On Sunday’s final day of competition at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Greensboro NC the combination of resilient youth and talent provided bookend All-American performances by state athletes.
The day began at 5:30am for the Immaculate Mustang TC team of Angela Saidman, Molly Coyle, Ailene Doherty and Taylor Mascetta as they prepared for the 8:10am start time of the Girls 4x1mile Championship race. After a 4x800 EE medal performance on Friday by Kayla Ondy, Coyle, Doherty and Mascetta, the girls were primed to give it their best effort to earn All-American honors.
With the nation’s best teams of milers toing the start line, the Immaculate Girls team wove opening and closing legs 5:01 leg by Saidman and Mascetta around 5:21 and 5:12 legs to finish a close fourth place in 20:37.21 behind the winning time of 20:31.67 by the Kinetic TC of NY. Their combined efforts rewarded them with All-American honors and the second best in state history behind the state record mark of 20:17.87 set by Tolland at the 2015 NBNO meet.
Flash forward to late Sunday afternoon for the start of the Boys 4000m Distance Medley Relay Championship on the hottest day of the meet where the tenth seeded Xavier team was ready to put the finishing touch on their sensational season.
The opening 1200m leg of 3:08.71 by William Curran enabled Xavier to a second place start which was followed by a 49.73 400m leg by KJ Grisham. The hand-off from Grisham to Pierre Sylvain for the 800m leg saw them in second place. A 1:54.11 split by Sylvain enabled a final baton pass to Robbie Cozean with the team in third place, a scant few feet behind. Cozen showed the same determination that propelled him to a 5k Championship title on Friday night with a 1600m anchor leg of 4:14.26 that enabled Xavier to finish second in 10:06.90, #6 All Time CT and #2 US this season.
In between those two All-American performances came another effort that rewarded junior Emma Langis of Ridgefield with a best time in state history in the 400m Intermediate Hurdles. From heat 3 of 6 in the Emerging Elite race, Langis led wire to wire to gain third place overall in a time of 1:01.39 that bested the previous state record of 1:01.42 set by Jaliyah White of Hillhouse at the 2014 NBNO meet. Her personal record also gave her the US#23 time this season.
More state athletes gave their best efforts in other Championship events on Sunday including:
· Allyson Lewis (NFA) and Patricia Mroczkowski (Berlin) cleared 5-8.75 in the High Jump for 7th and 10th places overall.
· Trinity Cardillo of Southington finished in 24th place in the Girls Hammer Throw with a mark of 141-06. She also placed 21st in the Shot Put with a toss of 41-08.50.
· The Boys High Jump featured Matthew Santy of Enfield clearing his PR of 6-8.25 for 15th place while Justin Forde of Brien McMahon cleared 6-6.25 doe 21st place.
· Forde also leaped 22-07.25 for a 22nd place in the Boys Long Jump.
· Ja'Kwan Hale of Derby placed 16th in the Boys 400m Dash in 48.42.
· The Girls Long Jump featured a 28th place by Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe with a leap of 17-01.50.
· The Ridgefield Boys 4x400m relay team of James Kane, Amit Markos, Charles Coffin and Simon Jupp finished 27th in 3:22.11.
· The Girls 4k Distance Medley race featured three state teams led by a 10th place by Ridgefield in 12:14.09 (Gabriella Viggiano, Emma Langis, Grace Michalowski, Tess Pisanelli), 12th place by Greenwich in 12:18.84 (Caroline Webb, Sophia Bastek, Zoe Harris, Meghan Lynch) and a 13th place by Immaculate in 12:21.26 (Angela Saidman, Maura Murphy, Molly Coyle, Taylor Mascetta).
In the final day of Emerging Elite events, state athlete performances included:
· Chelsea Mitchell of Canton leaped a wind-aided PR 19-3.25 to finish second in Girls EE Long Jump.
· Leah Moore of Hillhouse placed 7th in the Shot Put with a toss of 41-07.
· Zoe Harris of Greenwich placed 8th in the 800m run with her PR 2:13.99 and second best in the state this season.
· The Boys 800m run saw Jose Ramirez of Bristol Central place 32nd in 1:58.72.
· In the Girls 400m hurdles, Emily Alexandru off Trumbull placed 21st with her time of 1:04.04.
· The Girls 4x400m relay featured a 9th place by Windsor in 3:58.26 and a 17th place by Danbury in 4:03.11.
· The Boys 4x400m relay saw Danbury finish 17th in 3:24.78 and Bloomfield 21st in 3:27.73.
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