MERIDEN — Maloney’s Bria Benigni stole the show again on Tuesday afternoon. The junior won three events in leading the Spartans to their second straight CCC South postseason title.
The Maloney girls were co-champs last year, tying with Bristol Central. This year, the Spartans are outright champs, claiming the crown on their own track.
“To be able to go undefeated two years in a row representing Meriden and representing Maloney is something special,” Maloney coach Don Askew said. “We may not be able to do this again on our home track. I can’t even put it into words. I'm just so excited and happy for our girls. They put in so much work all season. Our coaching staff is amazing. We have one of the best staffs in the state.”
Benigni provided plenty for the Spartans. She won the 800 meters in 2:16.45, the 1600 in 5:17) and the 3200 in 11:45.68, and won all three races by wide margins.
“There was some great competition here today and it was so much fun,” Benigni said. “It’s a lot running those three events, but today wasn’t too bad because we have so much time between events. I had enough energy for the 3200. I was just going for the win.”
Askew said Benigni is an athlete who produces every time she runs.
“She has enthusiasm and her ability helps make our team,” Askew said. “We count on her like so many others. It's a luxury to have someone like Bria who you can count every meet.”
The Spartans completed their second straight unbeaten 7-0 regular season last week before following it up with the team title in Tuesday’s CCC South Championships.
The Spartans used their talent and depth to retain the crown.
Quinnipiac-bound senior Shaelyn Murphy won the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 2 inches. Murphy is the reigning Class L and State Open outdoor champion in the event. She was also third at New England as a junior.
In the field, Maloney’s Sienna Ulaise was tops in the discus with a toss of 101 feet, 2 inches and teammate Kathryn Kohlun was the CCC South champ in the javelin by 17 feet after uncorking a throw of 107-5.
The pair went 3-4 in the shot put. Kohlun was third at 29-4¾ and Ulaise was fourth in 29-1.
Other strong performances for the Spartan girls were Savannah Vasquez in the 1600 (3rd, 5:35.02); Tessa Lopez in the 400 (4th, 1:02.05).
Maloney’s Emily Breau and Lyric Knight were fourth and fifth in the 100 hurdles. Breau ran a 17.39 and Knight clocked in at 17.73.
Knight was also fifth in the long jump (16-01.50) and the triple jump (32 feet). Breau was fifth in high jump (4-04) and Elliyah Cloutier was fifth in the 300 hurdles (49.56).
Maloney also went 4-5 in the 100-meter dash. Kiariana Williams was fourth and Eternity West fifth. Both ran a 13.63.
“I'm proud of the team for finishing the season the way we should have finished,” Askew said.
Maloney capped the meet with silver in the 4x400 with the team of Carbone, Vasquez, Cloutier and Lopez (4:20.93).
On the boys side, Maloney won the 4x100 with the team of Tommy Sullivan, Donte Kelly, Dashawn Holloway and Izayiah Gallaher (43.71).
Ward also won the 100 in 11.16 and was also fourth in the long jump (20-½).
“I was feeling really good today,” Ward said. “I made sure I was prepared today because these guys have beaten me before, so I was really going for that today.
“It felt good, but I know I can do a lot better and I have to, because states has way faster kids than I’m racing now.”
Maloney’s Tristyn Barnes was the champion of the javelin with a throw of 139-7.
Holloway nabbed second in the 400 (51.11) and Allen Lee as second in high jump (5-8).
Placing fourth for the Spartans were Zakkai Moore in discus (114-10), Caleb Sweeney in shot put (38-9) and Kelly in the triple jump (40-3).
Also, the 4x400 team of Khamren Rodriguez, Dontae Smith, Jacob Scagnelli and Holloway was fourth in 3:37.26.
Platt was also in competition on Tuesday. For the Platt girls, the Panthers had several second-place finishes, starting with the 4x100 team of Dayanara Gonzalez, Estrella Delacruz, Monet Dorrell and Genesis Villatoro (50.53).
Zaria Calloway was second in shot put (30-1¼), third in discus (92-7) and third in javelin (86-6).
Erin Sola was second in pole vault (8-0) and also claimed silver in the 300 hurdles (48.31.
Gonzalez was second in the 100 hurdles (15.99). Mia Daley took second in javelin (90-5).
Platt had two finishers in the top four in the 200. Delacruz was second (26.93) and Dorrell fourth (27.28).
Panther Briggette Vazquez was fifth in the 800 in 2:29.55.
The Maloney girls won with 144 points followed by Plainville (126), Bristol Eastern (90), Bristol Central (86.5), Platt (81) and Berlin (79).
Bristol Central won the boys title with 167 points followed by Bristol Eastern (130), Maloney (85), Plainville (84), Lewis Mills (79), Middletown (72), Berlin (71) and Platt (7).
“The boys finished third with just two wins this season," Askew said. “It shows how good we are and they came out here and showed up and put their best foot forward. Maloney boys track is making a comeback. We are stronger than people realize.”