Newington and Wethersfield High Schools competed in the 83rd Greater Hartford Track & Field Invitational at Simsbury High School. It was both schools last chance to compete in a multi-school event before the class and open competitions start in June. Several local athletes posted top-ten finishes and two athletes took home first place at the 36-school invitational.
Newington’s Wilmarie Rodriguez captured first place in the girls’ triple jump. The junior easily won the competition, finishing with a distance of 33 feet 11.50 inches, a full foot clear of the second-place finisher. She ranked tenth at last season’s Class L triple jump finals and is primed to improve on that finish this season.
Wethersfield’s Whitton Devaux also took home first place in boys’ javelin. The senior tossed the long, light spear 170 feet 2 inches, two feet further than second-place. He’ll be looking to duplicate that feat at the Class MM finals, where he placed 3rd in the competition last June.
John Tapia, another one of Wethersfield’s strong group of throwers, finished 3rd in the shot put. The junior heaved the 12-pound spherical ball 47 feet 5 inches. He also spun the discus 125 feet 3 inches, finishing 7th at the invitational. Senior classmate Giancarlo Serrao also cracked the top-ten in the shot put, finishing 9th with a toss of 44 feet 3 inches.
Wethersfield’s Faith Burnett led all the local girls throwers, finishing 3rd in the shot put, a mere two inches shy of a second-place finish. She followed it up her impressive shot put by placing 9th in the discus.
Several runners also made names for themselves at the competition, including underclassman Elijah Young. The Wethersfield sophomore finished 4th in the 100-meter dash and then placed 8th at the triple jump. The versatile athlete then joined Brennan Rhodes, Connor Jones, and Lorenzo Burgos to anchor the 4x100 meter relay team. The relay team finished 9th overall.
Wethersfield’s girls’ 4x100 meter squad placed 6th at the invitational. Sophomore Agnes Ning paced the lady-Eagle sprinters, who do not have a senior on the relay team. The school’s 4x800 relay team placed 9th at the invitational.
Local hurdlers impressed on the track as well. Wethersfield junior Armin Begovic finished 7th in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles and then posted a respectable 15th in the 300-meter finals. Begovic’s classmate, Samantha Martin, finished 12th in the girls’ 300-meter hurdles and Newington’s Laura Buonocore finished 14th in the same competition.
Newington’s standout distant runner, Gregory Zydanowicz, finished 12th in the boys’ 800-meters, less than a second away from a top-ten ranking.
Newington’s Kurt Swenor rounded out the invitational, finishing tied for 10th to lead all the local pole vaulters.
You can witness these and other local tracksters at Middletown High School on Monday, June 2nd and Tuesday the 3rd for the class championships. The best performances from the class championships will have a chance to compete in the open championships at Middletown High on Monday, June 9th.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin