Since 1989 when Girls track and field programs were included as a CIAC sport with competition in the Indoor State Open Championship, only Danbury High’s 2002 teams have taken home both the boys and girls team titles.
That drought might be broken this year as both Bloomfield teams head into the CIAC State Open Indoor Championship on Saturday with a great chance to win based on both season-best times and seed marks from the Class meets that served as qualifiers.
The Bloomfield Boys will have their hands full against Class M Champion Hillhouse, Class LL Champion Hall as well as Danbury, who has won the last three Open titles. Meanwhile, the Lady Warhawks will face a stiff challenge from Class LL winner Danbury, Class LL runner-up Glastonbury and Class M Champion Hillhouse.
Boys State Open Preview
The Bloomfield Boys are a well-rounded team that are seeded in the top six places in nine of the fifteen events. They are led by Kymali Hay who was last year’s 300m dash State Open champion and a University High transfer. He is the number-two seed in the 55m dash, number seven in the 300m and is part of their 4x400m relay team that is seeded second.
Another Bloomfield top seed is Sean Dixon-Bode, who is part of their 4x200m relay squad that should score highly and ranked second in the Long Jump. Bloomfield could score huge points in the Long Jump as they have four other qualifiers seeded in the top nine. Supporting Dixon-Bode up in the long jump is fellow junior Anthony Simpson, who is seeded third, plus Ajrael Anderson, Korey Steele and Jahmar Lindo, who are ranked 5th, 6th, and 9th.
Photo of Sean Dixon-Bode in Long Jump by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
If that isn’t enough, Bloomfield can boast about their second seeded 4x400m team, Chaddane Williams seeded 3rd in the Shot Put along with Aaron Williams who is also ranked third plus several others ranked in the top 10 and could possibly score.
The Hillhouse Boys team will be counting on defending State Open 55m Hurdle champion Deshaune Poole who also had the fastest time this season in the 300m dash. Poole will also anchor the top seeded 4x400m relay. Neal Eley has potential to bring big points to the table as the top seed in the Long Jump and as the third seed in the 55m dash.
The Hall High School Boys team just won their third straight class meet and should be strong in the relays and distance events. The Warriors have a huge upside in the Open because they have several athletes who either be moved into relays or will go into their events on fresh legs. This could allow them to move up from their seed marks from the qualifier meet.
Hall’s Trey Cormier suffered a slight foot injury in the middle of the season which hasn’t allowed him to be in full racing form. But similar to cross country, when he also suffered an early season injury, he raced his way into shape and got better each week until he eventually won the New England Cross-country Championship. He will have a strong challenge from several runners, but as the number two seed in the 1600m and 3200m runs he could provide Hall with important points.
Cormier’s partner in the “trials of miles, miles of trials” is Miller Anderson, who is the defending State Open champion and top seed in the 1000m Run. He ran at a smart pace in the middle of the race last week for the win and to save himself for the Sprint Medley Relay where he ran the 800m leg as well as anchoring their winning 4x400m team. The Open will be tougher but if he can score 16-20 points he will help his team’s chances a great deal to win their first-ever State Open title.
Photo of Miller Anderson and Malcom Going dueling in SMR by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
You can never count out the Danbury Boys team who was won the last three Open titles, but they will need a measure of good luck to defend their title this year. While points are never guaranteed in the Open, Danbury’s Malcolm Going is as close to a sure thing as you can get. He in the defending State Open and New England champion in the 600m run. His season best time from the Yale Invitational of 1:20.77 is only a half second off the late Daundre Barnaby of Weaver’s Open record of 1:20.29. Going can run away from the field or wait until the last lap to unleash his lethal kick. He also anchored their winning 1600m Sprint Medley Relay in Class LL and ran the last leg of the 4x400m relay that should also score significant points at the Open.
At the beginning of the season, Danbury’s Jacob Hefele wasn’t on anyone’s list of potential State Open champions. But after a very smart race in the 3200m run at the Class LL where he waited to make a long drive for the finish with 800m to go, he now arrives at the Open as the top seed and also has the fastest 3200m time in the state this season.
More Top Performers to Watch
Like Hefele, Travis Martin of Wilbur Cross has really come into his own this winter. He is the top seed in the 1600m run and is one of six or seven athletes who have a shot at winning the 3200m run. He has used a deadly kick at both the SCC and Class LL meets and currently is the only runner from Connecticut to break 4:20 this winter.
