Stonington sweeps ECC Division II indoor track & field titles

Stonington's Megan Detwiler and Emma Small  come off a turn en route to their 1-2 finish in the 600-meter race, helping the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title on Saturday at the Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Megan Detwiler and Emma Small come off a turn en route to their 1-2 finish in the 600-meter race, helping the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title on Saturday at the Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

New London — None of the athletes on the Stonington High School boys' indoor track team relish losing.

But then they spend their intrasquad practices every day competing with shooting stars like Cam Whalen and Rhys Hammond.

“We all have someone to chase,” Stonington senior Shane Smith said. “We have Rhys in all the distance races. We have Cam in all the sprints. That's what makes it such a good team. We all have someone we have to chase. … We can't let the training go nowhere.”

Stonington's boys' and girls' teams flooded the ECC Division II championship on Saturday afternoon at the Coast Guard Academy, both coming up with victories.

The boys, using Griswold's winning point total of 162 in the 2012 Division II meet as a focal point for a score to beat, amassed 175 points to 92 for second-place Windham. The Stonington girls outscored Griswold 135-82.

Stonington's boys won the 2017 title and the girls were first in 2016, but it was the first sweep for the Bears. Both teams are hoping the momentum carries over into Friday's Class M state championship at the Floyd Little Athletic Center, with the boys, in particular, being in the mix for a state title along with Hillhouse and Weston.

“We've got a big group of seniors that care a lot about what they're doing,” Whalen said. “We always push each other. We definitely knew we were going to score some points.”

Whalen won his third straight title in the 55 hurdles, finishing in 7.76 seconds, and Smith set a school record in the pole vault to finish first at 13 feet, 6 inches. The Bears also won relay titles in the 4x360 (3:33.48), 4x720 (7:53.74) and sprint medley (3:27.93).

Freshman Megan Detwiler won the girls' 600 meters (1:44.15) to lead a 1-2-3 Stonington finish in the event, while Emma Diamanti took the shot put (31-0), Keegan Donahue the pole vault (8-0) and the Bears got relay wins in the 4x720 (9:48.82) and the sprint medley (4:11.73).

“Very cool,” Stonington coach Ben Bowne said of the dual titles for the boys' and girls' teams.

He was then asked what made the difference in building the programs so that they're both operating at championship level.

“The kids, the kids,” Bowne said. “They buy in. They don't make excuses. They enjoy it and take it and motivate each other. You just get kids interesting in track. Once you start having success, it grows. … There are sports you might not get that stat to show how hard you're working. You come out here, you get a confidence boost to go back to your other sport feeling like you're a better athlete.”

Smith, Hammond, Nick Benjamin, Blake Edwards, Ethan Allen-Fernandes, Steve Devoe, Max Wojtas, Chase Flynn, Benjamin Abely, Martin Vernet and Graham Johnstone all had a part in the boys' relays wins, with Holly Foster, Julia Rich, Rachel Sabbadini, Liz Gray, Gwen Anderson, Lainnie Connor, Emma Small and Jess Detwiler taking relay gold among the girls.

Among the meet's most memorable moments was a win for Montville's Greg Clark in the 300 meters.

Clark won in 35.71 seconds, his fastest time of the season on a flat track, beating Whalen (36.12) to the finish line and punching the soft mat on a nearby wall in jubilation. Clark, a senior, owns the top time in the state this season in the 300, a 35.25 he ran Jan. 19 to win the Yale Invitational on a banked track.

Clark and Whalen, two of the state's marquee athletes, exchanged handshakes and a brief embrace following the event.

“I've been waiting to run against Cam,” said Clark, who lost the event to Whalen last season. “I knew he'd be right behind. Usually coming around the last stretch I'm exhausted, like you're running through molasses. … I had some talent coming in, but my coaches just got me quicker, got my endurance up. We just ran 400s in practice.”

The other local boys' winner was Waterford's Shayne Beckloff, who captured the 55 dash in 6.73 to take down top-seeded Davaughn Luty of Griswold (6.74) and win his first-ever ECC title.

“He's proven he's the best,” Beckloff said of Luty. “I was just trying to hit the gym … getting up, like, at 4:30 (a.m.) to start lifting. I had to get my legs back up. Before the season started, I sprained my ankle in gym class. … I like good competition.”

Local girls' winners included Montville's Mady Whittaker in the 1,600 (5:31.76) and Montville's Maddie Gould in the 3,200 (12:51.81).

