NFA boys, girls hold off Stonington to sweep ECC track titles

Norwich Free Academy's Allyson Lewis, the reigning State Open indoor champion in the high jump, tied a meet record by claring 5 feet, 8 inches to win the ECC title and lift the Wildcats to the team championship on Wednesday at East Lyme. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Norwich Free Academy's Allyson Lewis, the reigning State Open indoor champion in the high jump, tied a meet record by claring 5 feet, 8 inches to win the ECC title and lift the Wildcats to the team championship on Wednesday at East Lyme. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

East Lyme — All the moments of brilliance — and really, brilliant was no exaggeration Wednesday for these athletes and these performances — came down to this.

Norwich Free Academy's boys' and girls' track and field teams were gathered in one big circle, singing their alma mater. And that happened just moments after NFA hurdler David Osagie went somersaulting across the turf at East Lyme High School, bringing a grin to the face of NFA boys' coach Tom Teixeira.

For the second straight season, NFA swept the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship, with both teams edging Stonington. The NFA girls, who lost the ECC Division I regular season title to East Lyme, came back to edge Stonington 101.25-98 on the sport's marquee day. NFA finished with 131.5 points on the boys' side to Stonington's 112.

"We graduated 19 scoring seniors from this track meet," NFA girls' coach Kara Kochanski-Vendola said. "On paper, Stonington was ahead of us ... that's why I love this. I love this meet. I was happy (all day)."

"They're a good team. They're a more balanced team than we are," Teixeira said of Stonington. "We had to dominate a couple events."

The highlights from the day — the meet was postponed from Saturday due to weather — came from a variety of sources.

Stonington's Cam Whalen completed an impressive sprint double, winning the 110-meter hurdles in a school-record 14.53 seconds, then dashing back to the starting line to run the 100, in which he finished second. Whalen added a victory in the 300 hurdles in 40.50, turning mid-race to shout encouragement to friend and teammate Shane Smith, who finished second.

Windham's Alex Korczynski swept the 800 (1:56.31), 1,600 (4:26.62) and 3,200 (9:47.20) and East Lyme's Dylan Hatajik won the 100 (11.34) and 200 (22.74), ahead of a high-caliber field in both. Meanwhile, Stonington's 4x400 relay team of Joey Hinckley, Chase Flynn, Blake Edwards and Rhys Hammond turned in a meet record-setting performance of 3:25.33.

Madison Powe of Fitch and Kate Hall of Stonington shared a title in the girls' 100, coming across the finish line with identical times of 12.93 seconds. Hall later captured the 200 (26.30) and Powe was a part of the 4x100 relay team which set a meet record of 49.56 seconds, joining Janaya Burley, Lily Johnson and Abby Rogers.

NFA's Allyson Lewis tied a meet record in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches, and Waterford's Sophia Podeszwa avenged a loss to Griswold's Kalli'ana Botelho in the 100 hurdles by beating Botelho in the 300 hurdles in 45.25, the first ECC title of her career.

NFA also got wins from freshman Kayla Park in the 3,200 (11:56.34) and from Paige Martin in the pole vault (10-6), who led a contigent which scored 28.5 points in the event, flipping things around on Stonington.

"I was always tall. I'm 5-10. But I didn't like any tall people sports," said Martin, who along with sisters Madison and Sydney form a set of triplets who all compete for NFA. "My dad said, 'If you want to try track and field ...' There's good support together (among the pole vaulters). We make each other stronger."

East Lyme's girls rolled past NFA 97-52 in the season-opening dual meet on April 11.

"I told Carl (Reichard, East Lyme coach) that day, 'We have so many freshmen, we don't even know what a track meet is run like,'" Kochanski-Vendola said. "They learned. They developed every day. They dug down deep."

Other local girls' champions were Montville's Mady Whittaker in the 1,600 (5:26.87), East Lyme's Jamie Foster in the javelin (117-01) and the Stonington 4x800 team of Emma Small, Liz Gray, Lindsey Orr and Jess Detwiler (10:02.69).

The NFA boys got victories from Brenden Sholes in the high jump (6-4), Jahiem Spruill in the long jump (22-5) and Chris Hebert in the javelin (179-9).

Teixeira said he put pressure on Sholes and Spruill to score as many points as possible in the jumps, the Wildcats' forte. Spruill added a second in the triple jump and a third in the high jump, while Sholes was also third in the long jump and anchored the fourth-place 4x400 team.

"It was like, 'We kind of have something here,'" Teixeira said. "Only we needed it to be a little more exaggerated."

"I knew, 'We're gonna need the points,'" Spruill said. "(When the coach talks), I kind of just sit there. I don't say anything. I just listen. I give it all I've got."

