FCIAC track and field stars shine at at State championships

NEW BRITAIN – Alanna Smith of Danbury High School, Ridgefield’s Katherine Rector, Greenwich’s Andrew O’Donnell, and Fairfield Ludlowe’s Steven Ditelberg are seniors who placed first in individual events at the 2022 CIAC Outdoor Track and Field State Open to highlight the many achievements of FCIAC athletes at the recent state class and State Open championship meets.

Smith defended her title when she won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.98 and she also had runner-up finishes in the 200 and 400 to score 26 individual points and lead the Danbury girls’ team to third place at the State Open on June 6 at Willow Brook Park.

Sheehan won the team championship with 43 points. Joel Barlow placed second with 37, just two more than Danbury’s 35 points.

Smith was the defending champion in the 100, 200, and 400. This year she was runner-up in the 200 and 400 to Housatonic Valley’s superb senior, Sydney Segalla, as Segalla and Smith secured their legacies as two of the best outdoor track sprinters in state history.

Smith missed out on defending her 200-meter championship by the slightest of margins – a scant 1/100th of a second – in a photo finish. Segala had a time of 24.39 and Smith was clocked in 24.40.

Segala won the 400 with a 53.34 and Smith placed second with a 55.43.

Smith (12.15) and Greenwich junior Kaitlyn Fay (12.43) finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 dash and Segalla placed third with a 12.45.

The girls 3,200 was also a great race and Rector won that with a 10:45.68 which was just .23 of a second faster than Somers senior Rachel St. Germain (10:45.91), who also won the 1,600 in 4:57.77. Rector prevented St. Germain from sweeping the 1,600 and 3,200, just as St. Germain had done back on Feb. 19 at the State Open indoor championship meet.

Hillhouse won the State Open boys team title with 64 points. Hall placed second with 57. Greenwich scored 24 points to place sixth for the highest finish among FCIAC teams

O’Donnell led Greenwich’s Cardinals as he won the boys 400 by a comfortable margin for the second consecutive year. He defended his title with a 47.9 to win by .57 of a second this year. Last year he won by 1.04 seconds with a 48.31.

Ditelberg cleared 14 feet, 8 inches to win the pole vault. He won this past winter’s indoor State Open with a 14-3. Ditelberg placed sixth with a 13-6 as a junior at last year’s outdoor State Open.

There were seven other girls from the FCIAC who placed among the top five in their respective individual events at the State Open.

Trumbull senior Kali Holden was runner-up in the 800 (2:13.16) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:02.72).

Wilton senior Emily Mrakovcic was runner-up in the 1,600 (5:00.52).

Fairfield Ludlowe junior Tia Stapleton placed third in the high jump (5-4) and fifth in the triple jump (35-8½).

A pair of sophomores from the conference, Greenwich’s Esme Daplyn and Darien’s Julia Blake, placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 800. Daplyn was clocked in 2:4.19 and Blake had a 2:17.55.

New Canaan junior Gabriela DeFelice finished fourth in the discus (114-9).

Staples junior sprinter Francine Stevens was fourth in the 400 (57.49).

Danbury senior Stephanie Queiroz was fifth in the 3,200 (11:06.02) to help the Hatters place third as a team.

And there were four more boys from the FCIAC who placed among the top five at the State Open.

Ridgefield’s phenomenal sophomore Steven Hergenrother placed third in the 1,600 with a time of 4:13.18 which was about 8½ seconds faster than his seeded time of 4:21.67 which he got six days earlier when he placed third at the state Class L championship meet.

Norwalk senior Duke Quermorllue also got a third-place finish by clearing 6-4 in the high jump.

Ridgefield junior Lucas Williams cleared 13 feet in the pole vault to place fourth.

Wilton senior long jumper Ryan Johnson placed fourth with a 21-8.

Fairfield Ludlowe junior Tyler Bartlett was fifth in the 800 with a 1:57.22.

Suffice it to assume, the quartet of Smith, Rector, O’Donnell and Ditelberg, and those 11 other conference athletes who placed among the top five at the State Open either won championships in their events or scored plenty of points in their respective class championship meets.

Smith racked up 30 individual points as she swept the 100, 200 and 400 to lead Danbury’s girls to second place with 87.5 points at the CIAC Class LL Outdoor Track and Field Championships which took place at the same Willow Brook Park venue on May 31, six days before the State Open.

Glastonbury won with 118 points. Greenwich placed third with 63.5 points and Ridgefield was fourth with 54.

Holden and Stapleton were both double individual champions.

Trumbull’s Holden swept the 800 and 1,600 while Ludlowe’s Stapleton won the high jump and triple jump.

Ridgefield’s Rector won the 3,200 and her teammate, Georgia Keller, placed third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800.

The FCIAC was especially dominant in the girls Class LL hurdles events, finishing 1-3 in the 100-meter hurdles and 1-4 in the 300 hurdles.

Danbury’s Audrey Kpodar won the 100 hurdles in 16.4, Greenwich’s Haley Townsend placed second (16.61), and Danbury’s Tylyn Johnson was third (16.7).

In the 300 hurdles: Ridgefield sophomore Elaine Mathews won with a 47.33 and was followed by teammate Grace Hooker (47.67), Brien McMahon’s Samantha Mutti (58.24), and Townsend (49.21).

Jade Ferdinand placed third in the 100 dash (12.65) and she ran the anchor leg on Brien McMahon’s winning 4×100 relay team (49.38) which included Sofia Aguilar, Shaniya Young, and Emily Legere.

Fay (100 and 200) and Daplyn (800 and 1,600) both had a pair of runner-up finishes to help lead Greenwich to third place.

Danbury’s Giuliana Robles took second in the triple jump (34-8).

Stevens collected 14 points for Staples by placing third in the 400, and fifth in both the 100 and 200.

Norwalk’s Serenity Mayhew placed third in the shot put and fourth in the discus while Sophia Roberts was third in the triple jump for Norwalk at the Class LL meet.

New Canaan’s DeFelice was a double individual champion in the girls Class L championship meet on June 1 – winning the shot put and discus. Her freshman teammate, Lauren Smith, was second in the discus.

E.O. Smith won the Class L team title with 78.5 points and Simsbury (70) was second. New Canaan (48.33) placed seventh for the highest finish among FCIAC teams.

Ida Moczerniuk (100 and 200) and Meg Barnouw (100 hurdles and high jump) each had two third-place finishes while pole vaulter Jessica Queiroz Amaral placed third to lead Fairfield Warde to eighth place with 32 points.

Wilton’s Mrakovcic won the 1,600 in 4:58.98.

Camilla Lash was runner-up in the 400 (59.13) and Blake was third in the 800 for Darien.

Hall won the Class LL boys team championship with 103.5 points.

O’Donnell won both the 200 (22.05) and 400 (48.06) and anchored the victorious 4×400 relay team to lead Greenwich to second place with 82 points.

Ditelberg was also a champion in both the Class LL and State Open meets. He won the Class LL pole vault with a 14-1 while his teammate, Bennett Hemphill, and Derek Amilicke of Staples tied for second with a 13-0.

Jalen St. Fort of Staples won the 800 in 1:54.6 and Greenwich’s Zachary Jelinek (1:55.07) placed second.

Also for Greenwich: Gianluca Bianchi was runner-up in the 400 (48.98) and fourth in the 200 (23.09), Isaac Dacres placed third in the 200 (22.94), and the quartet of Harrison Goldenberg, Bianchi, Jelinek and O’Donnell teamed up to win the 4×400 relay in 3:22.5.

Norwalk had a pair of individual champions – Zion Paul in the 300 hurdles (42.04) and Quermorllue in the high jump (6-4). Sebastien Pierre was third in the discus to help Norwalk place sixth with 41 points for the second highest finish among FCIAC teams at the boys Class LL meet.

Norwalk’s Bears were followed by fellow conference teams Ridgefield (34.5), Fairfield Ludlowe (34), Danbury (28) and Staples (26).

The other two boys from the FCIAC who placed third were Ridgefield’s Liam Nguyen (shot put) and Danbury’s Scott Gersten in the javelin.

Darien senior Kyle Bloomer was the conference’s only individual champion (400, 49.08) in the Class L boys championship meet.

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