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It’s become a rite of passage for the Old Saybrook girls’ indoor track team as for the last several years, the Rams have been the team to beat in the Shoreline Conference and for the third straight winter campaign, they’ve won the title behind solid performances all around.
“The girls did a great job,” said Coach Peter Capezzone of the girls’ team, which scored a total of 139 points. “I guess we expected to win, but every day brings different circumstances. But the girls really set their task to what they had to do and they did it.”
The team’s cohesiveness is what brought out the stars on Feb. 2 at Floyd Little Athletic Center. Despite dominating the competition all winter long, the Shoreline meet is one of its own and anything can happen.
“They’re a very cohesive team and they work together really well,” said Capezzone. “We have great leadership on that team. The seniors are really great, they kind of mesh well with the young kids on the team and help them out and lead them along. You see it constantly in the meets and during practices; it makes my job a lot easier. They’re also great competitors—they want to get better times and they understand what has to be done to win. Obviously, winning three in a row, they understand that.”
Prevailing for the Rams was the 4x200 relay team of Amanda Simoni, Katie Beezer, Cori Reid, and Christie DeAntonis (1:51.72), the 4x800 relay team of Erin Daley, Mahlah Givehand, Christine Gosselin, and Kelsey Sparrow (10:28.75), Erin Daley in the 1,000 (3:18.12), the 1,600 sprint medley relay team of Simoni, Alison Daley, Sephora Givehand, and DeAntonis (4:30.25), Mahlah Givehand in the 3,200 (12:33.23), and the 4x400 relay team of Alison Daley, Erin Daley, DeAntonis, and Simoni (4:23.39).
“It was definitely really exciting for our team,” said Erin Daley, who won three individual titles. “We all worked really hard for this season and it was exciting for us. It’s definitely a big privilege to be part of this team; this win was well-earned. And for me, it was a really exciting day and a great way to end my senior year. I’ve been running track for four years and it’s crazy to know it’s the last indoor season for me, but I like the way it ended.”
Also contributing points were Beezer in the 55 hurdles (2nd, 9.08) and long jump (3rd, 15-11 ¾), Mahlah Givehand in the 1,000 (5th, 3:22.57), Reid in the 600 (2nd, 1:42.68) and 300 (2nd, 43.29), Megan Rubano in the 1,600 (6th, 6:00.54), Sparrow in the 3,200 (5th, 13:40.74), Eden Wright in the shot put (5th, 28-2), Erin Featherstone in the pole vault (3rd, 8-0), Jocelyn Hanley in the pole vault (4th, 7-6), Kelsey Pandiani in the high jump (5th, 4-8), and Amy Robinson in the high jump (6th, 4-6).
“It’s definitely a fun experience this year—I know everyone on our team works really hard to just get better and we all push each other, which leads to our success,” said DeAntonis, who also won three individual titles. “It feels good to have contributed and to be part of the whole team winning, too.”
The third-finishing boys’ team also fared very well in an extremely close competition. Scoring 74.333 total points—just a narrow four points behind second-place North Branford and eight below champion East Hampton—the Rams had two athletes prevail individually, including Greg Daley in the long jump (20-7 ½) and Nick Sumby in the pole vault (13-6), who set a meet record.
Also scoring points was the 4x200 relay team of Rico Patarini, Sean McAvoy, Trevor Gale, and Clayton Hobbs (6th, 1:41.44), the 4x800 relay team of Derek Arbige, Alex Cabral, Tom Strand, and James DeAntonis (4th, 9:05.87), Daley in the 55 hurdles (2nd, 8.11) and 55 dash (2nd, 6.88), Sumby in the 55 hurdles (3rd, 8.48) and long jump (5th, 18-7 ½), Hobbs in the 55 hurdles (5th, 8.89), Patarini in the 55 hurdles (6th, 9.03), and Will Featherstone in the pole vault (4th, 10-6).
“It’s fun to watch once you know you’ve won it,” said Capezzone on the girls. “It’s a little intense at times, but the girls definitely made their statement.”