NEW HAVEN – Danbury High School swept both the boys and the girls team championships at the FCIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the third consecutive year on Monday, May 21, at Southern Connecticut State University’s Jess Dow Field.
Danbury senior thrower Celyna Custodio won two events and junior teammate Lauren Moore had a victory and a runner-up finish to lead the Danbury girls, who racked up 144 points.
Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe showed that she is quite the fabulous freshman as she won three individual events – the 200-meter dash in 25.76, the 100-meter hurdles in 15.21 and the long jump in 18-6¾ – while leading the Falcons to second place with 108.7 points.
Ludlowe was followed by Greenwich (81), Trumbull (64) and Ridgefield (60.2) in the top five.
Danbury senior Sean-Michael Parkinson placed first and third in individual events and he anchored the winning 4×400 relay team to lead the dynasty that is the Danbury boys program to a fifth consecutive conference crown and its 17th in the last 20 years.
The Hatters scored 136 points to finish 47 points ahead of runner-up Staples, which totaled 89. Trumbull placed third with 62 points, was followed by Brien McMahon (54), and Ridgefield (53) completed the top five.
Parkinson won the 200-meter dash in 22.82, placed third in the 400 (50.25) and he was joined on that victorious 4×400 relay team (3:25.48) by Phillip Melo, Glenroy Ford and Malcom Going.
The Hatters racked up big points in the sprints as Christopher Cledera placed second in the 100-meter dash (11.43) and fourth in the 200 (23.34), and Ford was runner-up in the 400 (49.96).
The other individual champions from Danbury included Daniel Nichols in the 3,200 (9:29.19) and Nathaniel Llanos in the pole vault (14-0).
Nathaniel Mensah-Simms placed second in the 110 hurdles (15.42) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (41.41) for the team champions.
Justin Forde of Brien McMahon may still be a junior but he has already become one of the best all-time field events jumpers in FCIAC history.
Forde had two victories and an impressive runner-up finish. He broke a 47-year-old FCIAC record by a half of an inch in the triple jump when he went 48 feet, 8½ inches to break the old record of 48-8 which Ken Wright of Rippowam set in 1971. Forde’s other victory was in the long jump (22-8½).
Forde also was involved in perhaps the most riveting event of the day – the boys’ high jump. That featured Staples junior Chet Ellis, the eventual champion, and Forde matching each other as the bar continued to go higher.
Both of them cleared the height of 6 feet, 10 inches on their second attempts at that height and they each then took three attempts but did not clear the height of 7-0 which would have equaled the conference record set last year by Safir Scott of Staples. Ellis won the high jump via fewer misses because he cleared his first attempt at 6-8 and Forde missed his first two attempts at that height before he cleared it on his third attempt.
Ellis also placed third in the long jump (20-5) and fourth in the triple jump (41-9).
New Canaan junior Jack Conley placed first in the discus (145-5) and second in the shot put (49-2). Also for the Rams, Sean Knight was the 110 hurdles champion with a 15.16.
Norwalk senior Katrell Clay defended his championship in the 300 hurdles in 39.55, placed third in the 110 hurdles (15.46) and he ran a strong second leg to help Norwalk win the 4×100 relay in 43.48. Freshmen Greg Foster and Khalil Eason and junior Malique Stevens were his relay teammates.
Wilton senior Christopher Colbert won the 400 (49.42) and placed third in the 200 (23.09).
Justin Showstead of Ridgefield won the javelin (169-03) and was third in the shot put (49-1).
Bridgeport Central junior Raheem Thompson won the 100-meter dash in 11.38 and later placed fifth in the 200 (23.4).
The other individual champions in the boys meet were Ian Bartlett of Fairfield Ludlowe in the 800 (1:55.78), William Landowne of Staples in the 1,600 (4:15.58), and Darien’s Michael Neary in the shot put (51-9).
Jack Jones of Trumbull was runner-up in both the long jump (22-4) and triple jump (45-8).
The other boys who placed second in their individual events included Qasim Danazumi of Fairfield Warde in the 200 (22.92), Trumbull’s Tyler Rubush in the 800 (1:56.34), Warde’s Alexander Mocarski in the 1,600 in 4:16.19, Benjamin Seiple of Staples in the 3,200 (9:38.27), Greenwich’s Oliver Fulton in the 300 hurdles (41.04), Westhill’s Josh Appel in the pole vault (13-6), Fairfield Ludlowe’s Jake Northrop in the discus (135-0) and Brandon Cua of Staples in the javelin (168-6).
Any boys or girls who placed among the top two in their respective events earned their way onto the All-FCIAC team.
Custodio defended her shot put title (38-5¼) in addition to winning the discus (115-5) while Moore won the 1,600 in 5:05.89 and later placed second in the 3,200 (11:18.5).
Meilee Kry placed second in the long jump (17-11½) and triple jump (36-4¼) for the team champions.
Shanell Stewart placed second in the 100 dash (12.97) and ran the leadoff leg on Danbury’s winning 4×100 relay team (50.17) which also included Emilly Souza, Jessica Glowacki and Erika Regus. Souza also contributed a third place in the triple jump (34-10).
Jaylyn Carter was runner-up in the 100 hurdles (15.44) for the champion Hatters.
Maya Mocarski of Fairfield Ludlowe won the 100 dash in 12.57 and then placed fifth in the 200 (26.69).
Greenwich seniors Emily Philippides and Lia Zavattaro each won their respective specialties for the third consecutive year. Philippides won the 800 in 2:13.04 and ran her usual strong anchor leg to lead Greenwich’s victorious 4×800 relay team (9:26.27) in which Kate Ragone, Hetty McMillan and Zoe Harris ran the first three legs.
Zavattaro cleared 10 feet to three-peat in the pole vault. Jordan Numme was runner-up in the 400 (58.84) for the Cardinals.
Ridgefield sophomore Emma Langis won the 300 hurdles in 44.75 and ran a 58.25 anchor leg on the winning 4×400 relay team (3:59.17) which included Carolyn Donovan, Anna Landler and Grace Michalowski.
Wilton senior distance runner Morgan McCormick is in the homestretch of her superb distance running career and she ran away from the field to win the 3,200 in 10:46.99.
Brien McMahon swept the top two places in the high jump with Savannah Bromley the winner (5-4) and Taylor Morton the runner-up (5-2). The Senators also got an individual victory from Savannah Buzzeo in the javelin (115-3)
The other girls who won their respective individual events were Laura Turner of Norwalk in the 400 (57.01) and Olivia Johnson of St. Joseph in the triple jump (36-9).
Earthaiza Watkins placed second in the 200 (26.5) and third in the 400 (59.44) to lead Stamford.
Those who also placed second in their respective individual events included Alyssa Kraus of Fairfield Ludlowe in the 800 (2:13.04), Ridgefield’s Gabriella Viggiano in the 1,600 (5:09.56), Trumbull’s Emily Alexandru in the 300 hurdles (46.34) and Aleksandra Misiewicz in the pole vault (9-6), Wilton’s Covadonga Perez Pelaez in the shot put (33-4¼), Manar Enany of Fairfield Warde in the discus (103-1), and Fairfield Ludlowe’s Kaleigh Boyle in the javelin (108-5).
The Danbury girls and Staples boys are the defending team champions at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Outdoor Track and Field Championships which take place at New Britain’s Willow Brook Park on May 30 at 3 p.m.
The CIAC Class L Championships for the boys and girls are May 29 at Middletown at 3 p.m.
The State Open is on June 4 at Willow Brook Park at 1:30 p.m.