Indoor track: Trumbull relay team sets State Open mark

Trumbull High's Tyler Gleen, Taylor Auten, Kate Romanchick, Tyler Rubush and Dylan McEniry all earned berths at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston.
Trumbull High’s Tyler Gleen, Taylor Auten, Kate Romanchick, Tyler Rubush and Dylan McEniry all earned berths at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston.

The Trumbull High boys indoor track 4x800 relay team was seeded first for the State Open Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

The quartet hoped for the best and achieved even more — setting a State Open record to help propel coach Jeff Klein’s team to a fifth-place finish.

Four of the top six teams in the state were from the FCIAC, as in addition to the Eagles, Danbury placed first, Brien McMahon second and Staples sixth. The Trumbull girls placed 31st.

Dylan McEniry led off the 4x800 with his best time of the season of 2:03.5 to get the relay off to a solid start.

Tyler Rubush got the baton in fifth place and worked his way up to close the gap with the leaders (running the first 400 meters in a quick 57) as he also ran his best time of the season of 2:00.4.

Taylor Auten got the baton with several other runners behind the leaders from Danbury and went out hard from the start as well. With 75 meters to go he found himself in fourth place, but found an extra gear down the final straightaway to pass two runners and hand off to Tyler Gleen with the team in second, a couple of seconds behind Danbury.

His split was 2:02.9, also his fastest of the season.

Gleen caught up with the leaders over the first two laps before taking the lead in the final lap, before pulling away with a 1:56.8 anchor as the boys took first breaking the Open record with an overall time of 8:03.

That also broke their THS school record of 8:06 set earlier this season at Yale.

Running with less than an hour of rest, Gleen then came back in the 600 meters to try to retain his state championship in the 600 meters.

Despite being in fourth place after  200 meters, the pace was very fast and he recorded his best-ever lap split of 25.1.

On the backstretch, he moved into the lead and pulled away. Gleen ran strong the last 200 as he posted a 28. split to finish in his fastest ever and a school record time of 1:20.75. His time was less than a half second off the meet record.

The final scorer for THS was in the girl’s 3,200 meter race.

Entering the meet as the eighth seed, Kate Romanchick knew she had a chance to place if she ran a really strong race. It was a fast pace from the beginning as despite running her fastest first mile ever in a 3200 meter of 5:28 she found herself in ninth.

But as has been her style all season, Romanchick was strong over the final 1600, picking off runners as they slowed and she powered on. With a lap to go she had moved all the way up to fourth and held on to place fifth with her best time ever of 11:10.

With their finishes at the meet, the boys 4x800, Gleen in the 600 and Romanchick in the 3200 meters all qualified for the New England Indoor Track and Field Championship meet this coming weekend in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Center.

The boys have the third fastest time so far this season in New England, as does Gleen in the 600.

Their competition's times though were set at the Reggie, which is a faster banked track.

Gleen's time in the 600 is the sixth fastest so far this season in the nation. The 4x800 relay's time is 31st best and Romanchick's 3200 is 67th in the country.

There were some good efforts in other races at the State Open by Trumbull athletes.

The girls 4x800 relay ran a time of 10:18 to finish in 11th place. Ashley Storino led off and ran her best time ever, splitting 2:26.8 for the 800.

Sophia Hopwood ran a strong second leg, handing off to Sydney Adams, who ran her fastest time ever of 2:34.8. Anchor Francesca Esposito also ran her best time of the season.

In the boys sprint medley relay, Colin McLevy and Dylan Wong ran the 200 legs in the fastest time of the season and McEniry had a 54 split on the 400 leg.

Rubush, coming back from his fast 4x800 leg anchored to finish in 3:48 as the team placed eighth overall, about a second out of a medal.

In the final race of the day, the boys 4X400 relay, with the same runners as the 4x800 just missed medaling.

Trumbull has two races left: New England's in Boston and the US National HS championships at the Amory in New York the second weekend in March.