NEW HAVEN — Rosa Moriello earned her wings Thursday at the Class L indoor track and field championships at the New Haven Athletic Center. The Naugatuck senior broke a six-year-old meet record in the 1,000-meter run, winning in two minutes, 58.94 seconds, a feat that may inspire a little artwork on her feet.
“I made a deal with my dad that if I broke the school record, I would ‘earn my wings,’” Moriello said, grinning. “I want to get a tattoo of those [Apollo] wings on my ankles.”
“You can always change your mind,” replied an alarmed NHS coach Bill Hanley. “A tattoo is forever. Would you want your middle school haircut forever?”
Moriello agreed to save her ink job for the end of the school year.
She didn’t wait nearly as long to run two more races. The future Boston University Terrier finished second in the 1,600 meters, in 5:14.00, behind familiar foe Meg Ryan of Fairfield Warde, who won in 5:05.01. Moriello capped the day with a third-place showing in the 3,200 meters, in 11:24.20, trailing Bunnell’s Lauren Sara and Ryan. Sara’s winning time of 11:00.47, though not her fastest, smashed the class record by more than seven seconds.
Moriello’s performances racked up 24 of the Greyhounds’ 42 total points, enough for the Naugatuck Valley League champions to place fourth overall. The boys finished 20th, with eight points.
Senior Tori Pisco had an excellent meet by almost any standard but her own. She ran her fastest 600 meters of the season, 1:38.47, but couldn’t hold a lead she held for most of the race. Hand’s Meghan Derken caught Pisco on the home stretch and won, in 1:37.86.
A visibly gassed Pisco said later she hadn’t felt that tired after a race since she was a freshman.
“She didn’t stick to the game plan,” explained Naugy head coach Ralph Roper. “The plan was to stay with [Derken] on the first lap and then make her move. But, you know, the adrenaline starts pumping, and sometimes everything coach said goes out the window.”
Pisco recovered to help the Hounds finish third in the 1,600-meter sprint medley and fourth in the four-by-400 meter relay.
The boys’ quartet of Jeff Dorosh, Nick Moriello, Thomas Mashia and Ralph Liquori claimed fourth in the four-by-800 meter relay, in 8:32.73. Junior Amanze Williams picked up the fellas’ four other points by clearing five feet, 10 inches in the high jump, good for fourth place.
NHS missed chances for more points when its 1,600-meter sprint medley team was disqualified for passing the baton outside the handoff zone, and Ralph Roper, Jr. false started during his 55-meter heat.
Moriello and Pisco will lead Naugy’s State Open contingent Feb. 20 at the New Haven Athletic Center. While there is no doubt Pisco will run her best event, the 600, Moriello said she likely won’t enter the 1,000, despite her win Thursday. She plans instead to focus her efforts on the über-competitive mile and two-mile runs.
Glastonbury junior Lindsay Crevoiserat is favored in the former; she won the event last year and has the fastest time in the state this season, a 4:57.15 at the Yale Invitational Jan. 16. Ryan is the only other Connecticut girl to break the five-minute mark. Moriello’s 5:04.76 last month is the third-best time of the year. Other contenders include Conard’s Sophia Harrington, Trumbull’s Danielle Klein, and Moriello’s friend and reigning State Open cross country champion Jackie Nicholas of Nonnewaug.
Crevoiserat also owns the fastest two-mile time in the state, 10:39.95. Moriello’s 11:06.33 is fifth, behind Sara (10:47.52), Fairfield Ludlowe’s Heather Moriarty (10:59.00) and Klein (11:05.88).
Moriello ran her fastest 1,600 and 3,200 times the same day, at the Southern Connecticut Conference Invitational Jan. 23. She did not run the 1,000 that day.