We are in the middle of conference championship week in Connecticut and on Monday, one dynasty began, one continued and another ended.
In the FCIAC boys and girls championship at Southern Connecticut State University, the Danbury girls defeated a tough Fairfield Ludlowe team to win their third straight title and begin their own dynasty. Meanwhile, the Danbury boys won their their fifth title in a row and their 17th in the past 20 years to continue their tradition of championship performances that began in the early 1990s.
As they have done in the past, the Hatter were able to win with their depth This year, they were able to score in 15 of the 18 events and took away wins in the four of them. Sean-Michael Parkinson took the 200m, Daniel Nichols stepped up to defeat top seed Ben Seiple of Staples in the 3200m, Nate Llanos tied his state lead of 14 ft in the pole vault and the 4 x 400m won in their season best time of 3:25.48.
The lady Hatters were led once again by senior thrower Celyna Custodio who defended her title in the shot put with a 38-5.25 throw and unleashed 115-5 ft throw in the discus to give her the 3rd best throw in CT this season. Lauren Moore also won the 1600m in 5:05.89 and the 4 x 100m was also victorious with a time of 50.17
Other big performers of the meet include Justin Forde of Brien McMahon who won the long jump in 22'8.5 only 3.5 inches more than runner up Jack Jones of Trumbull. Forde also took 2nd in the high jump clearing 6'10 along with Chet Ellis of Staples. Both broke the meet record in the event set by Mike Shinsky of Rippowam in 1981.
But the highlight of the day was when Forde floated to a 48'8.5 in the triple jump which broke Ken Wright's 37 year old all time FCIAC record by 1/2 an inch. His performance moved him into the top 25 nationally and top ranked in New England.
The biggest performer of the girls' meet was freshman Tess Stapleton of Fairfield Ludllow who was a triple winner. The 9th grader won the indoor State Open in the 55HH and is currently owns the fastest time in the state for the 100m hurdles. She took the 100HH in 15.21 after improving on her state leading time in the prelims running 14.81. She also won the long jump in 18-6.75, just under 2 inches off her best jump this season. Finally in a rare race over 100m, she won the 200m in 25.76 to display her endurance.
Two time cross country State Open champion Morgan McCormick is returning to form after taking the winter off and only running dual meets this season. The senior easily won the 3200m by 31 seconds and finished with the 2nd fastest time in the state crossing the line in 10:46.99.
Further to the north, the Berkshire League was held at Litchfield High School and Nonnewaug girls came in with a 22 year year winning streak. While they performed as well as other great Chief teams of the past, they ran into Northwest Regional High that just had to much fire power this year. The Highlanders won nine of the 18 events and were led by Hannah Gibb who won the 100 meters, 200 meters and was a member of the winning 4×400m team.
Because of the weather, the meet which began on Saturday, concluded on Monday with the pole vault and high jump. Nonnewaug held a slight six point lead when they left Litchfield on Saturday but that was erased when Northwestern's Cassidhe Hughes won the pole vault with a personal record of 9'0 ft and Maddie Tranquillo set another PR and took gold in the high jump. With those performances, Northwestern girls won their first ever BL team title by a score of 186.50 with the defending champions only 3 1/2 behind.
In the boys BL meet, it had all the suspense of a North Korean election. Northwestern Region simply dominated the competition like few teams ever have, winning with 271.5 points to runner up Lewis Mills' 84. The Highlanders boys matched the girls accomplishment by winning half the events, but the depth they displayed was unmatched by just about any other team that has competed in the conference. They scored at least two people in 14 of the 18 individual event and swept the top three spots in the long, triple jump and javelin.
The iron man of the day had to be Jameson Weber of Northwester. He took home gold in the 200m, long jump, triple jump and placed third in the pole vault good for 36 points all by himself.