Griswold's Kalli'Ana Botelho (girls' 55 hurdles, high jump) and Windham's Alex Korczynski (boys' 1,000, 1,600) were double-winners. Botelho edged Waterford's Sophia Podeszwa in the hurdles, 8.61-8.63.

v.fulkerson@theday.com

Stonington's Rhys Hammond is cheered on by a teammate as he competes in the 1,000-meter race during Saturday's ECC Division II indoor track and field championships at the Coast Guard Academy. Hammond finished second in the race and helped the Bears win the team title. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Rhys Hammond is cheered on by a teammate as he competes in the 1,000-meter race during Saturday's ECC Division II indoor track and field championships at the Coast Guard Academy. Hammond finished second in the race and helped the Bears win the team title. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Cameron Whalen, center, leads teammates Shane Smith, left, and Jared Rudzinsky during a qualifying heat in 55-meter hurdles on Saturday. Whalen went on to win the race and both of his teammates also placed, helping the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title at Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Cameron Whalen, center, leads teammates Shane Smith, left, and Jared Rudzinsky during a qualifying heat in 55-meter hurdles on Saturday. Whalen went on to win the race and both of his teammates also placed, helping the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title at Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Shane Smith reacts after missing his mark during the pole vault competition on Saturday. Smith won the event by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches, and helped the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title at the Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Stonington's Shane Smith reacts after missing his mark during the pole vault competition on Saturday. Smith won the event by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches, and helped the Bears win the ECC Division II indoor track and field title at the Coast Guard Academy. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

ECC DIV. II CHAMPIONSHIPS/BOYS

At Coast Guard Academy

Team Results

1. Stonington, 175; 2. Windham, 92; 3. Montville, 50; 4. Griswold, 41; 5. Plainfield, 36; 6. Waterford, 29; 7. Lyman Memorial, 15; 8. Killingly, 13; 9. St. Bernard, 9.

Individual Results

55-meter dash — 1. Shayne Beckloff (Wa), 6.73 seconds; 2. Davaughn Luty (G); 3. Lucas Logan (G); 4. Joshua Curtin (S); 5. Douglas DelaCruz (M); 6. Martin Vernet (S).

300 — 1. Greg Clark (M), 35.71; 2. Cam Whalen (S); 3. Jason Walton (P); 4. Nicholas Benjamin (S); 5. Joey Hinckley (S); 6. Beckloff (Wa).

600 — 1. Anthony Titus (Wi), 1:27.82; 2. Chase Flynn (S); 3. Blake Edwards (S); 4. Ethan Allen-Fernandes (S); 5. Jonathan Saint-Surin (G); 6. Sean Ventresca (M).

1,000 — 1. Alexander Korczynski (Wi), 2:34.32; 2. Rhys Hammond (S); 3. Matthew Speight (P); 4. Steve Devoe (S); 5. Teddy Nosiku (SB); 6. Garrett Gasparino (G).

1,600 — Korczynski (Wi), 4:29.04; 2. Allen Sfakios (Wi); 3. Tyler Fidrych (S); 4. Kristopher Dow (Wa); 5. Jason Kilcoyne (S); 6. Speight (P).

3,200 — 1. Silas Olsen (LM), 10:56.97; 2. Fidrych (S); 3. Sam Lenes (Wa); 4. Elias Dahl (S); 5. Victor Cazabal (Wi); 6. Jacob Hamlin (LM).

55 hurdles — 1. Whalen (S), 7.76; 2. Enrique Lopez Garcia (Wi); 3. Derek Strickland (M); 4. Jared Rudzinsky (S); 5. Bryce Bentinck (K); 6. Shane Smith (S).

4x180 relay — 1. Griswold, 1:26.85; 2. Stonington; 3. Plainfield; 4. Montville; 5. Waterford; 6. Killingly.

4x360 relay — 1. Stonington (Smith, Benjamin, Edwards, Hammond), 3:33.48; 2. Windham; 3. Montville; 4. Plainfield; 5. Lyman; 6. St. Bernard.

4x720 relay — 1. Stonington (Allen-Fernades, Max Wojtas, Devoe, Flynn), 7:53.74; 3. Montville; 3. Windham; 4. St. Bernard.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Stonington (Ben Abely, Vernet, Graham Johnstone, Hammond), 3:27.93; 2. Montville; 3. Windham; 4. Killingly; 5. St. Bernard.

High jump — 1. Titus (Wi), 5 feet, 6 inches; 2. Curtin (S); 3. Chris Smith (Wa); 4. (tie) Tyler Southavong (P) and Wade Post (S); 6. Rudzinsky (S).

