St. Joseph and Trumbull tracksters compete at FCIAC finals

While the Trumbull and St. Joseph boys and girls indoor track teams weren't at the top of the overall standings, both squads had impressive times and strong finishes during Thursday night's Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference indoor track championships.

For the girls side of the FCIAC finals, St. Joseph High School finished eighth overall with 22 points, while Trumbull netted one point on the night and finished 14th.

The No. 1 spot in the conference belonged to Staples High School as they took the gold with 92.50 points. Ridgefield finished second with 74 points and Danbury rounded out the top three with 56 points.

“This is excellent,” St. Joe’s head coach Gary Schmidlin said. “We had a number of girls that qualified for States and had eight girls that had their best times or throws of the year tonight. We are peaking at the right time.”

On the boys side, Trumbull High finished the meet 12th overall with 12 points on the day. St. Joseph took home 14th overall with one point.

Overall, it was Danbury that claimed FCIAC gold, netting 104 points, while Staples and Ridgefield each tied for second with 77 points. Darien carried home fourth place on the day with 57 points, while Brien McMahon took fifth with 25 points.

“It was a great day, THS head coach Matt Klein said. “The kids really performed to the level that we wanted them to and actually exceeded our expectations in a few cases. Everybody really did a nice job for us today. The kids have been great all year. It’s been cold out and snowing. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through the whole winter and keep at it when it’s cold and windy and these kids did a great job. It showed tonight.”

Leading the way for the local teams was St. Joe's Jada Harris, as the junior captured the FCIAC championship in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.52 seconds. Close behind was Fairfield Warde's Stephanie Sheehan, who took second with a time of 8.79.

“I felt great,” Harris said. “I felt more determined and more driven in the finals. I got really focused and narrowed down the little stuff that got me to finish and win the race. I feel like this is another step towards my goal of winning New Englands. My team is doing amazing and I am so happy right now.”

Not to be outdone was Andrea Galeano, as she took the silver medal in the shot put with a distance of 34-07.75. Overall, Sarah Cicchetti from Greenwich won the event, netting a distance of 39-03.

“It was amazing,” Galeano said. “I hit 34 feet and that was my ultimate goal this season. I hit it and it was great. It was so emotional for me. I was so shocked. I didn’t expect this because I was hoping that my goal would be to beat the person in front of me, who hit 33 feet. When I hit 34 feet I was in complete shock.”

For Schmidlin, he couldn’t be happier with Galeano’s and Harris’ performance.

“Jada is an exceptionally good hurdler,” Schmidlin said. “She set the meet record today and at the SCC’s a couple of weeks ago, she beat the top three hurdlers behind her. She’s a great kid. Andrea is also amazing for us. She went up two-and-a-half feet. She’s a great girl.”

For Trumbull, it was Tyler Gleen that shined at FCIACs, as the Eagle took second overall in the 600-meter run and posted a time of 1:25.36. Gleen's time was less than two seconds away from the golf, as Ridgefield's Johnathan Keating finished first with a time of 1:23.72.

“I felt pretty good tonight going into it,” Gleen said. “I was seeded first and felt bad because of all the snow I had to practice in, but it was fun and I was excited. I was happy when I crossed the finish line because I won the fast heat in the 600 and that felt really good to accomplish. The team did amazing and we got points and I was really proud of them.”

“Tyler did three events for us and had fantastic times,” Klein said. “Tyler is really coming along and he’s only a sophomore.”

In the 300-meter dash, St. Joseph High School senior Mariah Provenzano finished the event fourth overall, netting a time of 43.83 seconds.

In the 1,000-meter run, the Cadets had a trackster take sixth, as junior Nick Zannis crossed the finish line with a time of 2:45.51 and was less than one-half a second quicker than Darien's Jason Flynn who took eighth.

In the boys long jump, Trumbull High's Colin McLevy finished sixth overall and netted a point for the Eagles with a distance of 20-02. He was a little over three feet away from Stamford's Lucas Scarante in fifth.

On the girls side of the long jump, the Eagles' Meghan Malloy, a senior, took home seventh in the event and grabbed a time of 4-08.

“She was so close in the high jump and just missed placing,” Klein said. “But I have no complaints because she did a great job.”

Even in the relays, both schools had strong finishes.

The Trumbull High 1,600-meter sprint medley relay team was able to finish the event fifth on the day. The foursome of Tyler Gleen, Tyler Rubush, William Bender and Dylan McEniry crossed the finish line with a time 3:49.50.

The THS boys 4x800-meter relay team of Shane Romanchick, Joseph Vecchione, Nicholas Grew and Taylor Auten ended the day sixth overall, netting a time of 8:57.02.

In the 4x400-meter relay, the Cadets group of Alexandra Quatrella, Mariah Provenzano, Maddie Daly and Kathryn Fitzsimmons crossed the finish line ninth overall with a time of 4:29.68.