Overflowing with personal bests and a fourth-place team finish, the Shoreline Conference Championship at Haddam-Killingworth proved successful for Valley girls' outdoor track on May 23. With each athlete boasting solid times and performances, leading to 78 total points, the Warriors were led by Amanda Preble's victory in the shot put and discus events, Ally Gates' wins in the half-mile and two-mile, plus the 4x800 relay team's dominance.
"There were a lot of personal bests for our kids today, which was the best part," said girls' Coach Lou Luciani. "I'm real proud of the team-I was thinking I'd be happy with a top-five finish as I had a feeling we could win the 4x800, halfs, two-mile, shot and disc, and I was wondering about the other kids coming through in other events, but they stepped up. Our distance kids and hurdlers pulled us through."
The aforementioned 4x800 relay team of Georgia O'Neil, Sarah Hammond, Phoebe Petrovic, and Gates prevailed (9:52.75), as did Gates in the 800 (2:21.23, a meet record) and 3,200 (11:56.95).
"It was tough at the beginning of the season since we knew Old Saybrook had so many experienced girls, but it was a great day to finish out my senior year," said senior captain Gates. "For the 800, I was seeded second going in, but I was a little nervous because the girl who was seeded first beat me twice during the regular season and I really wanted to get that meet record, which I did. In the two-mile, which was the last event, I wanted to get as many points for our team as possible and I kicked it at the end so I could get the team score at the end."
Also prevailing was Preble in the shot put (30-11) and discus (93-0), the latter of which she fouled twice before her last throw got her into the finals, a move that Luciani commented "proves she's always up for the big meets."
"I was a little nervous at first since I had fouled a couple of times, but then it was kind of getting it out there and I knew I had nothing to lose," said Preble. "It wasn't my best night, personally, but still good enough. It was difficult going into the finals since I was third so getting that throw over the top, getting that last throw behind my motivation, it helped me get over the top and win it."
Also scoring points for the Warriors were Samantha McKosky in the 1,600 (4th, 5:38.02) and 3,200 (3rd, 12:18.26); Ashley Poholski in the 300 hurdles (5th, 49.80); the 4x400 relay team of Poholski, O'Neil, Caitlyn Kelly, and Hammond (5th, 4:25.03); and Jenna Campbell in the javelin (5th, 86-0).
On the boys' side, the Warriors finished 11th with seven points which came from Chris Connor's placement in the high jump (4th, 5-10).