After a one-year hiatus, the Danbury Girls team reclaimed the team title at the FCIAC Girls Indoor Track and Field Championship on Thursday night at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven CT scoring in 13 of 15 events. It was a close team competition after the first few events, but the Danbury Girls pulled away from several top teams to finish with 110 points over runner-up Ridgefield (60.50), Fairfield Ludlowe (57) and defending champion Greenwich (54.50).
Photo of Danbury Girls Championship Team courtesy of Danbury Coach Nick Fraticelli
The meet didn’t start well for Danbury as their top rated 4x200m relay team was disqualified for a zone violation in the first event of the meet. Coach Nick Fraticelli commented “Following the 4x200 we had a brief team meeting and noted that sometimes in life we must climb hills and work together to overcome challenges. Meilee (Kry), especially, was quite hard on herself and I simply noted this was an opportunity to gain back points, redeem herself. She did exactly that by getting 4th place in the 600m and having a series of consistent jumps that were technically very sound. She has a big heart, a big smile and is a terrific young lady who shows the ultimate courage when facing adversity. It will serve her well in the future.”
The team meeting re-energized the Danbury Girls as they proceeded to finish fourth in the 4x800m relay behind the winning time of 9:50.25 from the Trumbull team of Kali Holden, Carolyn Cardell, Alessanda Zaffina and Emily Alexandru. Danbury increased their presence on the individual event podium in the 1000m run as they captured a first place by Cassandra Sturdevant (3:05.90) and third place by sophomore Daniella Grullon-Pena. Emily Alexandru of Trumbull returned to win the 600m run in 1:40.63 with a fast last lap surge.
The 55m Hurdles final yielded a 4th by Jaylyn Carter as sophomore Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe defended her title in a PR 8.32. The 55m dash final was a better result as runner-up Shanell Stewart was edged (7.39 to 7.45) by defending champion Maya Mocarski of Fairfield Ludlowe.
Senior Lauren Moore used her experience to win the 1600m run in 5:13.57 using a final half split 2:32 to separate from the field while teammate Stephanie Queiroz placed fifth. Coach Fraticelli provided his insight to the value of a performer of Moore’s caliber, “Lauren is a tremendous example of diligence in her approach to her own training as well as helping our other two young middle distance-distance runners. She has a quiet intensity about her and is very coachable. Furthermore, Lauren always discusses how she feels about her training, emphasizes learning the sport, one’s abilities and having a consistent dialogue with me as her coach. She has helped Daniella and Stephanie advocate for themselves in their training as well as helped craft race strategies and has even guided them inside of their own races. It is wonderful to have a team captain with that much diligence, intelligence and a team first mentality.”
The Danbury 1600m Sprint Medley relay team of Emilly Souza, Shanell Stewart, Jessica Glowacki and Maya Gawley led wire-to-wire to capture their only relay victory in 4:28.62 over runner-up Ridgefield in 4:31.39.
While the 3200m run provided Danbury with 15 points to help solidify their lead it also provided exciting drama as sophomore Daniella Grullon-Pena won her duel with runner-up senior Tess Pisanelli of Ridgefield by a scant 11:32.31 to 11:32.61 margin. Danbury frosh Stephanie Queiroz placed 4th followed by teammate Sarah Johnson in sixth.
The field event performances featured another exciting duel between two of the state’s top jumpers as Meilee Kry of Danbury and Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe. Kry had the best effort in the preliminary round with a 17’6.75’ mark as Stapleton managed only a single fair jump of 17’1.5”. The drama continued to the final round as Kry unleashed her soon to be winning mark of 17’9.25 in her second attempt but had to wait as Stapleton fell a 1/4-inch short with her 17’9” final attempt.
Coach Fraticelli provided this observation of Kry’s personal record performance stating, “I think when Meilee had a great preliminary jump (I could hear the pop on the board loud and clear) it made a tremendous difference. Also, one of our freshman jumpers Giuliana Robles turned out a 17'2" jump and Emilly Souza jumped 16'4.75" in the preliminaries. All those things fed off of each other and I think at that point Meilee's attitude was to enjoy the moment she and her team mates were creating for themselves and it was wonderful to see them execute the technical aspects of the long jump we have worked on for the past several weeks.”
Danbury also received another first-place field event effort in the Shot Put as Celia-Ann Chikezie won with a toss of 31’6” while Alexis Chikezie placed 5th. Maria DeSouza contributed fifth place points in the Pole Vault won by Laurel Blackman of Fairfield Ludlowe (9’6”) and the High Jump won by Nia Christie of St. Joseph (5’2”).
In the final track event of the evening, the Ridgefield Girls 4x400m relay team of Natasha Riek, Katherine Langis, Carolyn Donovan and Grace Michalowski overcame runner-up Greenwich on the final lap to win in 4:11.91 to 4:12.32. Those 10-points propelled Ridgefield to the runner-up spot in the team standings over Fairfield Ludlowe and Greenwich.
When asked about how his team prepared to return to the top of the FCIAC championship meet, Coach Fraticelli commented, “I think we worked hard on trying to space out our athletes into positions where they can be successful and help the team do well. These girls are willing to see the bigger picture and work for each other. I feel that is a unique feature of Danbury. In a sport that is sometimes seen as individually based these girls can see the big picture and the goal of having a balanced approach and a full team that is diverse leads to a greater chance of success especially when things become challenging.”
As to their upcoming championship meets, he added, “Every single day is an opportunity for our team to become a more cohesive unit. I believe the girls realized they could overcome some early adversity and bind together for a strong run to a championship (well, a strong run, jump and throw to a championship). I believe the way they did it was impressive, and they know that they hold the keys to their own success as a team. We will scout out the great teams in class LL in the next few days and work hard to find a path forward. The girls understand that there are other tremendous teams as well as individuals in class LL and a very balanced as well as tremendously well coached team in Glastonbury that awaits us next Saturday. I think the girls did a great Job of coming together this year and welcoming the next generation of tradition to our team. We many new contributors and there were several great performances including Celia Chikezie winning the shot. We look forward to the next challenge, the next hill to climb.”
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.
The complete meet results are available for the FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships on the Results page sponsored by soundRUNNER Scholastic with stores in Branford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Old Saybrook. The meet was held at Floyd Little Athletic Center New Haven CT on Thursday January 31, 2019.
NOTE: MySportsResults.com publishes the results received/posted from meet directors and timing companies. If you don't see your results or if you think that the results are incorrect then ask your local coach to contact the meet director to send us the corrected meet results. Do not send an email to MySportsResults asking to correct the posted results.