By Senior Correspondent Marty Ogden, Photographs by Ron Knapp
There are plenty of examples of freshman girls becoming all state or even winning state or New England titles, but freshman boys rarely get noticed. The past season yielded no fewer than four freshman boys who earned All-State status led by Conard’s Gavin Sherry as he followed his CCC Championship title by finishing second at the Class LL, Open and New England championships to three different seniors.
Gavin Sherry finished 2nd at 2018 State Open
Also earning All-State in cross country were Xavier’s Eamon Burke (12th in Class L), New Fairifield’s Patrick Gibbons (4th in Class MM), and Avon’s Jack Martin (7th place in Class MM). That doesn’t include Aidan Puffer of Manchester who finished in the dreaded 26th place at the State Open and failed to qualify for the New England meet. Also just missing All-State honors was Conard’s Callum Sherry who took 15th in the highly competitive Class LL race and Newington’s Michael Bohlke who took 16th place in the Class L meet.
The freshman runners also battled it out during outdoor track with Aidan Puffer and Gavin Sherry running the top two 3200m times in the country. Puffer also ran a 14:47.66 for the 5k at the Connecticut Distance Festival while Sherry finished his season with his four championship finishes under the 9:20 mark.
It wasn’t just distance runners who supplied the excess of freshman phenoms. Gary Moore Jr. of Hillhouse was a double Class MM winner in the shot put breaking the 50-ft mark and the discus by throwing 133’4" and then took third in the javelin. The frosh even earned a place at the New England championship by taking 6th at the Open with a big PR, throwing the 1.6k discus 142 feet 4 inches. At freshman nationals, Moore won the shot throwing 50’6.75 "and took 2nd in the discus throwing the 1k implement (normally thrown by middle school boys and high school girls) 179’6".
Gary Moore Jr. at NBNO Freshman Shot Put
Malcolm Beckford of Bloomfield, won both the 100m and 200m at the Class S meet but at the Open against the best runners in the state, came away with a bronze medal in the 100m, took the gold in the 200m running a PR of 10.88 and 21.72 and was part of their State Open and New England championship 4x400m relay. The freshman was also an integral part of Bloomfield’s State Open team that scored 108 points.
Malcolm Beckford of Bloomfield sped to 200m win at State Open
View the free photo galleries of many of the meets mentioned above at MSR Finishline Photography.
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.