Bloomfield Girls Sprint to Another CIAC State Open Girls Indoor TF Championship
by Special Correspondent John Altavilla
Over the years coaching her renown girls’ program, Bloomfield coach Anne Burrows has learned how to balance her trepidation with anticipation.
Even though they came into Saturday’s CIAC Indoor State Open as CIAC Class S champion, Burrows had enough respect for her competition to know she could take nothing for granted. She knew her team had trained hard. She knew it was prepared. And then she waited like everyone else at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven and hoped for the best.
And when it came to the best during this indoor track season, there weren’t any sprinters in the state more fearsome than Terry Miller and Jillian Mars. And mainly through their efforts, Bloomfield captured the state championship in a runaway, defeating second-place Glastonbury by 15 points, 54-39. Defending state champion and Class LL champ Danbury was third (34) and Class M titlist Hillhouse was fourth (32).
“I have some very talented athletes. I knew we were coming into the season with a good crop and I realized if my top athletes performed, we would have a shot at this. I am very proud of them,” said Burrows. “They worked very hard. The kids have been PRing all over the place. I had to switch my relay teams all around, but they did what they had to do.”
Miller set a meet record in the 55m dash with a 6.95 clocking, breaking the mark set by Bloomfield’s Cassidy Palmer (6.99) in 2017.
“I was trying to run under 6.9,” said Miller. “But I still ran very well.”
Mars took the 600m run in 1:36.46 as Jada Boyd of Hillhouse placed second in 1:37.60.
“It was important for me to leave a mark in my last race here at Hillhouse and really show what I am capable of doing,” said Mars. “It was a fight, but I was able to pull through. I just feel amazing right now.”
And then in the what likely was the most significant race of the day, Miller (40:13) and Mars (41:08) took first and second in the 300m dash, earning an enormous 18 points that separated them from the field.
“It was huge. It was the turning point of the meet for us,” said Burrows. “Terry and Jillian are great competitors. They love to run the 300 against each other. And Shante Brown was seventh in the race. And to come back a half-hour later and run the 4x400 (second place) was amazing. There was only one fresh leg on the relay. This is what Bloomfield does. They continue to exceed my expectations.”
Hall Boys Combine for First CIAC State Open Boys Indoor TF Championship Title
On the boys’ side, Miller Anderson defended his State Open title in the 1000m run (2:33.22) and ran the anchor leg in the winning 1600m Sprint Medley (3:34.06) to lead Hall to the title with 43 points. Hall wrapped-up the title with a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay (3:27.74) behind Hillhouse (3:27.47) as Miller anchored again. The Hillhouse Boys finished as the second-place team with 38 points while Bloomfield placed third with 36.50 points.
‘I don’t know. For reason I’ve been struggling mentally this week. To be able win (the 1000m) means so much. I was out of it for a good amount of the race. The last 300 meters, I just kicked into gear, which is something I always seem to do,” said Anderson, who will run for Villanova next season. “I was sick a week and a half before the class (LL) meet. My training wasn’t great. I was out of school one day. I had trouble sleeping at night.
“Now, hopefully, I can get back into my rhythm. We had a shot of winning the title today, so knowing if I didn’t give it everything I had, it would hurt us. One of my coaches texted me yesterday and my takeaway was I needed to do what the team needed and not about how I feel. And that made a big difference.”
The new meet record time of 3:34.06 by Hall in the 1600m SMR by Joseph Morin, Isaiah Lizardi, Yovan Rivera and Anderson crushed the mark of 3:37.34 set by Danbury in 2009.
Grace Hanratty of Old Saybrook, the Class S 1000m champion, ran smartly to take the 1000m run in 2:58.14.
“I’m coming off a stress fracture last year didn’t run in states. And I passed out at Wickham Park this fall during the cross country this season. That was very upsetting, I’d say. Kind of dramatic. I just blacked out because I didn’t have the necessary training behind me.
“I wasn’t able to run all summer, so to be able to win today was so big for me. This shows that I’m strong again. My coach was definitely telling me that I was the target. I don’t like that as much as being the underdog. But I ran a great time and I had to accept this for what it was. It was nice being in the first lane, I could cut out quick. But I did feel some pressure.”
Danbury’s Lauren Moore defended her state title in the 1600m run (5:07.1) and Ludlowe’s multi-dimensional Tess Stapleton defended her crown in the 55m hurdles (8:26). Greenwich sophomore Mari Noble led wire to wire to win the 3200m run in 11:00.83.
In the relays, Glastonbury swept the 4x200m (1:45.38) and 4x400m (3:58.85) in a another exceptional performance by one of the top teams in the state.
Glastonbury has a tradition, started at the Yale Invitational, of kissing the baton. And that must have helped Samantha Forest run a spectacular last leg in the 4x200m.
“I wanted to be here so badly. All my teammates were working so hard. I just figured, I have to do it for the team,” said Forest. “We have very good team chemistry. We are good friends, we work with each other and push each other to be better. We always try to win, but we’re also interested in supporting each other and being a good team. It extends beyond just running. We pray before we run.”
Immaculate took the 4x800m relay in 9:34.28 in a close duel with runner-up Ridgefield in 9:34.05. East Lyme girls took home the 1600m Sprint Medley Relay (4:17.61) title from the second of three heats with Berlin in second (4:17.90), also from the same heat.
Rounding out the boys track events, Suffield’s dominating 4x800m relay team (Cam Miller, Jared Sharp, Kyle Englander and Nick Sinofsky), which broke the Class M record in the event last week, destroyed the previous meet record by breaking eight minutes (7:59.84). That was four seconds better than Trumbull’s previous meet record (8:03.89) set in 2016.
“We came into the race understanding Xavier was going to be very tough,” said Sinofsky, who ran the last leg. “It was very motivating. I knew I had to get it for the team. It’s all about everyone doing their part. It’s amazing to be able to set a state open record. It feels good and I knew I had to back up what I said last week (about running a great time in the Open). I figured we’d be running against the clock. I still can’t believe we did it. It’s incredible.”
Hamden’s Christopher Pigatt won the 55m dash (6:51) in a photo finish over Korey Morton of Brien McMahon. Hillhouse’s Deshaune Poole took the 300m dash (35:11) edging Ja’kwan Hale of Derby (35.19).
Danbury’s Malcolm Going led all contenders in another strong 600m run (1:21.40) to defend his state championship.
“I was planning to try and go out strong. I guess knowing you are the favorite gives you a lot of confidence, but at the same time you know everyone is gunning for you,” said Going.” I felt strong, but this wasn’t a PR and I felt I could go a little faster.”
Senior Travis Martin of Wilbur Cross won the 1600m run in his PR 4:18.55 as Trey Cormier of Hall (4:21.34) held off Samuel Whittaker of East Lyme (4:21.63) for second place.
Xavier’s Robbie Cozean took the 3200m run 9:18.11 taking the win in the final steps over runner-up Connor Visnic of Amity in 9:18.17,
Edward Williams of Sacred Heart finished in a strong 7.43 to win his first 55m Hurdles title.
In the other relays, Bloomfield won the 4x200m (1:33.15) closely followed by Greenwich (1:33.21) and Hall finishing third (1:33.73).
Field Competitors Offer Priceless State Open Performances
By Senior Editor Ron Knapp
The small price of admission to the State Open meet on Saturday was a great bargain with the extremely talented group of athletes performing this year in the field events. The top ranked athletes in the state this season put on a showcase of competitive and talented performances in every event.
Boys Shot Put
Defending champion Michael Browning of RHAM saved the best for last as he unleashed a toss of 59’4.5” on his final attempt for the victory and best mark this season. For Browning, it was a 6-foot improvement over his winning mark at the meet last year. He continued his duel for the gold from the Class L meet with Natanael Barbosa Torres of Windham who placed second with his PR heave of 56’10.25 over a tightly packed group where the next three competitors also gained personal records.
Girls Shot Put
Susie Okoli of Wilbur Cross gained the top of the podium after her runner-up finish last year as she fended off challenger Natalie Rolon-Issa of Bacon Academy. Okoli’s final heave of 41’0” was a personal record and good enough to surpass Rolon-Issa’s early mark of 40’6”.
Boys Long Jump
Sean Dixon-Bode of Bloomfield had a busy day competing on the track (4x200m relay) and at the long jump pit but he made the most of it with his winning leap of 22’1.5” on his final attempt to edge the leap of 21’11.50” by Jahiem Spruill of Norwich Free Academy on his final attempt.
Girls Long Jump
At the meet last year, the best effort by Canton’s Chelsea Mitchell was 15’11”. Fast forward to the meet yesterday and her winning leap of 18’5.5” is beyond description. Again, the winning mark came on the junior’s final attempt as she surpassed a talented group of jumpers that included sophomore Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe with her PR leap of 18’1.75”.
Boys High Jump
Once Chet Ellis of Staples cleared successive heights (6’2”, 6’4”) without any misses all defending champion Ja’kwan Hale of Derby could hope for was a miss at the next height. Ellis didn’t miss at 6’6” while Hale failed to clear. Ellis went on to clear 6’9.25” for the winning mark with Hale second at 6’4”.
Girls High Jump
In the Girl’s duel of makes and misses, senior Patricia Mroczkowski of Berlin did what she has done for most of the season, not miss. The competition for the title really started at 5’2” with runner-up Sydney Garrison of Southington and defending champion Allyson Lewis of NFA. All three cleared 5’2” and 5’4” on their first attempts while Savannah Bromley of Brien McMahon and Tolland’s Tianna St. Louis cleared after some miscues. Mroczkowski continued her no miss streak at 5’6” as everyone else failed to clear and took home the gold medal.
Boys Pole Vault
Coginchaug’s Hayden Rovelli guessed it was going to be a long afternoon since there were three other competitors who had been at or over the 14-foot mark this season. Rovelli guessed again by starting at 13’6”, which he cleared on his first attempt and then used his remaining energy to be the only one to clear 14’0” and capture the Open title. Weston’s Matthew Bigelow cleared 13’6’ for second while Foran’s Nicholas Costantini, NFA’s Jacob Bazinet, Stonington’s Joseph Hinckley and Aidan O'Connor of Lewis Mills all tied for third at 13’0”.
Girls Pole Vault
Paige Martin of Norwich Free Academy entered the meet with a PR 11’8” mark and left the meet with a meet, school and personal record of 12’0.5” as well as the gold medal. The junior bested runner-up Elise Russell of Weston (11’0”) and third place Mallory Malz of Glastonbury (10’6”) for the coveted State Open title. NFA gained 14 points total as sister Madison placed fourth.
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.
The complete meet results are available for the CIAC State Open Indoor Track and Field Championship 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 in New Haven CT on Saturday, February 16, 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.