NEW BRITAIN - Even after an opposing runner stepped on his foot, untying his shoe during the 800-meter run at Monday’s State Open track and field meet, Bristol Central’s Jose Ramirez was still able to gut out a sixth-place finish and advance to the New England Championships.
“I thought [my shoe] was gonna fall off, especially on the last straightaway,” Ramirez said. “[The race] was just really, really rocky. There was a lot of tension and shoving. I wasn’t ready for that, but I should have been. I should’ve expected that.”
With a finish of 1 minute, 56.86 seconds in the race, Ramirez completed another of his goals he set for himself before the season started.
“At my house, I have a list of goals I wanna hit every year,” the junior said. “I hit all my indoor and cross country goals [and my outdoor goals], but I’m not done. I still feel like I have a lot more to give.
“It’s been successful [this season], but I’m not really satisfied. I don’t know if that sounds bad. I still want it. I have a lot of work to do. I’m ready to bounce back at New Englands and show what BC’s made out of.”
Ramirez was one of 10 Bristol area athletes and two relay teams that competed at the State Open in windy conditions at Willow Brook Park.
The Bristol Central boys team, coming off a second straight third-place finish at the Class L Championships, led the way with five individual participants and one relay team, as Ramirez, Jose Navedo (110-meter hurdles), Hunter Peterson (high jump, long jump), Galen Hickey (triple jump), Jakob Salinas (javelin throw) and the 4x800 relay team capped their seasons.
“For this meet, you’re always looking for your best time, but position is more important to get to New Englands and get another day to race,” Central head coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk said.
The Rams’ 4x800 team of Devin Flores, Pacifico Flores, Ramirez and Austin Freve finished eighth with a time of 8:03.00.
Navedo sprinted to a time of 15.94 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing 17th overall.
In the high jump, Peterson was unable to hit the 6-foot mark to advance, but in the long jump he finished with a leap of 20 feet, 8.25 inches to finish 12th overall. Salinas, with his longest throw of 162 feet, 2 inches in the javelin, finished ninth. In the triple jump, Hickey finished 20th overall (40 feet, 10.50 inches).
“We’ve got a lot of kids returning,” Stafford-Kirk said. “We’ve got some good, young athletes so we’re looking to get out there and get it next year.”
The Bristol Central girls advanced its 4x400 relay team of Adalia Malick, Salvatrice Bosco, Sofia Veronesi and Emma Stone to the Open, and the Rams finished their heat in 4 minutes, 14.35 seconds for a 19th overall finish.
Bristol Eastern was represented by three members of its boys program, led by Jacob Woznicki (300-meter hurdles), Kyle Rivera (pole vault) and Zach Martin (pole vault). Rivera and Martin tied for 17th with a leap in the vault of 12 feet, 6 inches, while Woznicki finished 16th in the hurdles with a time of 42.27 seconds.
St. Paul’s lone representative, Melissa Lyder, qualified for the Open in the long jump but finished with a DNS.
Terryville’s Chris DeForest was the Kangaroos’ lone runner, finishing the 3,200-meter run in 12th place with a time of 9 minutes, 43.88 seconds.
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or