NEW BRITAIN - Southington girls track and field was all over the place Thursday, seeming to always be near the top of the finishes at the 2021 CIAC State Open Track and Field meet, and put themselves in a position to walk away with the meet trophy.
But, a strong Danbury team powered past the field and scored the meet-high 44 points to lock up a state title while Southington scored 30 points, placing fifth.
The finish for the Blue Devils is nothing to be ashamed of, and one girls head coach Connor Green feels good about. “I think if we had the day we hoped we were going to have in all the events we were entered in, there was a pretty good chance we were going to be runner-up or contend for a title,” said Green. “Leaving top-5 in the entire state, that’s a good day. I’m not going to leave shaking my head, being disappointed or anything. … They’re a great group and I know they’re happy with what they’ve done.”
Much of the point scoring came from the field, notably in the javelin throwing event where the Blue Devils finished second, third and fifth.
Alexah Zaczynski threw the spear 131 feet, 11 inches. Kayla Pelletier threw it 127-08 and Maris Imme tossed it 115-09. Shea Greene, of Weston, broke the state record with a toss of 154 feet.
Green gave credit to Greene’s talent while also sharing the excitement for the girls, who he felt were finally facing off against some high-caliber competition.
“Shea is an incredible talent, so I know the girls were excited to actually get some good, high-level competition because for the most part this season we’ve went 1-2-3-4 almost every meet,” said Green. “Having some competition definitely helped motivate them, helped them to some great performances. … I can’t be mad. Four girls that made it, three that made it to the final, so it was pretty great.”
Also in the javelin was Anna McGrail, who threw it a distance of 94-09 for 16th. Zaczynski was in two other field events, placing 13th in the shot put (32-07) and fourth in the pole vault (10-06).
Elsewhere on the track, Southington had a scoring race from its’ 4x800 relay team, which clocked a time of 9:34.59. Green pointed out the gutsy efforts of Grace Michaud in the 3,200, which saw her break a school record and come in seventh with a time of 10:56.52.
“We had some really great runs on our 4x800. They ran really well, but I think the big standout goes to Grace Michaud who ran the 3,200,” said Green. “She broke the school record by five seconds, first time dipping under 11 (minutes). She ran a real gutsy race, leading the chase pack for a majority of the race. She was probably the biggest standout.”
Joining the scoring party for Southington was Jacqueline Izzo, who clocked a time of 5:01.65 in the 1,600 meters for sixth-place.
Southington had a ninth-place finish from Livvy Pizzitola, who narrowly made the finals after qualifying in preliminaries. Her time of 12.800 in the 100 meter dash was her only time of the day. She didn’t score a team point, missing the mark by 2/10 of a second.
Losing much of the team for next season, it made the day a little more special, but it also will leave the program looking within the school again for the next people to fill their shoes and create a legacy.
“It’s going to be less about the people we currently have to come back as much as it’s finding the new talent we have in the school,” said Green. “… The class meet was the peak, and we were really happy about that. Today was a good day and [the seniors] are happy with it.
SOUTHINGTON BOYS SENDS TWO OUT
Aiden Chesanow and Jack Freyler were the only two Southington boys to compete at Thursday’s 2021 CIAC State Open Track and Field meet, competing in pole vault and javelin.
Chesanow cleared a height of 12 feet, 6 inches, putting him in 10th pace among the 25 who competed. He attempted to clear 13 feet, which was his seed height, but faulted on three straight attempts.
Freyler’s day in javelin saw him peak on his first throw, a distance of 135-03, for 19th place.
Freyler was scheduled to compete in the discus, but did not start. Neither Chesanow or Freyler scored a team point for the Southington boys.