Other local boys' winners were Ledyard's Collin Wiltshire in the triple jump (44-6), Fitch's Thomas Joyner in the discus (140-6) and Stonington's Smith in the pole vault (13-0). Montville's 4x100 team of Gennaro Davis, Greg Clark, Daltyn Butler and Nik Angell won in 43.32 and the East Lyme team of Ryan McCauley, Matthew Kung, Rob Avena and Chris Abbey took the 4x800 in 8:20.53.

"We couldn't ask for better performances," Stonington coach Ben Bowne said of both teams. "We did absolutely everything we absolutely could. We can't have kids do four events. It's crazy. It's a great day, but it's a little sting. For a Class S or Class M school, it's easier to win the class meet."


Norwich Free Academy's Brenden Sholes takes off in the long jump during the ECC track and championships on Wednesday at East Lyme. Sholes took third in the long jump and won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 4 inches, to help NFA beate Stonington for the team title. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Norwich Free Academy's Brenden Sholes takes off in the long jump during the ECC track and championships on Wednesday at East Lyme. Sholes took third in the long jump and won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 4 inches, to help NFA beate Stonington for the team title. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)


At East Lyme


Team results

1. NFA, 131.50; 2. Stonington, 112; 3. Windham, 86.50; 4. East Lyme, 75; 5. Montville, 48; 6. Ledyard, 46; 7. Plainfield, 38; 8. Fitch, 33; 9. Waterford, 29; 10. Bacon Academy, 27; 11. Lyman Memorial, 23; 12. Woodstock Academy, 16; 13. Killingly, 14. Griswold, 13; 15. New London, 9.

Individual results

100-meter dash — 1. Dylan Hatajik (EL), 11.34 seconds; 2. Cam Whalen (S); 3. Shayne Beckloff (Wat); 4. James Smith (L); 5. Davaughn Luty (G); 6. Spencer Lockwood (K); 7. Cruz Quintana (NFA); 8. Nik Angell (M).

200 — 1. Dylan Hatajik (EL), 22.74; 2. Greg Clark (M); 3. Shayne Beckloff (Wat); 4. Davaughn Luty (G); 5. James Smith (L); 6. Justin McKenna (S); 7. Anthony Titus (Win); 8. Cruz Quintana (NFA).

400 — 1. Jason Walton (P), 50.08; 2. Anthony Titus (Win); 3. Natanael Colon (WA); 4. Daltyn Butler (M); 5. Brady Noniewicz (BA); 6. Blake Edwards (S); 7. Joshua Achille (NFA); 8. Jason Rivera (NL).

800 — 1. Alexander Korczynski (Win). 1:56.31; 2. Rhys Hammond (S); 3. Ryan McCauley (EL); 4. Tom Readett (F); 5. Matt Laliberte (BA); 6. Chase Flynn (S); 7. Marquis White (NL); 8. Ian Kamperschroer (L).

1,600 — 1. Alexander Korczynski (Win), 4:26.62; 2. Sam Whittaker (EL); 3. Tom Readett (F); 4. Andrew Janus (BA); 5. Christopher Abbey (EL); 6. Dylan McGuire (NFA); 7. Aidan Brown (NFA); 8. Matthew Speight (P).

3,200 — 1. Alexander Korczynski (Win), 9:47.20; 2. Sam Whittaker (EL); 3. Silas Olsen (LM); 4. Andrew Janus (BA); 5. Christopher Abbey (EL); 6. Ian Poe (F); 7. Noah Barnhart (EL); 8. Ethan Moores (BA).

110 high hurdles — 1. Cam Whalen (S), 14.53; 2. Enrique Lopez-Garcia (Win); 3. Osarentin Osagie (NFA); 4. Derek Strickland (M); 5. Bryce Bentinck (K); 6. Collin Wiltshire (L); 7. Jared Lovell (Wat); 8. Jared Rudzinsky (S).

300 intermediate hurdles — 1. Cam Whalen (S), 40.50; 2. Shane Smith (S); 3. Enrique Lopez-Garcia (Win); 4. Osarantin Osagie (NFA); 5. Akhil Chilamkurthi (EL); 6. Bryce Bentinck (K); 7. Michael Vincent (Wat); 8. Jalen Chappelle (Wat).

4x100 relay — 1. Montville (Gennaro Davis, Greg Clark, Daltyn Butler, Nik Angell), 43.32; 2. NFA; 3. Plainfield; 4. Ledyard; 5. Killingly; 6. Stonington; 7. Waterford; 8. East Lyme.

