Dream Invite Lives Up to Expectations

The Danbury Dream Invitational once again lived up to expectations and many tickets were earned to New Balance Outdoor Nationals June 16th and 17th.  

Zakeer Ahmad, the senior from Staples High had a tough winter after winning the State Open in cross country.  He had an illness since the Yale Invitational and while he still ran fast, he didn't quite live up to his own expectations.  But he is definitely back now at the right time. Last week he broke 9 minutes in the 3200m at the Loucks Games and at the Dream Invite on Friday night, he ran a state leading time of 4:15.27 for the mile.  

Ahmad took it out hard, knowing some of the best middle distance runners in the field would like to make the race come down to a sprint.  And Aaron Breene of Wilton did just that.  He challenged the cross country champ the last 300m but the Staples senior managed to hold him off and pull ahead the last 50m to win by 3/4 of a second.  

The girls mile was even closer than that.  Emily Philippides of Greenwich earned All American indoors in the 800m and has established herself as one of the best middle distance runners in the country.  The junior took this opportunity to move up to the mile and was challenged the entire way by Danbury sophomore Lauren Moore and Gabi Galetta of Warde.  The race came down to the last few yards when Philippides barely pulled ahead in a photo finish to win in 5:09.74 which was only .08 seconds of ahead of the Moore.

In the seldom run 800m Sprint Medley Relay, 12 teams made the NBON Emerging Elite standards which will allow them to compete in North Carolina in June.  The boys were led by Danbury who ran the 45th best time in the country and the girls were led by Hamden who ran 1:47.92 which ranks them 28th nationally.   Both are state leading times.  In a show of depth, Danbury's B teams also qualified for nationals

Brianna Auray of Fairfield Ludlowe has emerged as one of the top 800m runners in the state. Well she proved it again against a very good field.  She went out to a big lead and hung on through 600m.  That is when the racing began.  Defending champion Leah Sarkisian of Danbury, who is know for coming from behind to win, began to make up the distance.  But the University of Miami bound senior Auray, managed to keep her form and held off the Danbury junior to win in 2:15.35.

The boys 800m was taken out by Branford sophomore Marzio Mastrianni  in 56 seconds.  He came into the race with the fastest seed time, but like what often happens at the Dream Invitational, someone drops a huge PR.  This year that honor when to junior Ian Barlett of Ludlowe who dropped 2.5 seconds off her best time to win in 1:54.13, the 3rd best time in the state this season.  Amazingly, The Dream Invitational produced the 3rd - 8th best times in the state with all finishers breaking their personal records.

The Dream Invite also had outstanding field event competions as well.  In the girls triple jump Derby's Rachel Fleischer moved up to #2 in the state with a PR of 37'11.5 which just missed the NBON standard by 2 1/2 inches. 


Christian Sturm of St. Paul HS extended his lead in the hammer throw with a distance of 161'9 and Charles  Ritchel of Seymour also qualified for the NBON Emerging Elite section with a PR of 152'2
The girls hammer throw continues to be one of the best events of the season.  While Brittany Jones of Bloomfield didn't break her PR, she came within three feet of her Connecticut state record and her rival junior Amanda Howe of Southington was right behind her with a throw of 152'5.  

The following 44 performances met the MileSplit US Second Team standard.
HS GIRLSMARKATHLETETEAM
800 Meter Run Finals2:19.64Cassandra SturdevantDanbury High School
800 Meter Run Finals2:19.51Alyssa KraussFairfield Ludlowe
800 Meter Run Finals2:17.74Leah SarkisianDanbury High School
800 Meter Run Finals2:15.35Brianna AurayFairfield Ludlowe
Hammer Throw Finals161-1Brittany JonesBloomfield High School
Hammer Throw Finals152-5Amanda HoweSouthington High School
Hammer Throw Finals117-1Nyla PounceyBloomfield High School
Hammer Throw Finals113-7Julia GrollSouthington High School
Hammer Throw Finals110-11Justyce WilsonBloomfield High School
One Mile Run Finals5:15.19Gabi GalettaFairfield Warde
One Mile Run Finals5:09.82Lauren MooreDanbury High School
One Mile Run Finals5:09.74Emily PhilippidesGreenwich High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:53.74Relay TeamSouthington High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:53.07Relay TeamGreenwich High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:52.96Relay TeamWindsor High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:51.13Relay TeamDanbury High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:47.92Relay TeamHamden High School
Triple Jump Finals37-11.5Rachel FleischerDerby High School


HS BOYSMARKATHLETETEAM
Two Mile Run Finals9:41.58Peter SchultenCoginchaug Regional High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:57.48Malcolm GoingDanbury High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:56.21Ken LittleDerby High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:55.91Shawn Odei-ntiriHamden High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:55.52Daniel CampbellDanbury High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:54.85Marzio MastrianniBranford High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:54.84Ben RuffingJoel Barlow High School
800 Meter Run Finals1:54.13Ian BartlettFairfield Ludlowe
Hammer Throw Finals161-9Christian SturmSt. Paul Catholic
Hammer Throw Finals152-2Charlie RitchelSeymour High School
One Mile Run Finals4:25.54Bradford DemassaRidgefield High School
One Mile Run Finals4:21.83William LandowneStaples High School
One Mile Run Finals4:21.51Michael BortolotJoel Barlow High School
One Mile Run Finals4:21.40Tyler RubushTrumbull High School
One Mile Run Finals4:21.36Benjamin SeipleStaples High School
One Mile Run Finals4:20.95Terrell CunninghamDanbury High School
One Mile Run Finals4:17.45Alex MocarskiFairfield Warde
One Mile Run Finals4:15.81Aaron BreeneWilton High School
One Mile Run Finals4:15.27Zakeer AhmadStaples High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:38.44Relay TeamFairfield Prep High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:38.06Relay TeamGreenwich High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:36.71Relay TeamSouthington High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:36.07Relay TeamWindsor High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:35.85Relay TeamDerby High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:35.63Relay TeamHamden High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals1:34.24Relay TeamDanbury High School
800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Finals

 1:37.39

Relay Team Danbury High School


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