Trumbull High track teams took home top honors in four events at the Wintergreen Invitational held at Southern Connecticut State University on Friday, Dec. 30, with 13 teams competing.
“We also placed many athletes in the top six,” said Trumbull coach Jeff Klein. “Overall we added ten new qualifiers for the FCIAC championship meet as well as seven for the Class LL meet. The boys and girls each had five FCIAC qualifiers while the boys had four for the state meet and the girls three.”
“Following up on her FCIAC qualifying throw in New York (at the North Shore Invitational) , Jamie Maresca came back today to improve by over two feet (throwing 29 feet 11 inches),” Klein said. “That toss on her final throw of the day was good for first place overall and was an LL meet qualifier.
“In the boys pole vault, Zach Iannucci also reached the LL meet standard. After jumping ten feet in New York on Monday (dec. 27), Zach came back to jump ten feet six inches while placing fourth in the competition.
“Dan Clark, competing for the first time this year threw the shot (35 feet 9 inches) to take fourth place in the event. His throw qualified him for the FCIAC meet.
“Our sprinters had a strong day, as we had runners reach three of the four finals. The girls 55 meter hurdles was first. Sara Carlson and Abigail Johnson both had strong finishes in the prelims as they had the fifth and sixth fastest times of the day to reach the finals. Sara ran 10.68 while Abigail had a nice improvement over her time Monday to finish in 10.89. Placing eighth overall in the meet was Nicole Majette, running 11.29 in her preliminary heat.
“In the finals Carlson improved to an impressive time of 10.22 to move up on her seeding place and finish fourth. That time qualified her for the LL meet. Johnson improved as well running 10.78, just short of the FCIAC standard while taking home sixth place.
“In the girls 55 meter dash, all three of our runners had terrific performances. In the prelims it couldn’t have been any closer — Erica Woolen was seventh in 8.13 seconds, Meilena Pang Khloeum was eighth in 8.14 and Olivia Okoroafor was ninth in 8.15, as they all reached the semifinals.
“Up first in the semis was Woolen, who improved to 8.08 to finish second in her heat. Pang Khloeum was next, finishing in 8.21 to take 10th place overall. In the final semifinal, Okoroafor sped to the finish in 8.07, just ahead of Woolen’s time to take the last spot in the finals, where she placed sixth in 8.10. All three of these runners qualified for the FCIAC meet, just hundredths off the LL standard.
“On the boys side, Colin McLevy who is usually a jumper tried his hand at the dash today. It worked out very well as he ran 6.97 seconds in his prelim to take second in his heat and qualify for the semifinals. Jeremy Cole also ran well as he made the semis with a time of 7.33 in his first ever track race.
“In the semis, McLevy improved to 6.91 to reach the finals. Cole improved as well with a time of 7.31 to take 17th place overall. McLevy ran a 6.96 in the finals to take fifth in the event. His result was both an FCIAC and LL qualifying time while Cole narrowly missed the FCIAC standard.
“Nigel Hayes was our top boys hurdler today, placing tenth in the event with a time of 9.80. Finishing 13th was David Yankura running 10.42 over the barriers.
The distance race was another strong event for the Eagles, with an event win on the boys side. Coming off a strong initial cross country season and setting a school record in the 1000 meters Monday, Tyler Rubush came back to take top honors in a very competitive event.
With a group of four runners racing neck-and-neck for the first 2600 meters, Rubush took the lead with two laps to go and accelerated to the finish to win in 9:19. Rubush had placed 51st in the State Open meet in November, while the three runners right behind him at Wintergreen had placed seventh, 34th and 41st.
Also running well were Beau DeMelo and Jack Stachura, who ran close together throughout to take 11th and 12th out of 57 competitors in the 3000 meters. Their times of 9:47 and 9:49 met the FCIAC standard and fell just short of qualifying them for the LL meet.
Other top Eagle results in the event were from Tejas Kulkarni (20th in 10:12), Matthew Seuch (24th 10:24) and freshman Nick Klaiber (25th in 10:27).
On the girls side of the event, Kaley Fasoli was the top finisher placing 10th with a time of 11:56. She had already qualified for both the FCIAC and LL meets on Monday with an 11:40. Qualifying for the FCIAC meet were freshman Aly Zaffina, who placed 11th overall in her first attempt at the distance, and Sophia Hopwood, who was 13th with a time of 12:00. Just short of qualifying was freshman Meghan Becker in 21st running 12:28.
Spring medley relay
A late addition to the meet was a good one for the team as both the boys and girls placed first in this event. The boys went first, with Colin McLevy continuing his strong sprinting day with a fast lead off 200 meters. He handed off to Nigel Hayes running another 200, who brought Trumbull in for the third leg in second place. Running the 400 meter leg, Tyler Gleen moved into the lead with a 50.6 second split, handing off to anchor Sean O’Hagen for the final 800 meters. In the lead with no one to pace him, O’Hagan ran a very good leg to widen the lead and bring the team home in an LL qualifying time of 3:49.
On the girls side, Abigail Johnson led off the first 200 meter leg well, handing off to Meilena Pang Khloeum for the second 200. Sara Carlson stepped up from the hurdles to handle the 400 meter leg before handing off to anchor Kate Romanchick. She pulled away from the rest of the field to win convincingly, as the team ran a time of 4:45 to also qualify for the LL meet.