Danbury’s girls track and field team has witnessed a resurgence the past few years winning three consecutive CIAC Class LL titles and taking second in the State Open last spring. Based on seeds, the Hatters arrive at the 50th CIAC State Open Girls Outdoor Track and Field Championship as heavy favorites to win their first Open title at Willowbrook Park in New Britain today. Danbury will face challenges from SWC champion Weston, FCIAC runner up Greenwich, Class S champions Bloomfield and ECC champion Norwich Free Academy.
Danbury has 20 qualifiers for the Open, the most of any team in the field. That should give them some room for error in case something doesn’t go in their favor. Of those twenty entrants, they only have the top seeds in three events. Freshman Alanna Smith’s 55.56 from the Class LL meet is the fastest time in the 400m by over a second and she is also expected to score highly in the 100m and 200m races. Junior Meilee Kry also took over the state lead with her mark of 38’1” in the triple jump and is expected to score in the long jump as well. Their 4x400m is also seeded first finishing in 3:59.40 to qualify for the Open.
Alanna Smith of Danbury (c) MySportsResults.com
Weston has a well-balanced team and is led by javelin throwers Kate Joyce and Shea Greene, the top two seeds. With the addition of number two seed Elise Russell in the pole vault and Julia Rosenberg, a surprise third seed in the 800m setting the Trojan’s school record with her 2:15.03 and you have some big points up front. Weston’s depth will be on display where they are projected to score in all three relays.
Defending State Open champions Bloomfield should get the bulk of their points in the sprints from Terry Miller, Jillian Mars and their 4x400m relay. Miller won the State Open 100m and 200m last year when she was running for Bulkeley and Mars was third at the Open last year in the 400m and came back to win at the New England championship a few days later. Both combined to win the Class S 4x400m and should be a factor if they are pushed. But it is in the throws where the Warhawks could earn the most points. Alliya Boothe has the furthest discus throw this season and is among the group of top shot putters. She has been injured all season and was just cleared to compete for the Class meet. If she could get anywhere near her potential, she could add several unexpected points for Bloomfield.
Greenwich should be up there in the team standing based on the strength of their distance runners. Junior Zoe Harris is the top seed in the 800m and sophomore Mari Noble is seeded first in the 1600m and second in the 3200m. Caroline Webb also has a chance to score in the 3200m based on her sub 11 minute performance at the Class LL meet.
Marie Noble of Greenwich (c) MySportsResults.com
While no meet records will be set in the girls 800m, it should be an interesting race since the top eight finalists all set their PRs at the class meets and are peaking nicely. The fast heat will feature all competitors with seed times within 2.5 seconds of each other led by Harris and with Grace Hanratty, the New England 1000m champion during indoor track, right on her heals.
The 1600m and 3200m races are always up in the air because so many of those runner double and triple at the class meets and then choose only one race for the Open. Mari Noble and Immaculate’s Angela Saidman have both broken five minutes and they will face defending State Open champion Elizabeth Stockman of Rocky Hill who was injured during indoor track but has been slowly returning to form. With seven other qualifiers under 5:10, this should be a fast field no matter who toes the start line.
Kate Wiser of Pomperaug won the 3200m last year as a freshman and earned All-American status in cross country by virtue of her seventh-place finish at the Foot Locker National Championships. After an injury during indoor track, Wiser has slowly come back and seems to be peaking at the right time winning the Class L title in a personal record of 10:34.19. After her, it all depends on who will show up to the starting line. Mari Noble will have a big choice for Monday. She ran two great races in the 1600m and 3200m Class LL meet, but it will be interesting to see if she do it again. She could try to be a double gold medalist and that is a real possibility, or she can choose one race. No matter who decides to run the 3200m, the top six finishers should need to finish under 11:10 to make the New England meet.
Kate Wiser of Pomperaug (c) MySportsResults.com
Ridgefield’s Emma Langis is the defending State Open champion in the 300m hurdles and ran 44.12 to win the Class LL title. Her time is the 8th fastest time in Connecticut history and is under a second off the state record. She has had some real battles with Trumbull’s Emily Alexandru this season and the two will go at it again today.
The 4x800m relay has a number of good teams that have a shot at winning. First there is top seeded Trumbull who defeated Ridgefield for the Class LL title with only two seconds separating them.Then there is Immaculate, who broke the Class S record with a 9:35 but also ran a 9:24 at the Loucks Games earlier this season which would put them right in the mix for the win.
The high jump features two of the best jumpers in Connecticut’s history facing each other for the last time in their home state. Senior Patricia Mroczkowski of Berlin set the State Record of 5’10” at the Greater Hartford Invite and senior Allyson Lewis of Norwich Free Academy had cleared 5’9” last year to take second at the New England meet. While Mroczkowski has won the Open this winter and last spring, Lewis got the Open win her junior year during indoor track.
Patricia Mroczkowski of Berlin (c) MySportsResults.com
The Martin twins, Paige and Madison of Norwich Free Academy are booth seeded first and third with Elise Russell of Weston and Carolyn Cumello of Coginchaug seeded second and fourth. All four athletes are juniors which means next year the Open record of 12’6” could be eclipsed.
The long jump has no fewer than seven athletes over 18-feet this season. Allyson Lewis has mostly been known as a high jumper, but the senior seems to have figured out the long jump, with a state-leading mark of 19’1.5”. She won the Class LL championships, but she will have to contend with several established athletes. Canton’s Chelsea Mitchell won the indoor State Open and Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlow won the New England title this winter. North Haven’s Erica Marriot is the defending State Open champion from last season. With so much talent and experience, the long jump will be one of the most exciting events to watch.
Like the long jump, the shot put is deeper than any other year over the past decade and a half. Most years only two or three girls have broken 40-feet, but this year six girls have already exceeded that magic mark with three more within a foot. Natalie Rolon-Issa of Bacon Academy has the state’s best throw of 44’4” but Wenesha Stewart of Hartford Public has the best mark from all the class meets. Class L champion Susie Okoli of Wilbur Cross won the Open this winter and will be looking to sweep both titles.
· The Performance List for all of the CIAC State Open Championship Meet is available at the CIAC Outdoor Track and Field website: http://ciacsports.com/site/?page_id=972
· The complete list of CIAC State 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.