MANCHESTER - Trinity Cardillo knew she needed to take it easy at Tuesday‚Äôs girls hammer throw event in the CIAC Championships.
The Southington junior, who was preparing to compete in the same event at this weekend‚Äôs New Balance National Championships, wanted to focus on technique and not worry as much about distance. This event was about preparation for the bigger goal.
But despite not fully exerting herself, Cardillo still finished in first place in the event, further proving her dominance in track and field during her time at Southington. She finished 10 feet short of her personal record of 150 feet.
‚ÄúI had a decent day,‚ÄĚ Cardillo said. ‚ÄúIt got me the win.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄėDecent‚Äô for Cardillo appears to be unbeatable by anyone else in the state, and not just in the hammer throw.
Cardillo finished in second place in the shot put at this year‚Äôs State Open and fourth in the discus throw, before heading to the New England Track and Field Championships and recorded two top-10 finishes against the best competition in the state, claiming eighth place in the shot put and ninth in the discus.
Those accolades account for just half of Cardillo‚Äôs accomplishments so far in her career with the Blue Knights. She has also dominated indoor events, and even took fourth place in the shot put at New Englands earlier this year, and now will head to Greensboro, North Carolina to test her talents against the best throwers in the country.
‚ÄúIt gets me excited to know what I‚Äôve been doing so far is already really good in the state,‚ÄĚ Cardillo said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm excited for next year to see where I can take that in the regional and national level. I feel like greater personal records [are] the goal, and just see how far I can get.‚ÄĚ
Cardillo‚Äôs rapid ascent was helped along by former teammate Amanda Howe, who now competes at the University of Iowa and won the discus and shot put at last year‚Äôs Class LL and State Open championships before graduating. Howe was a dominant force with the Blue Knights, and with her departure last year, Cardillo has emerged as Southington‚Äôs new star, blazing her own trail of success, having learned a lot from her predecessor.
‚Äú[Amanda] was amazing,‚ÄĚ Cardillo said. ‚ÄúNow it‚Äôs finally my turn to create my own path and differentiate myself from her.‚ÄĚ
That path will continue to be laid this weekend in Greensboro, when Cardillo will no longer be just focused on technique. It will be time to give it all she has and see where she stacks among the nation‚Äôs best.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs definitely a higher standard at Nationals,‚ÄĚ Cardillo said. ‚ÄúEveryone will have similar distances, so it‚Äôs all about getting a really good mark in the beginning. I‚Äôm hoping this will get my technique going so I can really pick up my speed at Nationals and really go for it, and just see how far I can get.‚ÄĚ
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org