurdles (8.56).
The Ridgefield girls finished second in the 4x800, with the contingent of Gabriella Viggiano, Tess Pisanelli, Katherine Jasminski and Anna Landler crossing the line in 9:34.32. The Tiger quartet of Josephine Simon, Samantha Petruzzelli, Katherine Langis and Rachel Maue placed second in the sprint medley relay in 4:24.62.
Landler won the long jump gold with a jump of 16-10.5. Jasminski placed second in the 600 in 1:38.23. The Tigers’ Brianne McGill took third in the girls shot put with a throw of 35-1.5.
Shelton’s Samantha Stevens won the girls shot put with a throw of 41-7.5. The Gaels’ Elizabeth Herlihy took third in the 55 hurdles (8.93).
Lia Zavattaro of Greenwich cleared 11 feet even to win the girls pole vault. Lauren Russo also cleared 11 feet and placed second.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Zavattaro, who had tied for third at 9-6 at this same meet last year. “Honestly, coming into this, I was a little nervous, as I am for most of the big meets, but the turnout was as I hoped it would be, and I couldn’t be more happy.”
The Cardinals took first and third in the girls 1,000, with Emily Philippides winning in 2:58.80 and Hetty McMillan taking third in 3:07.59. Philippides then finished a close second in the 1,600 in 5:09.91. Olivia DiLascia tied for third in the high jump for Greenwich, clearing 5-0.
The Cards won the sprint medley relay, with the foursome of Katherine Gallagher, DiLascia, Jordan Numme and McMillan finishing in 4:23.38.
Trumbull’s Katelynn Romanchick won the 1,600 in 5:09.71, and Ludlowe’s Sarah Leatherwood won the 3,200 in 11:14.12, followed by Warde’s Gabi Galletta in second (11:26.29) and Romanchick in third (11:27.07).
Class LL championships
at Floyd Little Athletic Center, New Haven
Team scores: 1. Danbury 116, 2. Greenwich 46, 3. Shelton 44, 4. Staples 42, 5. Trumbull 39, 6. Hamden 31, 7. Glastonbury 20, 8. Amity 17, 9. Warde 16, 10. (tie) Ridgefield and Westhill 15, 12. NFA 14, 13. McMahon 13, 14. Cheshire 10, 15. Newtown 9, 16. Fairfield Prep 7, 17. East Hartford 6, 18. Xavier 3, 19. New Britain 2.
Winner and regional finishers among top six
55 dash: 1. Tyler Farris (Greenwich) 6.56; 2. Christopher Cledera (Danbury) 6.64; 3. Aaron Agosto (Danbury) 6.68; 5. Aidan Spearman (Ridgefield) 6.71; 6. Malachius Lorick (Danbury) J6.71; 300: 1. Terrell Cunningham (Danbury) 36.42; 2. Sean-Michael Parkinson (Danbury) 36.64; 3. Patrick English (Shelton) 36.72; 5. Samuel Larkin (Staples) 36.85; 600: 1. Tyler Gleen (Trumbull) 1:21.41; 2. Terrell Cunningham (Danbury) 1:22.38; 3. Patrick English (Shelton) 1:25.75; 5. Akeim Murphy (McMahon) 1:28.56; 1000: 1. Tyler Rubush (Trumbull) 2:35.35; 2. Ajax Diamandis (McMahon) 2:36.26; 5. Chris Nilsson (Fairfield Prep) 2:41.27; 6. Christian Myers (Staples) 2:42.94; 1600: 1. Zakeer Ahmad (Staples) 4:23.50; 2. William Landowne (Staples) 4:23.81; 4. Kyle Beaudette (Amity) 4:30.03; 5. Trevor Reed (Danbury) 4:34.50; 6. Ajax