Weston, Immaculate Tie for Boys Title
In a remarkably close meet the boys Southwest Conference came down to the final event to determine the winner. When Immaculate's Sean Fahey pulled into the lead over Weston's Stephen Tyler on the anchor and gave the Mustangs 10 points to Weston's eight, it ensured them a share of their first ever SWC boys track championship. Weston was still able to earn their ninth title in the past 14 years. New Milford who finished 3rd in the 4 x 400m, had to settle for 3rd in the meet, a scant two points behind.
Immaculate came into the meet as a slight favorite and the school with the smallest enrollment in the conference used their long sprinters, mid distance runners and jumpers to score the majority of their points. Beside the 10 points the 4 x 400m made up of Christian Morris, Sean Fahey, Dominck Curra and Matt Christie scored, Fahey long jumped 21-4.25 and Curra jumped 20-5.5 to go one-two for 18 points. The pair also went 2-3 in the 300m for another 14 points. Morris and Christie also took 2nd and 3rd in the 600m for grand total of 56 points from the quartet.
Weston countered by scoring in 11 of 15 events, including 30 points in the relays to keep themselves in contention. Tyler also pulled off a mild upset in the 1000m over Joel Barlow's Ben Ruffing with a meet record of 2:33.08. He then came back and anchored the winning sprint medley relay and the 4 x 400m.
Sophomore Baruch Goodman looks to have a bright future for Weston. His season best time of 37.07 in the 300m nipped Immaculate's Fahey by .16 for the win.
New Milford, the conference dynasty in cross country scored about half of their points in the 600m and up but lacked scorers in the three shortest events. Charles Osborne won the 600m in 1:24.99 and Herlandt Lino won the 3200m in 9:49.88 after coming back from a close 1600m where he lost to Joel Barlow's Michael Bortolot by .01 seconds. Herlandt had a 3-4 second lead with a lap to go but Bortolot used superior speed and finally nailed the win over the last meter of the race. It took several minutes for the timer to read the finish line picture to determine the winner who ran 4:36.77.
Newtown's Jack Godfrey, last year's SWC and Class LL champion in the shot put has had a tough start to the season but still managed to defend his title even though he came into the meet as the #2 seed. "I was sick at the beginning of the season and I've been working on staying lower during my glide" Godfrey said after the meet. He continued to say that he has been working with 2011 State Open champion John Wlasuk, who still has every SWC throwing record from his days at Newtown.
Milan Spisek of Barlow continues to be undefeated against Connecticut competition in the pole vault. He came into the meet with a state leading jump of jump of 15ft but only managed 14'0 ft to win the meet. "I did three events today which really took a lot out of me" he explained. "I also won the high jump and finished third in the long jump. But I will be focusing on the pole vault for the rest of the season."
Weston Girls Win Again
For the 11th time in the last 12 years, the ladies from Weston continued their dominance over the SWC. This season, a few teams thought they would finally have a chance to knock the Trojans from the victory stand.
Veteran coach Matt Medve, who restarted the track program as a club when he began his career at Weston nearly two decades ago, has overseen this juggernaut that always seems to replace great athletes each year.
"We figured we needed to score 85-93 points" Medve said after the meet. "We did it differently this year. The field events really pulled us through. We scored 39 points between the high jump, long jump and pole vault. I really have to give my assistants Doug Pregman and Rich Marcello credit. They consistently do a great job.
Weston's 4 x 800m was their only win of the day, but they finished runner up in six other events and scored 34 points in the relays.
New Milford had their highest finish in the SWC since they took 2nd in 2013, was led by Mia Nahom. The senior, who has committed to run for UConn next year, earned a spot in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix high school mile last weekend. She ran a state leading time of 4:56.81 on the Reggie Lewis Track in Boston against some of the best milers in the country. This weekend, she tried to score points for her team and began by helping her team to a 4th place finish in the 4 x 800m. She came back to win the 1000m with the 2nd best time in the state of 2:59.00. She then finished off her night by winning the 3200m in 11:31.13.
Brigit Humphreys took the 1600m in 5:18.20 and Riley Peragine took the 300m and finished 2nd in the 600m and ran a leg of the 4 x 400m with Humphreys, Raquel Morehouse and Michaela Ferlow. Add in Sara Grudzwick's 3rd place in the 600m, you can see where most of New Milford's points came from.
Humphreys, Peragine, Grudzwick and Nahom have already combined to qualify for New Balance Indoor Nationals in the distance medley relay with their state leading time of 12:17.28
Lauren Russo of Newtown kept her position among the best vaulters in CT. The senior, who will vault for Bucknell next year, has already won the Yale Invitation and holds a PR of 11'6. She came into the meet facing longtime rival and friend Danielle Cass of Weston, who is the only girl to beat Russo this season. Russo managed to clear 11 feet for the third time this winter to ensure the win.
Elite Performances from the SWC Championships.
1,000 Meter Run - Mia Nahom (New Milford High School) 2:59.00; Danielle Marcone (Immaculate High School) 3:03.02; Ivy Walker (Pomperaug) 3:04.52; Nicole Werner (Weston High School) 3:05.02;
1,600 Meter Run - Brigit Humphreys (New Milford High School) 5:18.20;
3,200 Meter Run - Mia Nahom (New Milford High School) 11:31.13; Danielle Marcone (Immaculate High School) 11:41.48;
600 Meter Run - Emma Connolly (Immaculate High School) 1:40.84; Riley Peragine (New Milford High School) 1:41.42; Sara Grudzwick (New Milford High School) 1:42.90; Mimi Fellowes (Weston High School) 1:43.00;
Pole Vault - Lauren Russo (Newtown High School) 11-0;
1,000 Meter Run - Stephen Tyler (Weston High School) 2:33.08; Ben Ruffing (Joel Barlow High School) 2:33.98; Michael Bortolot (Joel Barlow High School) 2:39.03; Moroni Lima (New Milford High School) 2:39.28;
600 Meter Run - Charles Osborne (New Milford High School) 1:24.99; Christian Morris (Immaculate High School) 1:26.55;