Ledyard earns the sweep in ECC Division II indoor track meet
New London — Dave Tetlow, 50 years into his coaching career at Ledyard High School, was preaching to his team regarding the merits of winning an Eastern Connecticut Conference title.
“For some of you to get one ECC in an entire year is an amazing thing,” Tetlow said of his message. “Some of you ran cross country and the football team already got (an ECC championship) in the fall.
“We have a chance to get two today and that would be your second one. Technically, in outdoor track, you get a chance to have a trifecta. For most teams, you’ll be lucky to get one in your entire life, all-time. And here, your senior year, you could get all three. It could be amazing.”
The Ledyard boys’ and girls’indoor track teams were up for adding to the school’s collection of hardware for the 2022-23 school year, sweeping the ECC Division II championship meet Saturday at the Coast Guard Academy.
The boys’ team scored 143 points, snapping the streak of five-time champion Stonington, which finished second with 102. Killingly and Montville tied for third with 44.
The Ledyard girls accumulated 135 points. Montville was second with 85, followed by St. Bernard third (57) and Lyman Memorial fourth (56).
Stonington’s Josh Mooney, who recently signed a letter of intent to run at UConn, highlighted the meet with three individual victories, taking the 55-meter dash (6.62 seconds), the 55 hurdles (7.65) and the long jump (22 feet, .25 inches). Teammate Ryan Gruczka set the day’s only meet record, winning the 1,600 in 4:23.96.
“I’m really happy,” said Ledyard junior Hayden Baber, who contributed to two winning relays for the boys. “Last year it sucked losing to Stonington but we came back, everyone was stronger, everyone was faster, everyone in our field events got better.
“It felt really good taking a win today. ... We were very confident, were were excited. I knew all the work I put in through the summer, every season, every preseason. Every day I’m always out there doing something to get better every day and so are these guys. It was an honor to run with them.”
Ledyard’s strategy, a well-known Tetlow tactic: stack the relays.
The boys won three of the four relays, including the 4x180 and 4x800 relays early to jump out to the lead. The Colonels capped the meet with a victory in the 4x400, more than compensating for their not winning any individual events.
Jackson Poulton, Jacob Lenz, Roan Fothergill and Tyler LaPerle teamed to win the 4x180 (1:27.85), while Mason Day, Gabriel Huff, Baber and Auguste Estriplet took the 4x800 in 8:54.13. Day, Baber, Estriplet and Joey Morales earned the win in the 4x400 (3:42.65).
“Relays, I think for a lot of kids, are more fun,” said Tetlow, who said he likes to use every athlete, no matter his or her individual success, in at least one relay. “For me, it’s easier to get four kids from our school to compete very, very fast and run together and end up being stellar.”
Stonington’s Gruczka (1,600, 3,200) and Anders Dahl (pole vault, 600) were double-winners, along with Killingly’s Noah Colangelo (300, high jump), while Montville senior Dylan Horkey won the 1,000 and ran the anchor leg of the winning sprint medley relay team, earning both victories with a finishing kick.
Stonington, which is also the defending Class S state champion, will run its state meet Thursday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
Stonington coach Ben Bowne said that didn’t give the Bears enough time to recover if he chose to use his athletes to go all-out for a sixth straight ECC title. And even then, he said, Ledyard would have been a tough matchup.
“I talked to the guys about and it was just, which do we want more?” said Bowne, who noted that Stonington’s indoor teams have less depth this year than in the past. “... We just want to come and have the success that we can here today but stay focused on next week as well.”
Ledyard’s Ella Stephenson won the 300, 600 and ran a leg on the Colonels’ first-place 4x400 team, while Kate Littler took the 1,000 and contributed to a pair of relay wins.
The Ledyard girls also got wins from Maddie McLeod in the 55 hurdles, the 4x400 team of Megan Armstrong, Lia Day, Littler and Stephenson in the 4x400 and Avery Widlicka, Samantha Doran, Josephine Withbroe and Littler in the 4x800.
Montville’s Maya Suarez swept the 1,600 and 3,200.
Littler won ECC and Class M state championships last year in the 600 and as part of the 4x800 relay, going on to compete at the State Open and New England meets as a freshman.