Pole vault — 1. Smith (S), 13-6; 2. Hinckley (S); 3. Gregorio Rivera (Wi); 4. Devraj Patel (G); 5. Raymond Cruz (Wi).

Long jump — 1. Luty (G), 20-5.75; 2. Hayden Parrilla (S); 3. Jelani Johnson (K); 4. Post (S); 5. Clayton Goodrich (LM); 6. Jerrell Fitch (M).

Shot put — 1. Dylan Glennon (P), 49-7.5; 2. Greyson DelGrosso (S); 3. Natanael Barbosa Torres (Wi); 4. Tyrone Mack (M); 5. Max Mueller (S); 6. Adam Gibbs (S).

 

ECC DIV. II CHAMPIONSHIPS/GIRLS

At Coast Guard Academy

Team Results

1. Stonington, 135; 2. Griswold, 82; 3. Montville, 65; 4. Plainfield, 55; 5. Killingly, 39; 6. Waterford, 35; 7. St. Bernard, 28; 8. Windham, 9; 9. Tourtellotte, 4; 10. Lyman Memorial, 2.

Individual Results

55-meter dash — 1. Audrey Strmiska (G), 7.67 seconds; 2. Gwen Anderson (S); 3. Kamryn Gurnee-Mims (G); 4. Gwen LaTour (G); 5. Jennifer Keth (Wa); 6. Mia Londregan (SB).

300 — 1. Kate Carleson (P), 42.13; 2. Kalli'ana Botelho (G); 3. Isabella Newbury (P); 4. Sophia Podeszwa (Wa); 5. Taylor Balzano (P); 6. Zora LaBonte (Wa).

600 — 1. Megan Detwiler (S), 1:44.15; 2. Emma Small (S); 3. Jessica Detwiler (S); 4. Alexandria Peck (M); 5. Sarah Merchant (G); 6. Christina McCaffrey (SB).

1,000 — 1. Cassandra Carleson (P), 3:06.68; 2. Mady Whittaker (M); 3. Caroline Morehouse (S); 4. Liz Gray (S); 5. Elizabeth Bowman (M); 6. Serena Britner (SB).

1,600 — 1. Whittaker (M), 5:31.76; 2. Lindsey Orr (S); 3. Emily Moran (P); 4. Lily Anderson (S); 5. Maddie Gould (M); 6. Brigid Kunka (SB).

3,200 — 1. Gould (M), 12:51.81; 2. L. Anderson (S); 3. Kunka (SB).

55 hurdles — 1. Botelho (G), 8.61; 2. Podeszwa (Wa); 3. LaBonte (Wa); 4. Meredith Brown (G); 5; Lauren Ross (M); 6. Lexi Woviotis (S).

4x180 relay — 1. Plainfield, 1:37.88 (meet record, old mark 1:38.19 by East Lyme in 1999); 2. Waterford; 3. Stonington; 4. Griswold; 5. St. Bernard; 6. Montville.

4x360 relay — 1. Plainfield, 4:15.34; 2. Stonington; 3. Montville; 4. St. Bernard; 5. Lyman.

4x720 relay — 1. Stonington (Holly Foster, Julia Rich, Rachel Sabbadini, Gray), 9:48.82; 2. St. Bernard; 3. Montville; 4. Tourtellotte.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Stonington (Gwen Anderson, Lainnie Connor, Emma Small, J. Detwiler), 4:11.73; 2. Montville; 3. Griswold; 4. St. Bernard; 5. Waterford; 6. Killingly.

High jump — 1. Botelho (G), 5 feet, 4 inches; 2. Rachel Hultzman (K); 3. Woviotis (S); 4. Ross (M); 5. Ellie Lokken (Wa); 6. Cynthia Gonzalez (Wi).

Pole vault — 1. Keegan Donahue (S), 8-0; 2l Emily Tartsinis (Wi); 3. (tie) Hannah Lamb (S) and Skylar Petersen (G); 5. Lokken (Wa); 6. Sydney Cleaveland (P).

Long jump — 1. Caroline Gagnon (K), 15-5.5; 2. Gurnee-Mims (G); 3. Lamb (S); 4. Hultzman (K); 5. Ross (M); 6. Petersen (G).

Shot put — 1. Emma Diamanti (S). 31-0; 2. Taylor Jax (K); 3. Alexandria Conde (K); 4. Maya Waldron (G); 5. Sydney Rosen (K); 6. Katherine Cintron (S).

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