Diamandis (McMahon) 4:37.10; 3200: 1. William Brisman (Warde) 9:26.47; 2. Daniel Nichols (Danbury) 9:28.89; 3. Zakeer Ahmad (Staples) 9:34.81; 6. Drew Thompson (Fairfield Prep) 9:37.92; 55 hurdles: 1. Ethan Shuster (Shelton) 8.04; 2. Chase Nalley (Danbury) 8.06; 3. Zachary Deptula (Shelton) 8.09; 4. Thomas Vilinskis (Ridgefield) 8.16; 6. Brett Deri (Newtown) 8.38; 4x200 relay: 1. Hamden 1:32.43; 2. Danbury (Malachius Lorick, Sean-Michael Parkinson, Aaron Agosto, Edmond Olivacce) 1:32.79; 3. Shelton (Matthew Bean, Patrick English, Matthew Wadeka, Ethan Shuster) 1:34.30; 4. Warde (Joel Urizar, Hank Jean-Jacques, Tobias Hernandez, Qasim Danazumi) 1:35.56; 4x400 relay: 1. Danbury (Sean-Michael Parkinson, Malcolm Going, Daniel Campbell, Terrell Cunningham) 3:28.94 (meet record); 2. Trumbull (Colin McLevy, Tyler Rubush, Nigel Hayes, Tyler Gleen) 3:33.06; 4. Staples (Luka, Autard, Sebastian Wick, Samuel Larkin, Brian MacCordy) 3:35.19; 5. Ridgefield (Mitchell van der Noll, Robert Cohen, Kenneth Day, Kevin Arnold) 3:37.74; 4x800 relay: 1. Glastonbury 8:17.44; 2. Staples (Luke Lorenz, Sebastian Wick, Benjamin Seiple, Brian MacCordy) 8:18.25; 3. Danbury (Christopher Leone, Christian Moraes, Bradley Fox, Pedro Pereira) 8:19.17; 4. Ridgefield (Calvin Keller, Bradford DeMassa, Kevin Arnold, Kenneth Day) 8:20.38; 6. Greenwich (Georgios Karakadas, Bastian Dequeker, Matthew Collins, Thomas Rouffiac) 8:35.10; 1600 sprint medley: 1. Trumbull (Colin McLevy, Nigel Hayes, Tyler Rubush, Tyler Gleen) 3:38.40; 2. Danbury (Aaron Agosto, Edmond Olivacce, Malcolm Going, Daniel Campbell) 3:39.00; 4. Fairfield Prep (Ian Imery, Devonte Shaw, John Gnibus, Drew Thompson) 3:48.86; 5. Warde (Mark Morataya, Joel Urizar, Tobias Hernandez, Qasim Danazumi) 3:50.65; 6. Staples (Wesley Zielke, Sebastian Wick, Luka Autard, Luke Lorenz) 3:51.15; high jump: 1. Safir Scott (Greenwich) 6-2; 2. (tie) Isaac Floyd (Greenwich) and Kirk Goodrich (Westhill) 6-0; 5. Askia Sierra (Amity) J5-10; 6. Tumani Edwards (Danbury) J5-10; pole vault: 1. Nathaniel Llanos (Danbury) 13-0; 2. Joshua Appel (Westhill) 12-6; 3. (tie) Joseph Antaya (Amity) and Brandon Gottwals (Danbury) 12-0; 6. Matthew D’Onofrio (Amity) 11-6; long jump: 1. Safir Scott (Greenwich) 21-5.75; 2. Isaac Floyd (Greenwich) 21-4.25; 3. Tumani Edwards (Danbury) 20-9; 4. Paul Wright (Danbury) 20-6.25; 5. Troy Bardos (McMahon) 20-1.75; 6. Colin McLevy (Trumbull) 19-7.75; shot put: 1. Edward Radzion (Shelton) 50-9; 2. Jack Godfrey (Newtown) 48-7.75; 3. Zachary Bailey (Amity) 47-7.50; 5. Israel Strouse (Staples) 45-9.25; 6. Lucas Furneri (Ridgefield) 43-0.75.
Team scores: 1. Danbury 64, 2. Glastonbury 61, 3. Greenwich 58, 4. Ridgefield 57.5, 5. Hamden 29, 6. Manchester 25, 7. Ludlowe 21, 8. Trumbull 20, 9. Norwalk 17, 10. Shelton 16, 11. (tie) NFA, Newtown and Southington 14, 14. Conard 9.5, 15. West Haven 9, 16. (tie) Stamford and Warde 8, 18. Hall 6, 19. (tie) East Hartford, Enfield and Amity 4, 22. McMahon 2.
