The CIAC Open should be a wild one. We are missing some top distance runners from the lineups, but the predicted weather for Monday looks very respectable, especially after what was sent to New Britain's Willow Brook Park stadium for most of the Class meets last week. Fantastic showdowns are projected in a hefty amount of the 36 total events between the boys and the girls.
The Performance Lists for this year's Open are a bit less reliable for projections than in the past. They are as always based on the results of Class finals events rather than seasonlong bests. But the Class S meet led off things with planet Mercury-like temperatures, so nix any big marks for a running event longer than 200m. Class LL had decent and much cooler temperatures, so the biggest schools had an even bigger advantage. the final three meets for Classes L, MM, and M were held either under the threat or actual extreme display of rain and wind, so a lot of events and especially the verticals were performed under trying conditions.
What that all means is that a lot of athletes who are CT #1's in their event can be a ways down on the Performance Lists this year, as the main point in some Class meets was just to win or survive. As an extreme example, Class S 1600m-3200m champ Sean Kennedy-Wonneberger is top ranked in the mile and yet his #20 spot in the 1600m performance list presumably means he will be running in the less fast first section and laying down a time that the athletes in the second section will have to think about if they are planning to have a slow-down strategic battle.
Last year the Danbury girls won out over Glastonbury and Weston by a 44-38-37 score based greatly on Alanna Smith's sweep of the 100m-200m-400m events. The Hillhouse guys beat Hall 50-44 with juniors Gary Moore Jr, Ralphael Hawkins, and Matthew Gibbs playing key roles. This year both titles seem very much up for grabs, though Moore and Gibbs between them give the Academics the top seed in four events.
Perhaps the top showdown on the girls side is between Danbury's 2021 triple-winner Alanna Smith and Housatonic Regionals senior newcomer Sydney Segalla in the 100m-200m-400m races, where Segalla is top-seeded in all cases. Choosing a top battle on the boys' side is tougher, so we'll just say that the bout in the 200m between 100m top-seed Malcom Beckford of Weaver and 400m pick Andrew O'Donnell of Greenwich should be a great one, as should the one between Manchester's Aidan Puffer, Newington's Michael Bohlke, and Conard's Callum Sherry in the 1600m. Last year Gavin Sherry ran a state record 4:01.88, though this year he is in recovery mode and potentially is only available for Conard's 4x800m team along with Callum.
Lists here include all
qualifying individual athletes and the top thirteen relay teams. Field events begin at 1:30 and track events begin at 2:00. Tune in, get turned on, and have a whole lot of fun.
Coverage is live on MileSplit and NFHS.
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Girls Sprints and Hurdles - Girls Distance
Boys Sprints and Hurdles - Boys Distance