“It’s definitely different because last year everything was new and this year you know what to expect, how to run the races,” Littler said. “You’ve been here before. ... (Last year), I didn’t know anything about track; I was originally using track as like a stay-in-shape type of thing (for soccer). Now it’s my main sport.”
“We’ve definitely come a long way,” Stephenson said. “We’ve developed a lot as a team and we have a lot of good runners now. ... (To win the ECC), we had to arrange ourselves in a way that we’re able to place well in every event.”
ECC Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships
At Coast Guard Academy
1. Ledyard, 143; 2. Stonington, 102; 3. (tie) Killingly and Montville, 44; 5. Bacon Academy, 39; 6. St. Bernard, 32; 7. Lyman Memorial, 30; 8. Plainfield, 12; 9. Windham, 10; 10. Griswold, 7.
55-meter dash: 1. Joshua Mooney (S), 6.62 seconds; 2. Noah Colangelo (K); 3. Everton Brown (K); 4. Jackson Poulton (L); 5. Jacob Lenz (L); 6. Jake Martino (B).
300: 1. Colangelo (K), 37.45; 2. Jeremiah Bobbi (LM); 3. Roan Fothergill (L); 4. Tyler LaPerle (L); 5. Nicholas Zaprianov (LM); 6. Theodore Burrell (SB).
600: 1. Anders Dahl (S), 1:28.63; 2. Auguste Estriplet (L); 3. Oliver Cooke (S); 4. Mason Day (L); 5. Zaprianov (LM); 6. Jackson Collins (G).
1,000: 1. Dylan Horkey (M), 2:43.23; 2. Hayden Baber (L); 3. Colin Britner (SB); 4. Collins (G); 5. Jacob Petrowsky (P); 6. Owen Pothier (P).
1,600: 1. Ryan Gruczka (S), 4:26.96 (meet record, old mark 4:27.02 by Fitch’s Steve Taylor in 1999); 2. Ryan Moores (B); 3. Jackson Hill (L); 4. Gabriel Huff (L); 5. Brendan Reas (B); 6. Jack Brehler (M).
3,200: 1. Gruczka (S), 10:16.36; 2. Sergio de Oliveira (S); 3. Huff (L); 4. Hill (L); 5. Collins (G); 6. Thomas McWilliams (SB).
55 hurdles: 1. Mooney (S), 7.65; 2. Jeremiah Smith (K); 3. Jonas Regondola (L); 4. Adam Sheridan (M); 5. Abdiel Gonzalez (W); 6. Jaxon Barboza (L).
4x180 relay: 1. Ledyard (Poulton, Lenz, Fothergill, LaPerle), 1:27.85; 2. Montville; 3. St. Bernard; 4. Stonington; 5. Windham.
4x400 relay: 1. Ledyard (Day, Baber, Estriplet, Joey Morales), 3:42.65; 2. Bacon; 3. Montville; 4. Plainfield; 5. Windham; 6. St. Bernard.
4x800 relay: 1. Ledyard (Day, Huff, Baber, Estriplet), 8:54.13; 2. St. Bernard; 3. Stonington; 4. Windham; 5. Montville; 6. Bacon.
1,440 sprint medley relay: 1. Montville (Noah Keenan, Brady Bilheimer, Brendan Duhamal, Horkey), 3:25.06; 2. Stonington; 3. Ledyard; 4. St. Bernard; 5. Plainfield; 6. Bacon.
High jump: 1. Colangelo (K), 5 feet, 10 inches); 2. Anthony Adamick Jr. (L); 3. (tie) Kyle Franchi (LM) and Barboza (L); 5. Duhamel (M); 6. Luke Brannegan (SB).
Pole vault: 1. Dahl (S), 10-6; 2. Jonathan DiPalma-Herb (L); 3. Josh Fenton (B); 4. Brady Moorehead (L); 5. Jaden Tetlow (L); 6. Ryan Dungan (LM).
Long jump: 1. Mooney (S), 22-0.25; 2. Lenz (L); 3. Bobbi (L); 4. Kolby Quinn (SB); 5. Jeremiah Smith (K); 6. Jamel Kearse Jr. (L).
