MERIDEN — While gathering info for the “Best of the Bunch” indoor track stories, this little factoid jumped out: Seven area girls qualified for the 2020 New Balance Nationals Indoor meet.
Really? That many? Was that right?
I do, from time to time, make mistakes.
Not this time. Sheehan’s Olivia Dubuc, Southington’s Trinity Cardillo and Sydney Garrison, and the Southington 4x800 relay of Jackie Izzo, Diane Pillsbury, Lauren Verrilli and Anny Moquete-Volquez were all on their way to the New York Armory for the New Balance Nationals the weekend of March 13-15.
Due to the coronavirus, that meet was never held. That meant the final competition of the season was the New England Championships at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center.
Not a bad way for our Super 7 to go out. The Southington 4x800 ran a school-record 9:36.72 in placing seventh.
Our three individual qualifiers did even better in Boston, and they are our finalists for Girls Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Olivia Dubuc, a finalist for Girls Soccer Player of the Year, returns in a second sport after leading the Sheehan girls to their first Southern Connecticut Conference indoor title. She also won the Class M championship in the 600 meters and ultimately placed second in that event in New England.
Dubuc’s postseason run started at the SCC Championships. Named Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the meet, the senior won the 600 and also anchored the first-place 4x400 relay behind Clarisse Aminawung, Avery Winters and Patrice Mansfield.
The Class M championship in the 600 meters came next. Then a bronze at the State Open and the silver in Boston.
At each successive meet, Dubuc lowered the school record in the 600, signing off with a 1:35.81 at the New England meet.
And to think track isn’t Dubuc’s top sport. That’s soccer, which is what she’ll play at the University of Tampa starting this fall.
Trinity Cardillo and Sydney Garrison are track athletes year round, and both are going on to Division I programs — Cardillo at Northeastern, Garrison at the University of Hartford.
They depart as New England champions. Cardillo captured the shot put and Garrison went over the top in the high jump.
Both set records that day in Boston. Cardillo threw for 44 feet, 3¼ inches. Garrison cleared 5-7.
The record Garrison broke was her own. She hit for 5-6½ in winning at the State Open.
Cardillo eclipsed the 44-2 Cherraine Davis had put up in 2012. Cardillo got in range by landing 43-7½ in winning Class LL and 43-3¾ in placing second at the State Open.
A record distance, and height, seemed only a matter of time for Cardillo and Garrison, friends since first grade.
As for Dubuc, be it soccer or track, once the clock was running, she was always on her game.
The Record-Journal “Best of the Bunch” awards video airs on Thursday, June 18 on Facebook at 6:30 p.m. and will be on myrecordjournal.com after that. The R-J is giving away an iPad Mini to one person who watches the event live on Facebook. Enter at myrecordjournal.com/ipad. Tomorrow’s finalists: Boys swimming.