4x400 relay — 1. Stonington (Joey Hinckley, Chase Flynn, Blake Edwards, Rhys Hammond), 3:25.33 (meet record, old mark 3:27.15 set by NFA in 2013); 2. Montville; 3. Plainfield; 4. NFA; 5. Waterford; 6. Bacon; 7. East Lyme; 8. Windham.

4x800 relay — 1. East Lyme (Ryan McCauley, Matthew Kung, Rob Avena, Christopher Abbey), 8:20.53; 2. Stonington; 3. New London; 4. NFA; 5. Lyman; 6. Waterford; 7. Ledyard; 8. Windham.

High jump — 1. Brenden Sholes (NFA), 6 feet, 4 inches; 2. Clifford Jones (Win); 3. Jahiem Spruill (NFA); 4. Collin Wiltshire (L); 5. (tie) Armstrong Alcius (NFA), Kayvon Negahban (Wat) and Makaih Olawale (EL); 8. Jarvin Alday (P).

Long jump — 1. Jahiem Spruill (NFA), 22-5; 2. Michael Franchi (LM); 3. Brenden Sholes (NFA); 4. Justin McKenna (S); 5. Davaughn Luty (G); 6. Khalil Easton (P); 7. Hayden Parrilla (S); 8. Jelani Johnson (K).

Triple jump — 1. Collin Wiltshire (L), 44-6; 2. Jahiem Spruill (NFA); 3. Justin Costick (NFA); 4. Armstrong Alcius (NFA); 5. Julia Valdes (NFA); 6. Tyler Southavong (P); 7. Jerrell Fitch (M); 8. Clayton Goodrich (LM).

Discus — 1. Thomas Joyner (F), 140-6; 2. Rene Muhizi (Win); 3. Greyson DelGrosso (S); 4. William Dentch (F); 5. Markeith Conyers (P); 6. Connor Huda (NFA); 7. Nasem McIntosh (M); 8. Xander Hutchens (L).

Javelin — 1. Chris Hebert (NFA), 179-9; 2. Adam Crawford (L); 2. Greyson DelGrosso (S); 4. Shea McManaway (NFA); 5. Jack Anderson (LM); 6. SpencerDuthrie (EL); 7. Benjamin Berlinj (L); 8. Chris Holmes (F).

Shot put — 1. Natanael Barbosa Torres (Win), 50-4; 2. Cameron Belton (NFA); 3. Mark Dumas (WA); 4. Adelino DaVeiga (NFA); 5. Dylan Glennon (P); 6. Tyrone Mack (M); 7. Rene Muhizi (Win); 8. Connor Huda (WA).

Pole vault — 1. Shane Smith (S), 13-0; 2. Joey Hinckley (S); 3. Christopher Weir (NFA); 4. Aaron Young (BA); 5. (tie) Jacob Bazinet (NFA) and Gregorio Rivera (Win); 7. Ethan Alves (F); 8. Alex Schwindt (F).



Team results

1. NFA, 101.25; 2. Stonington, 98; 3. Plainfield, 62.75; 4. Montville, 58; 5. Fitch, 56; 6. East Lyme, 54.25; 7. Griswold, 53; 8. Killingly, 51; 9. Waterford, 50.75; 10. Bacon Academy, 26; 11. Ledyard, 26; 12. St. Bernard, 22; 13. Woodstock Academy, 20; 14. Lyman Memorial, 12; 15. Windham, 7; 16. New London, 3.

Individual results

100-meter dash — 1. (tie) Madison Powe (F) and Kate Hall (S), 12.93 seconds; 3. Nadia Helme (L); 4. Lily Johnson (F); 5. Audrey Stmiska (G); 6. Allyson Lewis (NFA); 7. Abigail Rogers (F); 8. Tamia McBride (Win).

200 — 1. Kate Hall (S), 26.30; 2. Zora LaBonte (Wat); 3. Taylor Balzano (P); 4. Lily Johnson (F); 5. Nadia Helme (L); 6. Madison Powe (F); 7. Juliet Brady (SB); 8. Aliyah LaCombe (NFA).

400 — 1. Kate Carleson (P), 59.47; 2. Zora LaBonte (Wat); 3. Taylor Balzano (P); 4. Tamia McBride (Win); 5. Alexandra Peck (M); 6. Katherine Harris (EL); 7. Christina McCaffrey (SB); 8. Rachel Kunka (SB).

800 — 1. Cassandra Carleson (P), 2:20.2; 2. Kayla Park (NFA); 3. Jessica Detwiler (S); 4. Emma Small (S); 5. Liz Gray (S); 6. Catherine Saucier (Wat); 7. Sydney Crawford (LM); 8. Alica Lan (EL).

