For the second straight season, the girls’ outdoor track and field team at Glastonbury High School is the Class LL state champions.
The Guardians ran away with the competition, scoring 118 overall points, over 30 points more than runner-up Danbury at Willow Brook Park in New Britain on May 31.
“They work together and they are very hard working and dedicated group,” head coach Brian Collins said of his team. “We had a lot of good underclassmen that performed really well this year and they learned from our seniors.”
Sophomore Anna Hilary won an individual title in the pole vault and junior Layla Spann-McDonald took home an individual championship in the discus, as well as placing 2nd in the shot put.
Two of GHS relay teams also won titles. Riley Carroll, Meghan Smith, Alyssa Healy, and Molly Harding won the 4x400, while Ava Gattinella, Kelley MacElhiney, Jackie Caron, and Annika Paluska won the 4x800.
Harding, a senior who will run at Yale University, also finished 2nd in the 400 meters and 4th in the 200 meters.
Paluska, a sophomore, placed 3rd in the 800 meters and senior Kathryn DeSousa, a Bryant University commit, finished 3rd in the high jump.
Jackie Dudus, Kylie Hilliard, and freshman Lila Garbett placed 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively, in the 1600 meters.
Hannah Caiola teamed with Healy, Smith, and Carroll for a 4th place finish in the 4x100 relay. Caiola, a senior who will run at Southern Connecticut State University, also placed 6th individually in both the 100 and 200 meter dash.
Smith (400 meters), Gattinella (800 meters), Anna Morris (discus), and Sophia Urban (pole vault) each had top-five finishes.
Collins said the key to success over the past couple of year is how well-rounded the group has been, adding “Some years we’re heavy in some areas and very light in others, but recently we have been pretty even across the board. Those sixth, seventh or eighth places really add up.”
Other Guardians to score in the meet were: Carroll (7th in 400 meters), Healy (7th in 300 meter hurdles), Alexandra Edwards (8th in 800 meters), and Lucy Bergin (8th in 3200 meters).
The latest championship adds yet another banner to a growing list of accomplishments for the program, who have also won the last two Class LL indoor track and field titles as well.
All told, the departing senior class has been part of four Class LL track and field titles and a State Open championship during the winter of 2020.
“Our seniors had a chance to leave with a second LL championship and their dedication each and every day set the tone for everyone.” Collins said of his now-graduated seniors. “They did a great job at mentoring the younger kids. They are not just looking out for their own spots; they are looking out what’s best for the team. That’s what made them special.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin