GHS Boys T&F Solid at Invites
The Glastonbury boys indoor track team traveled to the Coach Bob Saulsbury Invitational in New Haven on December 29th and then competed at the Wilton Wright Invitational on January 2nd.
At the Saulsbury Invite, the team accomplished multiple Class LL and Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) qualifying runs in addition to personal and seasonal bests. In the 300, Senior Jack Schaffner led the team with an 11th place finish with a time of 41.18. Christian Miclette and Jack Kelly followed closely behind in 42.09 and 42.20, respectively. Dominic Pena was the first Glastonbury runner across the line in the 600 for 6th place overall and a time of 1:33.56 qualifying him for the CCC Championships. Christian Miclette followed in 1:41.36 and Jack Kelly finished in 1:44.46. The 1000-meter race produced two out of two Class LL Championship qualifying times as Joseph Accurso ran 2:41.20 for 4th and Cody Stone ran 2:46.82 for 8th. Battling through a difficult field, Jackson Stone and Will Haddad still produced great times in the 1600 race for 5:10.32 (Stone) and 5:14.2 (Haddad). The final track event of the night, the 4x400 relay was also a continued great success for Glastonbury. Despite being composed of a majority of distance runners, the Guardians achieved a Class LL championship qualifying time and a season-best as Kevin Clarke, Dominic Pena, Cody Stone, and Joseph Accurso collectively ran 3:47.35 for 2nd place.
With similar success, Glastonbury participated in one field event to conclude the night. In the long jump, Jack Schaffner leaped 18 feet and 10 inches for 4th overall and qualified for the Class LL championship.
Four days later, the team kicked off 2022 the right way at the Wilton Wright Invite. The meet started with the 1600-meter race where Joseph Accurso controlled the race from the gun. He finished in 4:40.54 for first place as Will Haddad followed in 5:24.58, Ishan Chopra in 5:24.58, and Jason Zhou in 5:44.46. In the 55-meter hurdles, Evan DonFrancisco had a stellar solo performance with a time of 11.46 for 8th. The Guardians found similar success in the 55-meter dash as Jack Kelly ran 7.51 for 18th and followed closely by Christian Miclette in 7.6. The 600-meter race did not disappoint as Cody Stone finished in 4th place with a time of 1:32.34 qualifying him for the CCC Championships. Following this success, the last race of the night found Glastonbury’s 4x400 relay team crossing the line in 2nd place with a time of 3:58.94 also qualifying them for the CCC Championships.
The Guardians continued their collection of qualifying marks in the pole vault and high jump events. Clearing the 8-foot mark, Eli Durham vaulted to first place in the pole vault. In the high jump, Kevin Clarke leaped to 2nd place clearing 5 feet and 10 inches. JJ Wihbey followed closely behind with 5 feet and 8 inches for 4th. Both Clarke and Wihbey qualified for the Class LL Championship with their performances.
Glastonbury Swim & Dive Takes Two
GHS boys’ swimming and diving won their first two meets of the season, defeating Wethersfield (99-77) on Jan. 4 and downing Hamden (100.5-80.5) on Jan. 6.
In the season opening meet against cross-river rival Wethersfield, the Guardians completely dominated the Eagles by winning all 12 events and sweeping 9 of those 12 events. GHS is now 26-2 all-time against WHS with 24 wins in a row. Campbell McFall got off to a perfect start with a four-win afternoon. Brian Liao, Brian Pawlowski and Jack Watson all had three wins each. The double winners were Sean Savidge and Connor Lieu. The single winners were John Comite, Jay Shah, Ryan Lieu and John Redfern.
The meet started with a 1-2 sweep in the 200 medley relay. The relay team of James Liao, Sean Savidge, John Comite and Campbell McFall easily won the event with a 5 second margin. The relay team of Jack Watson, Isaac Shen, Connor Lieu and John Redfern placed 2nd and 7 seconds ahead of Wethersfield. GHS was off to a quick 12-2 lead and the meet score would never get any closer. The 200 freestyle was a 1-2-3 sweep. Brian Pawlowski was 1st, Ethan Hipsky was 2nd and Derek Liu was 3rd. Brian Pawlowski qualified for the Class LL Meet with his excellent time. Times are set by the CIAC for which athletes can automatically qualify for each event.
The 200 individual medley was a 1-2-4 finish for GHS. James Liao was 1st, John Redfern was 2nd and John Comite was 4th. The 50 freestyle was also a 1-2-4 finish. Campbell McFall was 1st, Sean Savidge was 2nd and Nick Roberts was 4th. Campbell McFall qualified for the Class LL Meet with his fast time. Diving was next and Glastonbury placed 1-2-5. Jay Shah won the event by 30 points. Evan Scott was 2nd and Devon Allison was 5th. Both Jay Shah and Evan Scott qualified for the Class LL Meet with their scores.
The second half of the meet starts with the 100 butterfly and GHS turned in a 1-2-3 sweep. Jack Watson was 1st, Connor Lieu was 2nd and Caleb Leon was 3rd. The 100 freestyle was also a 1-2-3 sweep. Campbell McFall was 1st, Brian Pawlowski was 2nd and Ryan Lieu was 3rd. Both Campbell McFall and Brian Pawlowski would qualify for the Class LL Meet. The 500 freestyle was a third consecutive sweep with GHS going 1-2-3. The long distance event would also be the clinching event of the meet as the Guardians would amass 94 or more points, which guarantees victory in a dual meet. James Liao was 1st, Ethan Hipsky was 2nd and Derek Liu was 3rd. James Liao qualified for the Class LL Meet with his dominating time. The score was 99-27 and Glastonbury would swim the remaining four events exhibition. This means that only Wethersfield scored points for the rest of the meet.
