Once again, Bristol enjoyed the pleasure of having a number of very talented track and field athletes competing as representatives of their schools and the city. Sorting through the talent to pick the very best from the area is never easy, but we have chosen five boys and five girls to make up our ninth annual honorary All-Press Track and Field Team.
Bristol Central doesn’t quite dominate the city when it comes to track and field like it once did, but the Rams were once again the city’s best, and as such, are represented by five of the 10 selections.
Leading the way is senior Olivia Savino, who is a three-time All-Press selection. She is joined on our team by teammate and first-time choice, junior Shy-Ann Whitten.
The pair led the way for the Rams at the Class L state track and field championships, with Whitten placing second in the triple jump (34-10¼) and Savino placing fifth (32-10¾). Whitten also placed fifth in the high jump (4-8), while Savino was sixth in the long jump (15-8½).
Whitten went on to place fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 35-3¾ in the State Open championships.
Bristol Central’s boys are represented by three first-time All-Press selections: senior Kaynan Conrod, freshman David Bowes and junior Elijah Ortiz.
“Kaynan is one of the strongest sprinters in BC history,” Rams coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk said. “Alongside teammate Luis Medina, they have dominated sprinting in the area for the past three years. I think what impresses me most about Kaynan is his dedication not only to his own training and performance, but to the well-being of his teammates. Kaynan is a true leader and sets such a great example for his teammates and classmates. I am truly proud to have coached him and can’t wait to see what he does in track and field at SCSU.”
As for Ortiz, “Elijah is the definition of grit and determination,” Stafford-Kirk said. “Hurdles is such a technical event and he has really had to work at it the past few years. Every day Elijah takes the hurdles out and does drill after drill. This season it all finally came together and Elijah was amazing. His fourth place finish at Class L and win at the CCC South Championship in the 300-meter hurdles were so awesome and the result of many hours of practice. Elijah is wonderful to coach and I am really looking forward to seeing what he does as a senior next year.”
Bowes also impressed Stafford-Kirk in his freshman year.
“David is one of, if not the most talented freshman I have coached in 20 years,” she said. “He is naturally gifted, but add to that his willingness to train hard and you have a killer combination. David could truly excel in a number of events, some we didn’t even have a chance to try him out in this year. His performance in the 400 was simply amazing. The 400 is a grueling event and David attacks it head on. He is a team player who stepped it up in the 100 and 200 when we had some early season injuries. He ran on two strong relays as well.
“For a first year track and field athlete to be so versatile is rare, but that’s David, a rare find.”
St. Paul has two selections, one boy and one girl, on our All-Press Team and both are second-time choices.
Junior Christian Sturm won the state boys hammer throw title, as the final CIAC events of the school year were contested in the annual state decathlon, heptathlon, hammer throw and steeplechase competitions.
Sturm tossed the hammer 158 feet, 5 inches in his final throw to set the standard. He had already bested the mark set by second-place finisher Charles Ritchel of Seymour (146-7) with his two previous throws, which went 152-10 and 153-5. Sturm went on to compete in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet in Greensboro, N.C., placing 23rd in the Boys Hammer Throw Emerging Elite event with a toss of 151-2.
“Christian has been working real hard on improving his strength and his technique over the last year or so and now that he is able to actually compete, his hard work is paying off with wins and personal bests,” St. Paul coach Jim Husbands said.
Falcons sophomore Addison Davis finished fourth in the high jump with a leap of five feet even in the Class S state track and field championships. She also finished tied for 12th in the triple jump 31-3¼ and 17th in the 300 hurdles (52.11).
Davis was St. Paul’s lone representative at the State Open, tying for 14th in the high jump at 4-10.
Among Bristol Eastern’s three selections on this year’s All-Press Team, senior Chris LeBeau is the lone repeat choice. He placed 17th in the 1,600 meters at the State Open meet with a time of 4:29.17 to cap off a fine season. LeBeau was fifth in the 1,600 meters at the Class L state meet with his best time of the year, 4:27.13.
For good measure, LeBeau later placed third in the boys 3,000-meter steeplechase in the CIAC’s final state competitions of the season. He will run cross country and track for CCSU next year.
The final two girls selections for our All-Press Team are Lancers sophomore Kailey Laprise and senior Jillian LeBeau.
Laprise placed 15th in the 400 meters with a time of 1:00.40 in the State Open, after placing second in same event at the Class L state meet with a time of 59.49, her best of the year.
LeBeau placed sixth in the javelin with a throw of 99 feet even at the Class L state meet.