East Lyme girls, Ledyard boys win ECC Large titles

East Lyme's Kirsten Thompson pulls ahead of NFA's Kate Hageman during the 1,000-meter race at Saturday's ECC Large Division meet. Thompson won the 1,000 and 3,200 races to help the Vikings dethrone six-time champ NFA.
East Lyme's Kirsten Thompson pulls ahead of NFA's Kate Hageman during the 1,000-meter race at Saturday's ECC Large Division meet. Thompson won the 1,000 and 3,200 races to help the Vikings dethrone six-time champ NFA. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo

New London — Carl Reichard, science teacher, was trying to do math early Saturday night. Happy, glorious math. The kind that, if computed correctly, would result in a league championship.

And so Reichard, wheels spinning, was awash in the numbers that had just come from the high jump, where East Lyme High School cut a swath through the rest of the Eastern Connecticut Conference's Large Division.

It was there he knew that the Vikings would be champions and that Norwich Free Academy's streak of six straight league girls' indoor track and field titles was history.

"The older you get the more superstitious you get," he said, alluding to some fretting over the day's last event. "But obviously, very exciting."

The Vikings, with 161 points, edged NFA (145) and comfortably defeated Ledyard (55), Bacon Academy (42), Woodstock Academy (38) and Fitch (22).

Dave Tetlow, meanwhile, had far fewer worries. His Ledyard boys' dominated, thanks in part to Joe Carter's three victories, and finished with 137 points. NFA was second with 98, followed by Bacon (88), Fitch (72), East Lyme (58) and Woodstock (7).

"We were great all the way across the board," Tetlow said. "A very good even attack. We covered all the events and we covered them pretty well."

The story of the day, though, might have been the East Lyme girls, who placed four athletes in the high jump late in the meet. Janelle Wheaton won in 4 feet, 10 inches, helped along by Haley Ashton (second), Sara Shukis (fourth) and Gianna Folz (fifth).

"Big points late," Reichard said.

He also saluted distance runner winners Kirsten Thompson (1,000 and 3,200) and Isabella Moore (1,600). Moore was also second in the 3,200.

"That's a lot of running in one day," he said.

And it's that kind of effort that's required to take down the Wildcats.

"You need that against Norwich because they're really good," he said. "They have a strong history up there. ... We've gone into this week the last five or six years knowing the best you could do was lose by 40 or 50. But this year, we thought we had a chance."

Kelsey Shukis won the shot put for the Vikings. Other winners included NFA's Mia Lynne Park (55 meters), Camille McKenzie (600), Gabbi Wise (pole vault) and Taylor Driggers (long jump). NFA also won the 4x180 and 4x360 relays.

Ledyard's Chenoa Sebastian won the 55 hurdles.

Sebastian had victory in common with schoolmate Carter, who won the 55-meter dash, 300 and long jump.

"He won three events. How much more can you ask?" Tetlow said. "That's 30 points."

Parker Cronin won the pole vault for the Colonels as did their 4x720 relay of Trey DeAndrade, Max Armstrong, Bryce Hedman and Aaron Norcia.

Connor Gralton of NFA won the 1,600 and 3,200 and Tyler Latham won the 55 hurdles for Fitch. East Lyme's Brandon Dinsmore won the 600.

m.dimauro@theday.com

NFA's Mia Lynne Park, center, sprints to the finish during Saturday's 55-meter dash at the ECC Large Division Indoor Track and Field Championships at Coast Guard Academy. Park won in 7.61 seconds to beat Ledyard's Chenoa Sebastian, right, who finished second. Fitch's Hannah Finton, left, wound up sixth.
NFA's Mia Lynne Park, center, sprints to the finish during Saturday's 55-meter dash at the ECC Large Division Indoor Track and Field Championships at Coast Guard Academy. Park won in 7.61 seconds to beat Ledyard's Chenoa Sebastian, right, who finished second. Fitch's Hannah Finton, left, wound up sixth. DANA JENSEN/tHE dAY Buy Photo
Ledyard's Bryce Hedman runs the third leg of the 4x720-meter relay, an event the Colonels won en route to winning the ECC Large Division boys' title on Saturday.
Ledyard's Bryce Hedman runs the third leg of the 4x720-meter relay, an event the Colonels won en route to winning the ECC Large Division boys' title on Saturday. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo
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