The 200 freestyle sprint relay would be another 1-2 sweep. The relay team of Brian Pawlowski, Ryan Lieu, Connor Lieu and Campbell McFall easily touched 1st in the event as the relay team of Leo Wong, Caleb Leon, Alex Wong and Ethan Hipsky touched 2nd. Both the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke would be 1-2-3 sweeps. In the 100 backstroke, Jack Watson touched 1st, John Comite touched 2nd and Donald Newandee touched 3rd. In the 100 breaststroke, Sean Savidge touched 1st, Nick Roberts touched 2nd and Isaac Shen touched 3rd.
The final 400 freestyle relay would be the seventh consecutive sweep as GHS touched 1-2. The relay team of John Redfern, Connor Lieu, Jack Watson and Brian Pawlowski touched 1st while the relay team of Leo Wong, Derek Liu, John Comite and Ryan Lieu touched 2nd.
Two days later the Guardians upended Hamden, who used to be a staple on the schedule but there hadn’t been a dual meet between these two teams since 2005. The Guardians won 9 of the 12 events and are now 12-3 all-time against Hamden. GHS lost three meets in a row to Hamden way back between 1991-1993 and have now rattled off a dozen wins in a row. Campbell McFall turned in another perfect four-win meet. Brian Pawlowski and James Liao each had three important wins. John Redfern had two wins while the single winners were Jay Shah, Sean Savidge and Ryan Lieu. Hamden got three wins from Nick Bennett and single wins from James Ruggerio, Lance Mendoza and Aryan Singla.
The opening 200 medley relay was a strategic event for GHS. Hamden has a superior medley relay, so Coach Hoyt split her 2 top relays to try and capture 2-3 in the event. The plan worked to perfection, but only by the slimmest of margins. Hamden (Bennett, Ruggerio, Mendoza and Singla) won the event by 5 seconds, but the 3rd place GHS relay team only out-touched the other Hamden relay team by 7 hundredths of a second. The 2nd place relay team was Jack Watson, Sean Savidge, Niall Easton and Connor Lieu. The 3rd place relay team was James Liao, Nick Roberts, Caleb Leon and Ryan Lieu. The score was 8-6 in favor of Hamden.
The 200 freestyle was a stalemate as each team garnered eight points. Brian Pawlowski won the event and John Redfern placed 4th. With an 8-8 event score the meet score was 16-14 in favor of Hamden. The 200 individual medley was a big event for GHS as they placed 1-3-4. James Liao won the event and qualified for the Class LL Meet, Ethan Hipsky was 3rd and John Comite was 4th. The event score was 11-5 and that gave the Guardians their 1st lead of the day with the score 25-21.
The 50 freestyle was another good event as Glastonbury placed 1-3-5. Campbell McFall was 1st, Sean Savidge just out-touched a Hamden swimmer by 4 hundredths of a second for 3rd and Nick Roberts was 5th. That was a 10-6 event score and now GHS was breathing a little easier with the score 35-27. Diving was the game changer as Hamden did not have any divers and that gave the Guardians a 1-2-3 sweep and a 13-0 event score. Jay Shah was 1st, Evan Scott was 2nd and Max McCurdy was 3rd. Devon Allison dove exhibition but highlighted his performance by completing a successful inward flip. The meet score was now safe with a 48-27 lead.
The second half started with the 100 butterfly and it was Hamden’s best event of the meet as they placed 1-T2-4. Jack Watson tied for 2nd place with a Class LL qualifying time and John Comite placed 5th. Nick Bennett from Hamden won the event. The event score was 10.5-4.5 in favor of Hamden and the meet score was now 52.5-38.5 in favor of GHS. The Guardians struck right back with a 1-3-4 finish in the 100 freestyle. Campbell McFall was 1st, John Redfern was 3rd with a Class LL qualifying time and Brian Pawlowski was 4th. Aryan Singla from Hamden had an excellent race as he finished strong moving from 4th to 2nd in the last 10 yards.
The 500 freestyle was another 1-3-4 finish for GHS. James Liao was 1st, Ethan Hipsky was 3rd and Derek Lui placed 4th after he impressively shook off a Hamden challenger in the next lane. The Guardians easily won the 200 freestyle sprint relay by 3 seconds. Campbell McFall, John Redfern, Brian Pawlowski and James Liao sprinted to victory.
Nick Bennett from Hamden was back in the water and impressively won the 100 backstroke. GHS would place 2-3-4 to out-score Hamden in the event 9-7. Jack Watson was 2nd with another Class LL qualifying time, Leo Wong was 3rd and Alex Wong was 4th. The clinching event of the meet would be the 100 breaststroke as GHS placed 1-4-5. Sean Savidge had another excellent finish as he out-touched a Hamden swimmer by 5 hundredths of a second. Nick Roberts was 4th and Isaac Shen was 5th and the meet score was now clinched at 100.5 to 68.5.
The final 400 freestyle relay was exhibition for Glastonbury, but that didn’t stop them from touching the wall in 1st and 3rd. The relay team of Brian Pawlowski, Ryan Lieu, John Redfern and Campbell McFall touched 1st while the relay team of John Comite, Connor Lieu, Derek Lui and Jack Watson touched 3rd.
The upcoming schedule has a pair of home dual meets. Fri, Jan. 14, GHS takes on a talented Xavier High School team at 4 p.m. The following home dual meet on Tues, January 18th against Middletown High School at 3:45 PM. Contributed by Steve Hoyt.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin