Compared to last year, the beginning of the outdoor track and field season has been a God send. Remember, we still live in New England and we won’t have the advantage of 70-80-degree days until May, but athletes throughout Connecticut took advantage of relatively decent weather and delivered some outstanding performances in the first week of the 2019 outdoor track and field season.
After a very strong indoor track season, Connecticut throwers have continued to put up big performances. At the Bloomfield Invitational meet last Saturday, Joseph Lanham of Coventry set a personal record in the 12lb hammer throw with a 189'3" which gives him the national lead in the event. Aaron Williams of Bloomfield also had a huge day qualifying for the Emerging Elite section at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the hammer throw with his 162’3”, good for a third ranking nationally. He also set an outdoor PR in the shot put with a 52’11” and a 9-foott discus throw PR with his 150’2” effort to start his season off on a very strong note.
RHAM’s Michael Browning continues to impress like he has for the past year. Last year’s State Open runner up in the discus throw had a 7-foot personal record of 160-feet 7-inches to take the win at the Bloomfield Invitational and qualify for the Emerging Elite section NBNO. He also qualified for nationals in the hammer throw with his 156’0” throw, which is currently ranked fifth nationally.
Last year, Joseph Venables of Coginchaug was fifth in the Emerging Elite section of NBNO and won the Junior Olympic Region I meet in the javelin throw. He has started off his senior season by winning the event at the Bellringer Invitational at East Hampton High School with a national qualifying throw of 172'3".
The boys weren’t the only ones to put up big marks last week. Connecticut girls showed they can heave the ancient weapons of war great distances as well. Otisha Williams of Bloomfield has made her way into the upper echelon of the state performances with a national qualifying throw of 126'0” in the hammer throw for a 1-foot 9-inch win over sophomore Leah Moore of Hillhouse which ranks them 8th and 9th in the country.
Williams also came away with the win in the discus throw with a mark of 117’5” with Moore exactly 10-feet behind. The sophomore from Hillhouse was able to exact her revenge taking the shot put with a toss of 39’10” while Williams still managed an outdoor best of 35’9”.
On the track, Kymali Hay of Bloomfield, last year’s State Open champion in the Indoor 300m dash and the Outdoor 400m dash, had a rough indoor season and only finished fourth in the 300m. The transfer from University High School showed he is back to his old form after winning the 400m dash at Bloomfield in a state-leading time of 49.43 along with a win in the 200m dash in 22.96.
Hillhouse’s Deshaune Poole of Hillhouse won the State Open in the 110HH and had the fastest time in Connecticut in the 300IH last spring before falling over one of the last hurdles at the Open meet and being denied the sweep of the hurdle titles. Well, he is back for his senior year with a vengeance and has the top times in the state for both hurdle races winning at the Bloomfield Invitational in times of 14.78 and 40.04. While these aren’t quite up to his best times from last year, Poole’s times on Saturday were significantly faster than he ran last year at the Bloomfield Invitational.
Jillian Mars came within three quarters of a second of her personal record she set when she won 400m dash New England Championship last spring. The Bloomfield senior, who has committed to Georgetown, ran a 56.98 at her home invitational to miss qualifying for nationals by only .23 seconds.
The top distance runners laid low this weekend but Footlocker finalist Matthew Farrell of The Loomis Chaffee competed in the highly prestigious Arcadia Invitational in California and ran 9:12.00 to earn the 32nd fastest time of all the heats. As an indicator of how much American high school distance running has improved, Farrell’s time would have been ranked 29th nationally at the end of the season in 1994. Flash forward 25 years and his time place him placed 32nd at Arcadia with more than two months until nationals.
Footlocker National cross-country champion Sydney Masciarelli of Marianapolis Prep started off her season at a home dual meet and showed that she hasn’t lost a step after a season of basketball. She had an easy win with a NBNO qualifying performances of 2:13.21 in the 800m and 4:36.30 in the 1500m.
With most schools on spring break this week and next week it will be relatively quiet in Connecticut. Aside from the normal schedule of dual, tri and quad meets during the week, upcoming invitational meets include the Connecticut Distance Festival at Xavier High School on April 18th and the Lawman Froshmore Invitational at Jonathan Law HS on April 20th. Some of the top distance runners in the Northeast will be scheduled to compete in the 1-mile and the 5000m at the Xavier-hosted event. Look for coverage from MSR as the fields for the meets are announced.
The complete meet results are available for many meets on the Results page sponsored by soundRUNNER Scholastic with stores in Branford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Old Saybrook.
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.
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.