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    Sunday, March 03, 2024

    East Lyme’s Matlock smashes another record in Class M shot put as Vikings finish second

    New Haven — Tommy Matlock set the boys’ shot put record at Saturday’s Class M state championship track and field meet twice, finally settling in at a personal best 63 feet, 00.25 inches on his first attempt in the finals.

    East Lyme HIgh School’s Matlock let out a little extra scream of triumph as he saw the shot land, eclipsing a record that was set in 1980.

    Waterford’s Elle Dibuono, meanwhile, won the girls’ 600 meters in 1 minute, 40.90 seconds and wept tears of joy.

    Both contrasted what they accomplished with last year’s meet.

    “It means a lot. Eleven feet difference from last year to now so it means a lot to me,” said Matlock, a junior, who finished second in Class M last year with a throw of 52-7.25.

    “Not even close,” said Dibuono, a sophomore, asked if she’s ever won at the state level before. “I mean, last year I was the best 55 runner and long jumper and then here I am winning the state championship. ... Last year I think I cried because I came in sixth for long jump. Tears of joy. That’s how happy that I was that I even medaled.”

    East Lyme’s boys also got wins from Sean McCauley in the 3,200 in 9:22.88 and from the 4x800 relay team of Sam Leone, Jilali Benjdid, Finian Gates and Kai Ritz with a time of 8:28.53, as the Vikings finished second in the team standings.

    Lyman Hall won the title with 79.5 points, following by East Lyme with 52 and Ledyard third with 42. Hillhouse was the girls’ team champion with 50 points.

    Ledyard’s Mateo Viviano was first in the pole vault with a school-record leap of 14 feet. He established the mark earlier this year at 13-6.

    As for Matlock, he broke the 60-foot mark for the first time in his career on Jan. 6 at the URI Indoor Track Classic, throwing 60-4.25, and he has continued trending upward. Last Saturday he broke the Eastern Connecticut Conference record at the league’s Division I championship meet with a mark of 60-9.75.

    At the Class M meet, Matlock’s second throw covered 61-1.5. Action at the shot put area, overrun with onlookers, came to a brief halt while officials double-checked the measurement of the record-setting toss. The previous record belonged to Mario Marrero of Bristol Eastern, who recorded a throw of 60-10.75 in 1980.

    Matlock’s first throw of the finals set the record again with the winning mark of 63-00.25, his second was a foul and his third was 61-00.25, his third throw of the day better than the previous record.

    “Really just feeling the throw, using the same rhythm every throw,” Matlock said of the key to the consistency. “If you keep the same rhythm, you should be good.”

    Matlock stands at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, but remains agile in the circle, spinning at a rapid-fire pace. A junior, Matlock plays fullback and linebacker for the East Lyme football team.

    “You have to balance your training in the right way, throwing and lifting, and then once you find that balance you keep that and you’re good,” Matlock said.

    Dibuono, the former 55 runner, won the 600 with her kick, passing Ledyard’s Kate Littler, who had taken over first place in the race headed into the final lap. Littler beat Dibuono in the 600 earlier this season, Dibuono said, and it was something that stuck with her.

    “I think I stayed in third the entire time until Kate really kicked it on the last lap,” Dibuono said. “I don’t know, I lost to Kate before in the 600 because I came out way too strong. ... I couldn’t lose her. I knew I could do it. I came into this just being like, ‘Second or third, I’ll take it,’ but I had that opportunity and I just knew I could do it.”

    Dibuono was also part of the Lancers’ 4x400 relay team which finished sixth.

    Among other top local boys’ finishers, Ledyard’s Christian Wiltshire was third in the high jump and teammates Luca Viviano third in the pole vault, Ledyard’s Roan Fothergill was fourth in the 300, East Lyme’s Sam Leone fourth in the 1,600, Waterford’s Titus Olson fourth in the 600, Waterford’s Elliot Childs fourth in the 55 hurdles and sixth in the long jump, East Lyme’s Maddox Grillo-Smith fifth in the 1,000, Ledyard’s Jackson Hill fifth in the 3,200, East Lyme’s Mathew Leone sixth in the 55 hurdles and East Lyme’s Nathan Bergman sixth in the 3,200.

    Ledyard was second in the 4x200 and Waterford sixth. East Lyme was second in the sprint medley relay and third in the 4x400 and Ledyard third in the 4x800. Waterford placed fifth in the 4x400.

    Other top local girls’ finishers were Waterford’s Avery Maiese, second in the 1,000, and Ledyard’s Littler, second in the 600, East Lyme’s Lacey-Lee Keramidas (third, high jump), New London’s Darielys Arnold (fourth, long jump) and East Lyme’s Joselyn Salerno (fifth, pole vault).


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