Hawks take fifth at Class M meet

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MANCHESTER — Dan Park and Brandon Fowler took home first-place finishes in the triple jump and 300-meter hurdles, respectively, to net 20 of the Hawks’ 52 points in the Class M state championship meet last Wednesday at Manchester High School.

Fifty-two points were enough to secure a fifth-place finish for the Hawks, who finished only a point behind fourth-place East Catholic and nine points shy of third-place Montville. Bloomfield commanded 123 points, 57 points more than second-place Weston, to bring home the gold.

Fowler clocked a 15.52-second effort in the 110-meter hurdles to win third place and six points, but followed up in his best event to win the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.87 seconds. He finished second at Monday’s State Open with a time of 39.65 seconds.

“It feels good because I felt the pressure to repeat from last year,” Fowler said. “I am disappointed [with the State Open] because I’ve run better races and my best time would’ve won.”

Park bounded 44 feet, 4 inches to win the triple jump for the second-consecutive year. He also finished sixth in the 200-meter dash in a time of 23.83, adding three points to the Black and Gold total.

Javelin throwers Scott Lang and Tyler Slapikas finished third and eighth, respectively, for a total of seven points.

Tyler Murphy took fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:00.24, scoring five points; Kyle Cranney earned fifth place in the mile run, with a time of 4:36.05, for four more.

Cranney, Murphy, Adam Baz and Eric Dietz took third place in the four-by-800 meter relay in a time of 8:25.18, which was good for another six points.

“We were seeded fifth and we placed third so I was happy about that,” Murphy said of the four-by-800 team.

Park, Fowler, Chris Williams and Chris Savvidou ran a 45.21 in the four-by-100 meter relay, taking eighth place and tallying another point.

The Woodland girls faced tougher competition as they finished in a three-way tie for 17th place with Seymour and New London .

The girls’ 13 points paled in comparison to Career’s winning 106.5, Nonnewaug’s second-place 92, and Weston’s tally of 68.5, which was good for third.

Brittany Battis took third place in the pole vault for six of the Hawks’ 13 points, clearing a bar set at 9 feet, 6 inches. She tied for sixth at the State Open with a personal-record 10-foot vault.

“I knew the competition I was walking into was tough so I wanted to jump for myself and it paid off by getting a new personal record,” Battis said.

Ashley Riley earned sixth place in the triple jump with a distance of 34 feet, 3 inches; Alyssa Marti took seventh in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.14; and Olivia Poryanda tossed the javelin 100 feet, 3 inches for seventh place in that event.

“The end of the season went well because I competed against very talented girls,” said Marti, the Naugatuck Valley League champ in the 100 hurdles. “My goal was to be undefeated in the regular season and I accomplished that.”