1,600 — 1. Mady Whittaker (M), 5:26.87; 2. Lindsey Orr (S); 3. Claire Mason (EL); 4. Eve Buckridge (NFA); 5. Serena Britner (SB); 6. Julia Adrian (F); 7. Lily Anderson (S); 8. Taylor Knupp (K).

3,200 — 1. Kayla Park (NFA), 11:56.34; 2. Mady Whittaker (M); 3. Emily Moran (P); 4. Brigid Kunka (SB); 5. Eve Buckridge (NFA); 6. Lily Anderson (S); 7. Samantha Lister (EL); 8. Hannah Matsis (WA).

100 hurdles — 1. Kalli'ana Botelho (G), 14.99; 2. Sophia Podeszwa (Wat); 3. Lauren Ross (M); 4. Meredith Brown (G); 5. Olivia Crawford (L); 6. Kaleigh Bolduc (S); 7. Alex Jefson (S).

300 hurdles — 1. Sophia Podeszwa (Wat), 45.25; 2. Kalli'ana Botelho (G); 3. Isabella Newbury (P); 4. Jessica Savage (BA); 5. Sarah Merchant (G); 6. Meredith Brown (G); 7. Olivia Crawford (L); 8. Lauren Ross (M).

4x100 relay — 1. Fitch (Madison Powe, Janaya Burley, Lily Johnson, Abigail Rogers), 49.56 (meet record, old mark 49.58 set by Ledyard in 2011); 2. Plainfield; 3. Stonington; 4. Montville; 5. NFA; 6. Killingly; 7. Ledyard; 8. East Lyme.

4x400 relay — 1. Plainfield (Sydney Cleaveland, Cassandra Carleson, Isabella Newbury, Kate Carleson), 4:05.99; 2. Waterford; 3. East Lyme; 4. Stonington; 5. NFA; 6. Woodstock; 7. Lyman; 8. Bacon.

4x800 relay — 1. Stonington (Emma Small, Liz Gray, Lindsey Orr, Jessica Detwiler), 10:02.69; 2. St. Bernard; 3. East Lyme; 4. NFA; 5. Waterford; 6. Lyman; 7. Fitch; 8. Windham.

High jump — 1. Allyson Lewis (NFA), 5 feet, 8 inches (ties meet record set by NFA's Nicole Kadyszewski in 2000); 2. Rachel Hultzman (K); 3. Lindsey O'Dea (WA); 4. Lila Rich (S); 4. Audrey Strmiska (G); 6. (tie) Erin Jedele (NFA) and Caitlyn Anderson (EL); 8. Ellie Lokken (Wat).

Long jump — 1. Kalli'ana Botelho (G), 17-9.5; 2. Allyson Lewis (NFA); 3. Abbie Burgess (K); 3. Audrey Strmiska (G); 5. Sarah May (M); 6. MacKenzie Clark (M); 7. Abby Millbach (L); 8. Egypt Burley (F).

Triple jump — 1. Rachel Hultzman (K), 33-0.25; 2. Sheyenne Gillis (M); 3. Aliyah LaCombe (NFA); 45. Lauren Ross (M); 5. MacKenzie Clark (M); 6. Madelyn Grube (WA); 7. Kaleigh Hopkins (K); 8. Karissa DeNigris (L).

Discus — 1. Natalie Rolon-Issa (BA), 122-8; 2. Colleen Duffy (F); 3. Jamie Foster (EL); 4. Taylor Jax (K); 5. Ally Conde (K); 6. Lexa Van Duine (S); 7. Savannah Hunter (EL); 8. Natalie Poulton (L).

Javelin — 1. Jamie Foster (EL), 117-01; 2. Aliza Bell (S); 3. Ally Conde (K); 4. Allison Powers (LM); 5. Paula Hernandez (WA); 6. Rachel Salmon (WA); 7. Eliza Brown (NL); 8. Delaney Gagnon (L).

Shot put — 1. Natalie Rolon-Issa (BA), 36-3; 2. Jamie Foster (EL); 4. Taylor Jax (K); 4. Emma Diamanti (S); 5. Colleen Duffy (F); 6. Natalie Pulton (L); 7. Anna Lewis (NFA); 8. Eliza Brown (NL).

Pole vault — 1. Paige Martin (NFA), 10-6; 2. Madison Martni (NFA); 3. Angela Chong (NFA); 4. (tie) Keegan Donahue (S), Leah Mikkelson (NFA) and Sydney Comstock (F); 7. (tie) Hannah Elliot (NFA), Kaitlin Kluge (EL), Sydney Cleveland (P) and Jennifer Keth (Wat).



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