FCIAC’s track and field stars had superb State Open

NEW HAVEN – Tess Stapleton, a superb sophomore for the Fairfield Ludlowe girls team, had a victory and a runner-up finish as she was one of the five individual champions from the FCIAC at the 2018-19 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference State Open Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 16.

Danbury senior Lauren Moore and Greenwich sophomore Mari Noble were the other girls while Staples senior Chet Ellis and Danbury senior Malcolm Going were the two boys who were State Open individual champions from the FCIAC.

Those individual State Open victories along with Moore helping the Danbury girls team win the CIAC State Class LL Girls Indoor Track and Field Championships by a single point highlighted many strong performances from conference athletes at the State Open and the respective state class championship meets which took place at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.

The Danbury girls won the Class LL meet with 74 points, just one more than runner-up Glastonbury (73), on Feb. 9.

Four FCIAC teams placed among the top six. Stapleton led Ludlowe to third place with 36 points, just one point ahead of fourth-place Ridgefield, and Greenwich (32) placed sixth.

The boys Class LL title was also decided by one point as Hall won with 60 and runner-up Norwich Free Academy had 59. Danbury placed fourth with 45 points for the highest finish among conference teams and Staples (25) took seventh.

At the State Open on Feb. 16: Hall had 43 points to beat runner-up Hillhouse by five points in the boys meet and Bloomfield copped the girls title with 54 points, a comfortable 15 points ahead of runner-up Glastonbury.

The Danbury girls placed third with 34 and Greenwich (20) was sixth. The Staples boys had 12 points to tie for 12th for the highest finish among FCIAC boys’ teams at the State Open while Danbury had 11 to tie for 14th.

Stapleton led Ludlowe’s Falcons to seventh place at the State Open as she scored 18 of their 19 points when she won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.27 seconds and she placed second in the long jump with her leap of 17 feet, 10.5 inches on her first attempt. Stapleton was just two inches short of winning two individual events as Canton junior Chelsea Mitchell won the long jump with an 18-00.25.

She scored 26 individual points with two victories, including a meet record, and a third-place finish to lead at the Class LL meet. Stapleton won the 55 hurdles in 8.25 to break the old record of 8.35 set three years ago by Simsbury’s Vickie Milledge. She also won the long jump with an 18-00.25 which was just four inches less than the meet record and she tied for second in the high jump (5-2).

Moore got her State Open individual title in the 1,600 with a 5:07.41 one week after she scored 16 big points to help lead the Hatters to their Class LL crown.

The key for the Hatters toward that one-point victory at the Class LL meet was their strength in the distance events as the trio of Moore (16 points), sophomore Daniella Grullon-Pena (16) and freshman Stephanie Queiroz (10) combined to compile 42 points in the 1,000, 1,600 and 3,200 races

Moore won 1,600 (5:12.18) and placed third in the 3,200 (11:19.77), Grullon-Pena was runner-up in both the 1,000 (3:09.94) and 3,200 11:19.6, and Queiroz placed third in 1,600 (5:15.54) and fourth in the 3,200 (11:23.13).

Grullon-Pena ran about a dozen seconds faster when she placed second in the State Open 3,200 (11:11.34).

The Hatters also got vital third-place finishes at the Class LL meet from Jaylyn Carter in the 55 hurdles (9.04) and Meilee Kry in the long jump (17-9.5). Kry also went on to place third (17-7.5) at the State Open.

Ellis has secured his status as one of the FCIAC’s all-time great track and field athletes. After he already soared beyond the rest of the field to win the high jump he took some more jumps and eventually cleared 6 feet, 9¼ inches. That was just an inch less than State Open record of 6-10.25 which was set by Jamie Tobias of Bloomfield in 2011. Ellis had set the new Class LL meet record of 6-9 a week earlier.

Going won the 600 by a comfortable margin of 1.46 seconds with his winning time of 1:21.4 at the State Open. At the Class LL meet, Going won the 600 in 1:24.01 and anchored winning 1,600 sprint medley relay team (3:38.06) which included Luka Santos, Jaden Cazorla and Gabriel Kwarteng.

Jacob Hefele of Danbury won the Class LL 3,200 in 9:21.83.

Noble also won Class LL and State Open individual titles in her specialty. After she won the Class LL 3,200 (11:06.55) she ran nearly six seconds faster seven days later to win the State Open girls 3,200 in 11:00.83.

There were several more FCIAC girls and boys who placed among the top five in individual events at the State Open.

Wilton’s Shelby Dejana made it a 1-2 finish among sophomore girls from the FCIAC when she was runner-up in the 55 hurdles (8.47) behind Stapleton. Dejana was the only individual champion in the girls Class LL meet from the FCIAC when she won the 55 hurdles (8.61).

Greenwich’s Caroline Webb placed fourth in the 3,200 (11:14.81) at the State Open.

St. Joseph’s Kayla Clark took fourth in the 55 hurdles (8.69) and her teammate, Nia Christie, placed fifth (8.79) just behind her, Clark was runner-up in the Class M hurdles (8.64).

Olivia Johnson of St. Joseph was the Class M girls long jump champion (17-3.75) at the

Trumbull’s Emily Alexandru was fifth in the (600) 1:39.19 at the State Open after she was the Class LL runner-up with a 1:38.99.

Tessa Pisanelli, Rory McGrath, Gabriella Viggiano and Grace Michalowski of Ridgefield teamed up to finish second in the State Open girls 4×800 relay with a time of 9:34.05 which was just 1/100th of a second behind Immaculate’s 9:34.04.

Those four Ridgefield Tigers slightly improved on their winning time of 9:35.52 at the Class LL meet where Michalowski ran the anchor leg on a pair of championship relay teams. Michalowski was joined by Catherine Conroy, Emma Langis and Carolyn Donovan on the victorious 1,600 sprint medley (4:20.02).

Brien McMahon’s Korey Morton placed second in the State Open boys 55-meter dash with a 6.51 clocking which was the same as winner Christopher Pigatt of Hamden but Pigatt’s official time was calculated as being 0.002 of a second faster than Morton’s.

Jack Conley of New Canaan was third in the State Open boys shot put (54-11.5), a big improvement from his third-place throw of 50-4.25 at the Class L meet on Feb. 8.

Kedar Chavan of Fairfield Ludlowe was fifth in the State Open boys 3,200 with a 9:25.04, slightly improving on his time of 9:25.53 when he placed third in the Class LL meet a week earlier.

St. Joseph’s Myles Hall was fifth in the State Open boys 55-meter hurdles (7.91) after he was fourth in the Class M hurdles (8.05).

Greenwich’s Lance Large, Christopher Wint, Hunter Clark, Zane Robinson-Nyce first won Class LL 4×200 relay (1:33.39) and then improved slightly with their 1:33.21 when they placed second at the State Open.

Three FCIAC athletes had individual runner-up finishes in the girls Class LL meet.

Brien McMahon’s Savannah Bromley scored 14 points as she was runner-up in the 300 (42.67) and she tied for second in the high jump (5-2).

Also placing second were Greenwich’s Zoe Harris in the 1,600 (5:15.49) and Fairfield Ludlowe’s Maya Mocarski in the 55 dash (7.33).

Ridgefield’s Simon Jupp was runner-up in the Class LL boys 600 (1:24.61).

Windsor won the girls Class L team title with 69 points. Darien placed second with 49 points while fellow FCIAC members New Canaan and Wilton finished in a three-way tie for sixth with 24.

Darien’s Chelsi Chevannes scored 14 individual points by placing second in the high jump (5-0) and third in the long jump (15-9.75).

The Blue Wave also got an individual runner-up finish from Mairead Clas in the 1,600 (5:14.36).

The Blue Wave compiled 26 points from one victorious and a pair of runner-up relay teams. Alexis Lyons, Suzanna Alliegro, Charlotte Sulger and Sally Boucher won the 4×400 relay (4:12.22).

Sulger and Clas teamed up with Cameron Appleby and Daphne Cutler on the runner-up 4×800 relay team (9:53.65) while Lyons, Alliegro, Cutler and Charlotte Van Ingen were on the 1,600 sprint medley (4:29.09) which placed second.

New Canaan’s Elizabeth St. George placed second in the Class L girls 55 dash (7.41).

Xavier was the team champion at the boys Class L meet with 64 points. Amity (43) placed second and Darien (27) was fifth.

Darien’s Blue Wave had a championship 4×400 relay team (3:34.79) in the quartet of Pierce Hoyda, Andrew Donovan, Austin Dehmel and Jack Holly, who placed fourth in the 300 (36.78) earlier in the meet.

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