Dominance and parity were the tale of two meets at the FCIAC Boys and Girls Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Southern Connecticut in New Haven Tuesday night. The Danbury girls more than doubled second place Greenwich’s score, amassing 180.50 to Greenwich’s 76.50 while Ridgefield boys barely eked out the win over the Cardinals who took home two runner-up trophies.
The Hatters won seven of 18 events and were led by freshman Alanna Smith who swept the 100m (12.17), 200m (25.02) and 400m (56.36) to become queen of the FCIAC sprints. Smith, whose father Lee, was one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest relief pitcher, has been building up her own athletic resume. She was the Connecticut middle school state champion in the 100m and 400m last year and currently holds the fastest time in the state in the 400m this season.
Allana Smith finished first in 3 races on Tuesday
Smith wasn’t the only star for Danbury. Meliee Kry won the long jump and triple jumps. Her triple jump was 36-07 but the long jump was especially gratifying for the junior because she broke 18 feet for the first time outdoors. She soared to 18’9.5 and in the process defeated her rival Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe, the New England indoor LJ champion for the first time.
The biggest surprise for the Hatter came in the shot put when sophomore Tianna Rogers surprised everyone, including herself as she improved on 32-9” personal record on her first throw with a toss of 35’5.5”. She then threw 38’8” and eventually reached 39’1” to win the gold medal. A basketball player in the winter, this is Rogers’ first season of track and she managed all these throws without learning the glide yet.
Danbury has won their fourth consecutive FCIAC title under coach Nick Fraticelli. He felt the seeds for the team’s incredible performances were planted at a team meeting two weeks ago. “We discussed the next three to four weeks are going to define this season and every girl had to take on their own personal responsibility. They were able to live and breathe that the last couple of weeks and it showed today.”
One the boys’ side, several teams where in the mix for the team title and for the first time in 19 years, neither Danbury or Staples came away with the team title. That honor was left to Ridgefield who won their first FCIAC championship since 1977 by a score of 94 to Greenwich’s 88, Staples with 82 and Danbury earning 78 points.
Ridgefield coach, Bryan Kovalsky who graduate from the school in 1997, has seen many battles with Danbury first as a competitor and lately as a coach. Even though he was the conference’s dominate distance runner his senior year, he couldn’t lead his team to a championship. And as a coach, Ridgefield had three close runner-up finishes in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
A man of few words, Kovalsky reflected on the team’s accomplishment and said, “it’s been a long time coming.”
One of only two victories for the Tigers came from Evan Wein in the 110HH who was seeded 4th and broke 16-seconds for the first time finishing in 15.94. The other was from fellow senior Liam Byrne who was seeded 2nd in the discus but set another personal record with his 138’7” on his third throw.
What Ridgefield lacked in star power, they more than made up for in depth. Sophomore Amit Markos, who took 3rd in the 300IH and was a member of the runner up 4x400m relay team felt the reason for the team’s victory was that “just everywhere, everyone pulled their weight.”
Ridgefield Boys celebrate team victory on Tuesday
Ridgefield scored in 13 of 18 events and took 2nd place medals in the 4x400m and 4x800m relays along with juniors Simon Jupp in the 400m (50.20) and Charles Coffin in the 800m (1:59.22).
National indoor triple jump champion Justin Forde of Brien McMahon won the triple jump in 50-feet 10.5-inches and broke his own All-Time FCIAC record in the long jump with his mark of 24’6.25”. The University of Miami committed athlete also took second in the high jump with a leap of 6’8” behind All-American high jumper Chet Ellis of Staples who cleared 6’10”.
View the latest photo galleries of several events at the meet taken by Marty Ogden. Click to view the MSR SmugMug gallery at FCIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship. While there is no need to become a SmugMug member to view and download any photos, you must abide by the MySportsResults.com copyright notices explained on the Copyright Notice page.
The complete meet results are available for the FCIAC Boys and Girls Outdoor 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 the Jess Dow Field at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven CT on Tuesday May 21, 2019.
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