BY KEN MORSE
The bar was raised when the best of the best in track and field descended on Veterans Stadium in Willow Brook Park in New Britain on June 11 for the 75th annual New England championships.
Naugatuck made its mark by landing several athletes in the top 10, and Woodland placed two girls among a very competitive field.
Laci Davis leaped to a fifth place showing (36 feet, 1[Body 3/4] inches) in the triple jump for the Hawks while Chloe Poulos ran to an 11th place finish (5:05.44) in the 1,600 meters, knocking one second off her seeded time. Sarah Cooley threw to a 13th place finish in the javelin (110-06).
“It was a very competitive field, but all in all, we had a good day at the office,” said Naugatuck coach Ralph Roper.
Ese Onakpoma led the boys with a pair of second place finishes in the high jump (6-5) and the triple jump (46-10[Body 3/4]). Allison Murphy led the girls with a third place showing in the 300 hurdles (44.29).
“We had quite a few athletes put up personal best performances,” added Roper. “The kids executed well. Ese had a huge jump but they couldn’t give it to him in the long jump. He was seeded (22 feet) in the top five but (after) missing on the first and third attempt, he wound up 18th.”
The boys 4×400 relay team of Lalo Lopez, Taylor Trowers, Dan Anderson and Jayshawn Lindsay ran to a fourth place finish at 3:23.16.
Lopez ran to a sixth place in the 400 (49.31), Trowers finished seventh in the 300 hurdles (40.02) and Anderson placed 12th in the 300 hurdles (40.97).
“We will have a group of 11 athletes competing at the Nationals on June 18 at the University of Pennsylvania,” said Roper. “Some of the athletes that didn’t compete at New England will be there like our girls 4×400 relay team. Julia Kropo will be competing in the javelin, the 4×400 and the 800. Of course we have Ese and Allison who will be leading the way for us. We are looking to do well.”
The New Balance Nationals will be held June 16-19 at Franklin Field on the campus of Pennsylvania University.
BY KEN MORSE