Winner and regional finishers among top six
55 dash: 1. (tie) Char’Nae Epps (West Haven) and Penda M’Bengue (Norwalk) 7.48; 3. Bridget Chiaravalle (Danbury) 7.51; 4. Earthaiza Watkins (Stamford) 7.54; 5. Carly Swierbut (Newtown) 7.60; 300: 1. Aisha Gay (Hamden) 41.33; 4. Earthaiza Watkins (Stamford) 42.51; 5. Savanah Bromley (McMahon) 42.62; 600: 1. Leah Sarkisian (Danbury) 1:37.91; 2. Katherine Jasminski (Ridgefield) 1:38.23; 4. Olivia Turk (Danbury) 1:40.53; 5. Anna Landler (Ridgefield) 1:41.20; 6. Zoe Harris (Greenwich) 1:42.12; 1000: 1. Emily Philippides (Greenwich) 2:58.80; 3. Hetty McMillan (Greenwich) 3:07.59; 4. Kasey McGerald (Ridgefield) 3:09.80; 1600: 1. Katelynn Romanchick (Trumbull) 5:09.71; 2. Emily Philippides (Greenwich) 5:09.91; 4. Tess Pisanelli (Ridgefield) 5:17.60; 6. Gabriella Viggiano (Ridgefield) 5:23.70; 3200: 1. Sarah Leatherwood (Ludlowe) 11:14.12; 2. Gabi Galletta (Warde) 11:26.29; 3. Katelynn Romanchick (Trumbull) 11:27.07; 5. Natalie Iwaszkiewicz (Amity) 11:45.46; 6. Lauren Moore (Danbury) 11:45.86; 55 hurdles: 1. Bridget Chiaravalle (Danbury) 8.44; 2. Penda M’Begue (Norwalk) 8.56; 3. Elizabeth Herlihy (Shelton) 8.93; 4x200 relay: 1. Hamden 1:46.58; 2. Danbury (Bridget Chiaravalle, Zyniah Bunn, Natalee Seipio, Jessica Glowacki) 1:47.18; 5. Newtown (Makenna Cerney, Emma Curtis, Grace Pettinelli, Carly Swierbut) 1:51.51; 4x400 relay: 1. Glastonbury 4:02.43 (meet record); 2. Danbury (Olivia Turk, Natalee Seipio, Cassandra Sturdevant, Leah Sarkisian) 4:05.50; 4. Ridgefield (Gabriella Viggiano, Emma Langis, Katherine Jasminski, Alexandra Damron) 4:09.77; 5. Greenwich (Jordan Numme, Megan Murphy, Zoe Harris, Emily Philippides) 4:10.30; 6. Ludlowe (Alyssa Krauss, Cassandra Factora, Keegan Simonsen, Brianna Auray) 4:14.10; 4x800 relay: 1. Glastonbury 9:32.57; 2. Ridgefield (Gabriella Viggiano, Tess Pisanelli, Katherine Jasminski, Anna Landler) 9:34.32; 3. Greenwich (Zoe Harris, Hetty McMillan, Kristen Lodato, Jordan Numme) 9:42.37; 4. Ludlowe (Alyssa Krauss, Keegan Simonsen, Paige Davis, Brianna Auray) 9:47.26; 5. Trumbull (Ashley Storino, Meghan Ahearn, Alessandra Zaffina, Margaret LoSchiavo) 10:17.69; 1600 sprint medley: 1. Greenwich (Katherine Gallagher, Olivia DiLascia, Jordan Numme, Hetty McMillan) 4:23.38; 2. Ridgefield (Josephine Simon, Samantha Petruzzelli, Emma Langis, Rachel Maue) 4:24.62; 3. Ludlowe (Jaekwana Newton, Greta Vanderblue, Brianna Auray, Alyssa Krauss) 4:24.84; 4. Danbury (Rackell Souza, Jayme Cole, Leah Sarkisian, Cassandra Sturdevant) 4:28.77; high jump: 1. Elizabeth Lodge (Manchester) 5-4; 3. (tie) Olivia DiLascia (Greenwich) 5-0; 5. Megan Switzgable (Trumbull) J5-0; 6. (tie) Eliza Overlock (Ridgefield) 4-10; pole vault: 1. Liz Zavattaro (Greenwich) 11-0; 2. Lauren Russo (Newtown) J11-0; 5. Zizhu Chen (Amity) 9-0; long jump: 1. Anna Landler (Ridgefield) 16-10.5; 3. Ruby Mboya (Danbury) 16-3.25; 4. Emily Souza (Danbury) 15-11.5; 5. Erika Regus (Danbury) 15-9.25; shot put: 1. Samantha Stevens (Shelton) 41-7.5; 3. Brianne McGill (Ridgefield) 35-1.5; 5. Marley Marston (Newtown) 34-9.75; 6. Elihle Sangweni (Danbury) 34-0.