CIAC TRACK & FIELD: For Sheehan girls 4x100 & Cheshire’s Farrell, a historic day at the Open

CIAC TRACK & FIELD: For Sheehan girls 4x100 & Cheshire’s Farrell, a historic day at the Open

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NEW BRITAIN – The Sheehan 4x100 relay team keeps upping the ante. So does Cheshire’s Ryan Farrell.

The Titans quartet of senior Clarisse Aminawung, junior Patrice Mansfield, senior Allison Villano and junior Avery Winters backed up its Class M title with a State Open crown on Thursday at Willow Brook Park.

Farrell, who had won in Class L, made it a state sweep in the 800 meters, and he did it in a State Open-record time of 1:50.58.

The Sheehan girls, meanwhile, broke their own school record, which they’ve been doing throughout the postseason since they qualified for Nationals at the SCC East Sectional meet several weeks ago. On the Thursday, the Titans combined on a time of 48.68 seconds.

The four embraced in the center of the infield after running the fastest 4x100 girls time in the state all year.

“We were trying for the 48 all season,” Villano said. “We devoted a lot of time to handoffs and cleaning it up. We are all fast runners; it was just about the handoffs and getting them in the right spot. I think we did a really good job of that. We do a good job cheering each other on. It's awesome to have four girls cheering you on.”

“We worked together as a team and we were focused,” Mansfield added. “The pressure is always good for us.”

Villano said the team is always a tiny bit behind after the second leg because of the curve and everyone is still staggered.

“This is insane,” Villano said. “That adrenaline rush and knowing we had to be perfect.”

The 4x100 is ticketed for Nationals, following in the footsteps of All-American and current SCSU star Jordan Davis, who qualified in the javelin in 2019.

As for Cheshire’s Farrell, he won the 800 meters in come-from-behind fashion. The Louisville-bound senior took the lead with 250 meters to go after being boxed in behind other runners for much of the race.

Once in the lead, he exploded to the finish line.

“I knew everyone got out a little quick and I got a little boxed in,” Farrell said. “I made my move with 300 meters to go to get out of the box. From there on out, I kept pushing and took it all the way home.

“I took a little peek behind me with five meters to go and I said, ‘Oh, my God, I’m going to win.’ It was an amazing feeling.”

Farrell was told by his father he had broken the meet record. The previous mark of 1:50.63 was set by Henry Wynne of Staples in 2013.

Thursday’s State Open title give Farrell two for his Cheshire career. He won the 600 meters at the 2020 indoor track State Open as a junior.

As it is with the Sheehan 4x100, the next stop for Farrell is July 3 at national high school championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“Ryan was awesome,” Cheshire coach Allen Dvarskas said. “He’s hard-working and talented. Ryan had expectations to win this race and that’s all we needed. He’s mentally strong. Anyone can be good, but you have to be willing to hurt to be great.

“He was willing to push his body in ways a lot of ways other kids aren’t willing to do.” 

Southington was well-represented at the Open, in particular in the javelin. Three of the top five girls in the the event were Blue Knights.

Weston’s Shea Greene won the crown with a State Open record of 154 feet. She was followed by three Southington seniors: Alexah Zaczynski (2nd, 131-11), Class LL champ Kayla Pelletier (3rd, 127-8) and Marisa Imme (5th, 115-9).

“We did pretty well,” Southington coach Connor Green said. “There were some points we left out there, but overall Double L was a great experience and this was a great experience, too. This is the best of the best here. I’m very happy.”

Zaczynski was also fourth in pole vault with a mark of 10 feet, 6 inches. Southington junior Jackie Izzo was sixth in the 1,600 in 5:01.65.

The Southington girls had the highest area finish at the meet. The Blue Knights finished fifth. The Sheehan girls were ninth. 

“I can’t ask for anything better than what they gave me this year,” Green said. “It (stinks) that Glastonbury is such a constant in our lives; they are always finishing one step ahead of us. But if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t do as well as we do.

“It’s been a memorable year with an amazing group of seniors. It’s one for memory book.”

Also scoring for Sheehan was senior Caitlyn Hunt, who was sixth in shot put at 34-9½ after winning Class M a week ago. Junior Erin Brennan, another Sheehan Class M champ, was fifth in the long jump at 17-9.

Among the Meriden qualifiers, Reynaldo Torres broke the Maloney record in the 800 while finishing ninth in 1:57.60.

Platt’s day was highlighted by three-sport standout Aaliyah Burnley. The senior was third in discus with a throw of 118-05, well beyond her 104-7 qualifying mark. 

Another highlight for Cheshire was sophomore Colin Brown’s sixth-place finish in the 100 in 10.95.

Statewide, among the record-breaking performances were Hillhouse’s Gary Moore Jr. in discus. His throw of 186-5 broke the State Open mark of 182-11 by Pete Dreissigacker of Amity that had stood since 1969.

Conard distance runner Gavin Sherry broke two Open records, first by more than seven seconds in the 1600 (4:01.88) and later in the 3,200 (8:59.80)

Joel Barlow’s Mariella Schweitzer tied the state record in the 300 hurdles in 43.18, matching Jaliyah White of Hillhouse (2015).

Hillhouse won the boys title and Danbury was the girls champ.

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