MERIDEN — An All-American. A New England champion.
Looks like we picked a good spring to launch our All-Record-Journal Outdoor Track and Field Team.
The 2019 season culminated in a big way at Sheehan High School. Terrence Bogan defended his Class M championship in the 100 meters, then blazed new ground with victory at the New England Championships in Saco, Maine.
A week later, Bogan’s fellow junior, Connecticut javelin champ Jordan Davis, was in Greensboro, N.C., competing in the New Balance Nationals. By catapulting from eighth place to third on his final throw, Davis became the first All-American track and field athlete in Sheehan history.
Now there’s a finish.
And a start. Both have a year to go.
All in all, it was a strong postseason — not just for Bogan and Davis, not just for Sheehan. Both Meriden schools had a state class javelin champion (javelin was definitely the sport of royalty this spring).
Southington had a pair of state class champions. Cheshire and Lyman Hall had top contenders who, like all the athletes you’ll meet herein, reached the State Open.
The make-or-break point for the All-RJ team, though, wasn’t the Open. It was the class meets. Those who finished in the top three in Class LL, L, MM or M made the grade. These 20 did.
The state class javelin champions from Meriden were Platt’s Julio Hernandez and Maloney’s Mychael Gallaher, both seniors.
Hernandez won Class MM at 162 feet, 1 inch. Gallaher captured Class L at 107-8 and went on to place fifth at the State Open at 113-8.
Gallaher also set Maloney’s 55-meter dash record during the indoor season.
It will come as no surprise that Jordan Davis set a slew of records on the road to All-American status. He broke SCC East Sectional (193-0) and SCC Championship (208-1) javelin records in winning those meets, the Sheehan record falling in the process as well.
Davis went on to win Class M at 191-9 and the State Open at 203-1. He threw for 189-8 in placing second in New England and 207-6 in placing third at Nationals.
In that Class M meet, the Titans actually took two medals in the javelin. Junior Michael Lemay was third at 157-8 and he advanced to the State Open along with Davis.
Area schools were represented in all throwing events at the Open. Southington junior Trinity Cardillo followed up on her state shot put championship in the indoor season by finishing first in Class LL in the discus (118-4) and second in the shot (38-10½).
Cardillo threw longer in both events at the State Open: 125-0 in the discus (4th) and 41-5½ (2nd) in the shot. Cardillo capped her season winning the CIAC hammer throw at 139-11.
Casey Selinske earned Southington a second Class LL championship by clearing 13 feet in the pole vault. He hit that height on his first attempt while four other contenders who had gone past 12-6 with him went 0-for-3 at 13.
Sheehan pole vaulter Kyra Connolly, who graduated with a share of her program’s record, signed off with a jump of 10-6 at the State Open. She was third in Class M at 9-6, the same height at which she won this spring’s SCC championship.
In other field events, Southington high jumper Sydney Garrison brought home a Class LL silver in her signature event by clearing 5-4. The junior matched that distance in the State Open, where she placed third.
Southington also claimed two bronze medals in Class LL. Alijah Vega, the Record-Journal’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year, was third in the javelin at 104-11 (she pushed the envelope to 107-8 at the Open). Fellow senior Eli Rodriguez was third in the 110 hurdles at 15.25.
Rodriguez later ran a 15.28 in the State Open preliminaries, narrowly missing a spot in the championship heat.
Rodriguez was one of two hurdlers to make the All-RJ team. The other was Sheehan’s Clarisse Aminawung.
Only a sophomore, Aminawung set a school record in winning the 300 hurdles at the SCC Championships in 46.23. She went on to place third in Class M at 47.12.
Aminawung also ran on 4x100 and 4x400 relays. The 4x100 set a school record of 51.27 in placing seventh in Class M. The 4x400 was third in 4:06.90.
Aminawung was joined on that 4x400 relay by senior Julia Mansfield, junior Katherine Cappetta and freshman Avery Winters. The freshman Winters capped her outstanding rookie year placing third in the 200 meters in Class M at 26.71.
There was a second relay team to earn All-RJ recognition. It was also the lone distance representative on the block: the Cheshire 4x800 of sophmore Ryan Farrell and juniors Brendan Mellitt, Francis Simpatico and Charlie Pettit.
The Cheshire quartet was third in Class L with a time of 8:10.50. The Rams placed behind Hall and Bristol Central, both of which broke the Class L meet record in finishing 1-2.
Meter for meter, Farrell and his mates covered the most ground this spring. Meter for meter, Sheehan’s Terrence Bogan and Lyman Hall counterpart Michael Toppin were the fastest.
Toppin, coming off his trip to the New Balance Nationals during the indoor season, signed off on the spring placing third in Class MM 200 in 22.86 seconds.
Bogan defended his Class M 100 crown in 10.99 seconds. He ran a 10.98 in finishing sixth at the State Open and 11.01 to win the New England title.
It should be pointed out that Bogan was also the state’s rushing leader in football. Bogan and two of the girls on this team made All-RJ earlier in the year in non-track sports — Connolly in field hockey, Vega in soccer — while Hernandez was a standout swimmer. Of the 21 All-Record-Journal Teams selected this year, saying this group is the most versatile is a fair argument to pose.