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The East Haven boys' and girls' indoor track squads competed at the SCC Coaches' Invitational at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on Jan. 11 at an event designed for individuals to excel. No East Haven athlete excelled more than senior shot putter Destiney Coward.
Coward earned all 10 points for the girls' team at the meet and the Yellowjackets finished in 21st as a result. Coward broke her own school record in the shot put for the second consecutive meet. Previously, she recorded a throw of 37-81/2 to set the record and her season goal is to hit 40 feet.
This meet, Coward's throw of 38-51/4 shattered her previous mark by almost nine inches and bested her nearest competition by more than two feet. She was also named the MVP out of all female field athletes at the meet.
"Destiney is clearly the star of our indoor team and she's one of the best athletes in the state. She has the best throw in the state of Connecticut right now," said Head Coach Rusty Dunne.
Coward accomplished the record even though she used a standing throw technique as opposed to the glide that you typically see most shot putters use.
"I just feel more comfortable doing the stand throw," Coward said. "My coach wanted me to glide a lot more, but I'm not really that confident yet. I only learned the glide for two hours so that's not enough to come out here and try to break any records that way."
Dunne knows she'll move into the glide as the season progresses.
"She's heading toward becoming a state champion and, if she doesn't glide, she's going to make her job that much more difficult," Dunne said. "In the big meets, you have to move in the circle and she's at the next level now so she has to move. She knows that."
Also competing in the shot put was sophomore Samantha Diglio. She had a throw of 26-41/2, which Dunne called a great accomplishment for the youngster.
The Yellowjackets had two runners in the 1,000. Emily Maffeo finished in 3:33.63 and Melissa Palma wasn't far behind, completing the event in 3:40.95. Taylor Maffeo ran the 600 in 1:57.17 and Michelle Monterrorso ran the 300 in 47.91.
Sophomore Megan Kikosicki finished 31st in the 55 (8.10) and 17th in the 300 (46.03).
"She was sick so she wasn't up to par, but both of her times were qualifying times," Dunne said of Kikosicki. "She's not where she needs to be right now and she knows that. She was disappointed in her performance. If she gets herself in proper condition, she should be able to run against anybody."
On the guys' side, Dunne was most impressed with Garrett Pates and Chris Maio. Pates ran his best time of the season in the 600 (133.32) and Maio ran his best in the 55 high hurdles (9.0).
"Garrett has qualified for the state championship," Dunne said of Pates's time. "Chris Maio is close to state qualifying. He did a great job and he's on track to where he's supposed to be."
Also competing were Marshall McClay in the 55 (7.38), Maio in the 300 (41.01), Pates in the 300 (41.04), and Mike Griffith in the 55 high hurldes (9.56) and long jump (15-9).