Edward Williams of Sacred Heart-Waterbury finished a disappointing second in the 55m Hurdles last year at the State Open after leading the state all winter. Once again he has run the state leading time at the Yale Invitational but this year and will be looking to win his first Open title.
Photo of Edward Williams by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
The Suffield Boys team had a great cross-country season finishing fifth at the Open and sixth at New England championship meet as a team. They have continued their success with the top-seeded team in the 4x800m relay with a time of 8:05.73, which is less than two seconds off the meet record. One team that could upset them is Xavier, who has the state’s fastest time from the recent Milrose Games where they ran 8:00.34. Xavier, defending Open champions in the event did not run their strongest team at the Class L meet and will unfortunately be in the slow heat. But there is potential for them to win again if they put their “A team” in the race on Saturday.
An event that is frequently over looked is the Shot Put. Michael Browning of RHAM has thrown 59’6” this season, which is the farthest throw in Connecticut since Andre Reid threw the Indoor State Open record (63’3”) 18 years ago. That record is now the oldest one in the books of any event currently part of the CIAC championship program.
Girls State Open Preview
The Bloomfield Girls team is no stranger to the winner’s circle having won ten straight Class S indoor titles and 11 straight Class S outdoor titles. While the War Hawks have already won four Open titles in outdoor track this decade, their lone indoor title was in 2017. If seed marks hold true to form, they have a chance at adding another State Open trophy to their collection.
Bloomfield has some highly placed seeded performers and the “It” factor championship teams need. For those in attendance at last week’s Class S championships, there was energy on the track that came from the athletes on the track and the fans cheering outside of it that propelled them to another title. They are being led by last year’s State Open outdoor champion in the 100m and 200m, Terry Miller, who transferred from Bulkeley and currently has the state leading times in the 55m and 300m dashes. And then they also have Jillian Mars, who has the state leading time in the 600m run and is number two in the state behind her teammate in the 300m. Miller and Mars also are part the 4x400m relay team which has the fastest time in the state this season of 4:01.
If that isn’t enough, at the Class S meet, shot putter Alliyah Boothe unleashed a bomb of a toss to achieve 4-foot personal record of 43’11”, which is another state leading performance.
Photo of Bloomfield trackside fans by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
The Hillhouse Girls team always seem to win a State Open Championship every three to four years and six years have gone by since winning their last Open title. They may be due. Jada Boyd is one of only two girls to go under 1:37 in the 600m run this season. She will face a challenge from Bloomfield’s Jillian Mars as the two contend for the Open title. This event may have implications in the team title since whoever wins will give their team a four-point swing. The 1600m Sprint Medley Relay will be another big event. Hillhouse has the top seed and will probably have a big lead going into the 800m leg where they will have to hold off Ellington like they did in the Class M meet. Hillhouse will be expecting points from Ayesha Nelson in the 55m hurdles and the 4x400m relay as both are second seeds. The Long Jump and Shot Put are two more events where Nyimah Ambrose and Leah Moore might exceed their seeds. Both under performed in their events in the class meets but still qualified with low seeds. Ambrose jumped 18’00.75” at the SCC championship and Moore has consistently gone over 39-feet in the shot put. If they can make some corrections then they could put the Academics over the top in the chase for the team title.
But as the meet is progressing don’t count out Glastonbury as they will be coming at their rivals with everything they’ve got. The strength of the Tomahawks this year is their relays. They won the 4x200m and 4x400m and took third places in the Sprint Medley and 4x800m. They also have the second seed in long jump, Selina Soule who barely lost to Ludlowe’s Tess Stapleton by a quarter of an inch. Sophomore Sam Forrest is part of their 4x200m and 4x400m relays as well as one of the top 300m runners in the state. A real potential for points might be in the Pole Vault where Mallory Malz has the fourth best height in Connecticut this year at 10’7”, but only managed 10’0” at the Class LL meet. One advantage Glastonbury has is the number of people that can either be put into relays from individual events that might not score or will go into their relays fresher since they won’t have to compete in two or three events.
