Monday was a day of firsts for two area track programs.
The Sheehan boys team won its first-ever outdoor state title in the Class M meet and Maloney senior Briana Burt broke through with her first state crown in Class L after placing second last year.
The Titans, competing on their home track, sealed the Class M championship by placing in the day’s final event, the 4x400 relay.
Another key factor in the team victory: sophomore Chris Dickey and Jon Cantone going 1-2 in the triple jump.
Burt, competing in the Class L meet in Middletown, dominated the 100 hurdles from start to finish. Her time of 14.85 seconds was a career-best and a Maloney school record.
“It was a great race,” said Burt. “I came out of the blocks really strong and powered through. Winning the state championship was surreal. It means the world to me to end my senior year as the state champion. It’s the best feeling.”
“She beat everyone to the first hurdle,” Maloney coach Chris Watson added. “It wasn’t much of a race. She won by half a second. It’s by far the best race I have ever seen her run. She ran hard all the way to the finish line. She deserves it. This is the culmination of all the work she puts in. We are all really proud of her.”
Also for Maloney, senior Dimitri Smith finished second in the 100 meter dash in 11.03. That qualifies the senior for the State Open.
Sophomore Ali Rheaume placed fifth with a school-record run in the 400 in 59.85 and anchored the 4x100 team (Burt, Leah Miller and Chantel Raye) that finished fifth in 50.8.
As for the Titans, Charlie Farley has been the Sheehan boys track and field coach since the school opened in 1972. He has pocketed a few indoor track state crowns, but never broke through in the outdoor season until Monday.
“They were excited,” Farley said. “We have been in position to win this thing a few times in the past and sometimes someone got hurt or didn’t perform, but everything happened today. The kids are going to walking around school with big smiles on their faces for the next few days. They all did what they needed to do.”
The meet came down to the final event. The Titans needed just one point in the 4x400 relay to hold off Windham and take the team title.
Griffin Cobb, Matt Baum, Nathan Christensen and Carl Verch did enough to polish off the win. The quartet placed seventh in 3:31.30.
As a result, Sheehan finished with 55 points. Windham was second with 53.
Dickey had the lone individual victory for the Titans. He took the triple jump at 43 feet, 8 1/2 inches, meeting the State Open-qualifying distance of 43 feet in the process.
Cantone placed second at 42-8.
Other point-winners for the Titans were Cobb in the 800 (3rd, 1:56.99) and Bryan Allen in the 1,600 (6th, 4:42.50). Baum finished third in both the 110 hurdles (16.04) and the 300 hurdles (42.31).
Patrick Guerrette, Christensen, Cantone and Dickey combined to place third in the 4x100 (44.80).
The Titans were also third in the 4x800 with Ian Mayne, Verch, Allen and Cobb (8:25.70).
Sheehan won the Class S indoor crowns in 2000 and 2002. The Titans were outdoor track runners-up in 1999 and 2000.
“They showed what they capable of doing,” Farley said. “We finished fourth at the SCC tournament. That gave us a lot of confidence. We were able to see what the other top teams were doing. Everyone has to do their thing. We we’re steady and made it happen.”
Platt: Senior thrower Tom LaBissoniere qualified for the State Open by finishing fourth in the discus at the Class L meet in Middletown. LaBissoniere threw for 146 feet, 7 inches.