Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 3:00pm - Class LL Championship at Willow Brook Park, New Britain
Class LL Boys
Favorites: Manchester, Hamden, Norwich Free Academy
Top Teams: Glastonbury, Wilbur Cross, Brien McMahon, Danbury, Ridgefield, Greenwich
Manchester was last year’s Class LL runner-up and will be looking to move up a spot in the rankings this year. But they will have to face strong challenges from Hamden and Norwich Free Academy.
Individuals to watch:
Hamden rules the sprints in the Class LL meet. Christopher Pigatt leads the state in the 100m dash and his teammate Rodney Davis has the fastest Connecticut time in the 200m. They will team up in the 4x100m for three possible state titles for the Green Dragons.
The distance events in Class LL are incredibly deep with five athletes under 4:20 for the 1600m and ten under 4:25. That will leave some very good athletes out of the scoring, but there is sure to be some scratches. Travis Martin of Wilbur Cross leads the qualifiers but Malcolm Going of Danbury has been doing some great workouts that should allow him to improve on his 4:17 seed time. With them should be State Open cross-country runner up Gavin Sherry of Conard, who is only a freshman and has already run 4:18 for the 1600m.
In the 3200m, you might see something that has never happened before in a boys’ race in Connecticut (or any other state for that matter). Freshman have the top two seeds with Aidan Puffer of Manchester, the American freshman 5000m record holder the top seed and Sherry ranked number two. Freshman boys hardly ever score in the distance events, much less take the top two spots. Eight runners are listed with seeds of 9:40 or better so you know anything could happen. But no matter what, you know this will be a fast and deep race.
The jumps have been ruled by Brien McMahon’s Justin Forde who has the top seed in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. He is ranked in the U.S. top 15 in the high and long jumps, but it is in the triple where Forde especially excels. He was the New Balance Nationals Indoor champion this winter and his 51' 9.75” from the Penn Relays is currently ranked second in the country this season.
He will be challenged in the high jump by fellow 6’10” jumper Chet Ellis of Staples, who earned All-American honors last spring and this winter. Both will be trying to eclipse the state record of 7’0.25” held by Omari Braswell (HPHS), Shamont Hunter (Hillhouse) and Safir Scott (Greenwich).
If Manchester is going to win the Class LL title then they will rely on senior Nathan Quaye who is the top seed in both the shot put and discus throw. His mark of 55’3” in the shot put is the number two throw in the state this year and his 152’0” effort in the discus is ranked #3 going into the class meets.
Class LL Girls
Favorites: Danbury, Greenwich, Glastonbury
Top Teams: Ridgefield, Norwich Free, Newtown, Trumbull, Southington
Two-time defending Class LL champion Danbury will face off against FCIAC runner-up Greenwich and last year’s Class LL runner-up Glastonbury.
Individuals to watch:
Western Connecticut sprinters will be on display on Wednesday as Carly Swierbut of Newtown, defending State Open champion in the 400m, will compete against last year’s middle school state champion in the same event, Alanna Smith of Danbury. Smith is the top seed in the 100m, 200m and 400m with Swierbut seeded right behind her in all three events. It will be a classic matchup of youth vs experience, but whoever wins, it should be a fast time.
State Open indoor 3200m champion Mari Noble of Greenwich has become a force to be reckoned with in the distance events. The sophomore recently ran a 10:40.75 for a 3200m race in a dual meet and won the FCIAC 1600m race. She will have plenty of competition in both races as four other girls have broken 5:10 in the 1600m and 11:10 in the 3200m.
Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe dominated indoor track in the hurdles and is always a factor in the long jump. The sophomore was double New England champion in the 55m hurdles and long jump and has added the triple jump to her repertoire. While Stapleton has learned to take nothing for granted, she comes in as a favorite in the 100m hurdles but will face stiff competition in both jumping events.
Stapleton’s main competition in the long jump will come from FCIAC rival Meilee Kry of Danbury who beat her for the first time for the FCIAC title. But NFA’s Allyson Lewis is the biggest wild card. Lewis is much better known as a high jumper, having won three Class LL and one State Open title in the event over the past few years. But at the ECC championships last week, the senior soared to a state leading jump of 19’1.5”, which is ranked 9th all-time in Connecticut history.
Jacquelyn Simington of Shelton is looking to move up one place in the javelin where she finished second last year. She has the second-best throw in the state with a 133’3” but will face FCIAC champion Hailey Angelucci of Trumbull who has the 4th best throw in the state with her mark of 124’9”.
The CIAC Class LL Performance List is available at the CIAC Outdoor Track and Field website.
The complete list of CIAC Class and Open Championship Meet Records are available on the MySportsResults.com Outdoor Records page sponsored by soundRUNNER Scholastic with stores in Branford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Old Saybrook.
Visit the new site for Connecticut High School State Records for Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field at My Track and Field Records.