Photo of Glastonbury Girls relay by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
Danbury Girls will be led by defending State Open 1600m run champion Lauren Moore who qualified as the top seed. They also have big points expected in the 3200m run with Moore, Daniella Grullon-Pena and Stephanie Queiroz as all are seeded in the top six places. Swing points can also come in the long jump as FCIAC champion Meilee Kry and freshman Giuliana Robles both jumped over 17-feet at the Class LL meet. The Hatters could get some unexpected points in the relays if they either move new people into the lineup or they receive some measure of luck. Since anything can happen at the Open, they can’t be entirely discounted in the hunt for the team title.
Photo of Danbury Girls distance trio by Marty Ogden, (c) MySportsResults.com
More Top Performers to Keep in Sight
Mari Noble of Greenwich was sick leading up to the Class LL meet and still managed to pull out a win running 11:06.55. But it will be interesting to see how the sophomore performs against good competition when she is fully healthy.
Another sophomore, Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlow is a triple threat to qualify for the New England Championship with a top six finish in three events. She is the favorite in the 55m Hurdles and one of the top seeds in the Long Jump. Her versatility also extends to the High Jump where she is ranked fourth.
Speaking of the high jump, Patricia Mroczkowski of Berlin and Allyson Lewis of Norwich Free Academy will continue their rivalry in the high jump. Both are nationally ranked high jumpers and have gone back and forth with each other in competition. When these two athletes step on the runway there is always a chance for a new record height.
There are five girls who have soared over 18-feet in the Long Jump this season and there is no single overwhelming favorite. But one to watch is Chelsea Mitchell of Canton, who has consistently been over 17-feet this season and has the state leading jump of 18’8” from the NCCC Last Chance Qualifier.
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.
View the latest Performance List of starting athletes at the CIAC Indoor Track & Field home page under the link for State Open Details.
View the current State Open Boys and Girls Meet Records available on the MySportsResults.com Indoor Records page or CT-Records-Indoor-Boys-Open and CT-Records-Indoor-Girls-Open sponsored by soundRUNNER Scholastic with stores in Branford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Old Saybrook.
Northeast Sports Timing Service is providing finish line and results services for the 2019 CIAC State Open Indoor Track and Field Championship meet.
CIAC State Open Meet Information
Venue: Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven
Start Time: 12:00pm
Order of Events for the (Boys then Girls unless noted otherwise):
· 4x200m Relay
· 4x800m Relay
· 55m Hurdles - Trials
· 55m Dash - Trials
· 1000m Run
· 600m Run
· 55m Hurdles - Finals - (Girls then Boys)
· 55m Dash - Finals - (Girls then Boys)
· 1600m Run
· 1600m Sprint Medley Relay (1-1-2-4 laps) - 3turn stagger
· 300m Dash
· 3200m Run
· 4x400m Relay
Pole vault, shot put, long jump and high jump start concurrently with running events. The order is as follows:
· High Jump (Girls then boys) Five alive protocol
· Long Jump (Boys then girls)
· Shot Put (Boys then girls)
· Pole Vault (Girls then boys) Five alive protocol
Scoring – 10-8-6-4-2-1 in all events, including the relay. In case of a tie, points will be awarded according to the National Federation High School Rules.
CIAC Ticket Prices – Subject to change depending on venue
· Free – Children – five (5) and under Free – Military in uniform or with I.D.
· $5.00 – Students (grades 1-12) and Senior Citizens (age 65 and older)
· $10.00 – Adults (all others not in the above categories)
Note: Competitors and coaches must enter on the Crescent Street side of the field house. All others must go through the spectator entrance (white doors). TEAMS CAN ENTER THE FIELD HOUSE NO EARLIER THAN ONE (1) HOUR BEFORE THE START TIME OF THE MEET.
No electronic devices, including cell phones, are permitted in restricted areas by competitors during the meet. Restricted areas are pole vault, high jump and long jump coaching boxes, all field event areas, the track and timing area.
Spikes: 3/16” or 1/8” Pyramid spikes are allowed on the track surface. NO NEEDLE SPIKES! This rule will be strictly enforced due to the resurfaced track.
ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE AT THE STATE OPEN – Is determined by the order of finish at the Class Championship Meets as follows: The top finisher in each event Plus – THE NEXT BEST 14 PERFORMANCES IN ALL EVENTS. (In the High Jump and Pole Vault misses will be used to determine places at a tied height.)