Shot put: 1. Martino (B), 44-6.5; 2. Poulton (L); 3. Anthony Williams (LM); 4. Mason Riquier (P); 5. Aaron Kost (B); 6. Jack Bubucis (M).
1. Ledyard, 135; 2. Montville, 85; 3. St. Bernard, 57; 4. Lyman Memorial, 56; 5. Stonington, 50; 6. Bacon Academy, 39; 7. Killingly, 15; 8. Windham, 12; 9. (tie) Wheeler and Plainfield, 4; 11. Griswold, 2; 12. Tourtellotte, 1.
55-meter dash: 1. Leah Comeroski (LM), 7.66 seconds; 2. Shanaya Brown (K); 3. Megan Armstrong (L)); 4. Liberty Frechette (SB); 5. Emily McDonough (G); 6. Angelea Christie (Wi).
300: 1. Ella Stephenson (L), 44.80; 2. Lily Tomczik (M); 3. Brown (K); 4. Aaliyah Thayer (P); 5. Uliana Pokutnia (SB); 6. Frechette (SB).
600: 1. Stephenson (L), 1:45.81; 2. Tomczik (M); 3. Gwyneth Howes (SB); 4. Catie Fields (B); 5. Sophia Zuchichi (Wh); 6. Kyle Melia (Wh).
1,000: 1. Kate Littler (L), 3:19.80; 2. Helena Coury (SB); 3. Kyleigh Miller (Wi); 4. Jaisey Galvin (M); 5. Sylvie Hiltz (LM); 6. Sienna Gressly (M).
1,600: 1. Maya Suarez (M), 5:30.83; 2. Avery Anderson (B); 3. Addison Labbe (S); 4. Peyton Vanderstreet (S); 5. Hazel DeLucia (LM); 6. Zuchichi (Wh).
3,200: 1. Suarez (M), 12:08; 2. Labbe (S); 3. Josephine Withbroe (L); 4. DeLucia (LM0; 5. Mia Klewin (SB); 6. Avery Widlicka (L).
55 hurdles: 1. Madisen McLeod (L), 9.12; 2. Megan Braga (B); 3. Isabel Northrop (M); 4. Adelaide Culligan (L); 5. Gabriela Dinisoe (LM); 6. Madison Miller (L).
4x180 relay: 1. Lyman (Haley Cardinali, Comeroski, Magdalana Carpenter, Ella Caplet), 1:42.23; 2. Ledyard; 3. St. Bernard; 4. Bacon; 5. Stonington; 6. Windham.
4x400 relay: 1. Ledyard (Armstrong, Lia Day, Stephenson, Littler), 4:25.30; 2. Lyman; 3. Stonington; 4. St. Bernard; 5. Windham.
4x800 relay: 1. Ledyard (Widlicka, Samantha Doran, Withbroe, Littler), 11:00.06; 2. Stonington; 3. Montville; 4. St. Bernard.
1,400 sprint medley relay: 1. Stonington (Iliana Rashleigh, Alexa Williams, Maya Terwilliger, Olivia Duhig), 4:05.74; 2. Lyman; 3. Montville; 4. Ledyard; 5. Windham; 6. Tourtellotte.
High jump: 1. Saniyah Otero (B), 4 feet, 6 inches); 2. Sarah Banach (L); 3. (tie) Braga (B), Kamryn Plikus (M) and Keara Opalenik (L); 6. Janelle Oppong (K).
Pole vault: 1. Plikus (M), 9-0; 2. Dinisoe (LM); 3. Kathryn Gieleghem (L); 4. Brenna LaBranche (M); 5. Laurelin Boyer (LM).
Long jump: 1. Chloe Jennings (SB), 14-11; 2. Katherine Myjak (M); 3. Marin Singletary (S); 4. Jessica English (L); 5. Opalenik (L); 6. Doran (L).
Shot put: 1. Payton Lowe (SB), 32-3; 2. McLeod (L); 3. Madelyn Poulton (L); 4. Miller (L); 5. Anessa Robertson (L); 6. Natalie Chesnes (B).