MIDDLETOWN >> Some 10 area athletes, plus four area relay teams came away with medals at the blockbuster Middletown Invitational Track and Field Meet held at Rosek-Skubel Stadium at Middletown High Saturday afternoon.
The meet is usually one of the largest in the state, but this one smashed all records with more than 70 high schools sending teams.
“I’m very pleased with how things went both days [the freshman and sophomore meet was Friday afternoon],” said meet director Craig Lundell. “We had several records broken and things went very smoothly, especially Saturday.”
The top six finishers in each event receive medals. On the girls side, Middletown High’s Rajeen Mayo walked away with three medals. She was third in the triple jump with a leap of 34 feet, 10 inches, was sixth in the long jump at 17 feet, two and a half inches, and ran a leg of the 4×100 meter relay team — along with Arabia Henley, Amanda Bomely, and Jennifer Barbour — which took fifth in a time of 50.43 seconds.
Zach Williams of Xavier took two medals in the boys competition, coming in second in the 3200 meter run in a time of 9 minutes, 29.80 seconds and as part of the 4×800 meter relay team — that included Trinity Collins, John O’Hara and Dan Hergoff — which was third in a time of 8:19.19.
“Some of our athletes performed well above expectations and some didn’t,” said Xavier coach Chris Stonier. “Some of my less experienced kids did very well. Derrick Ward jumped 6-2 in the high jump and his previous best was 5-10. Elijah Pemberton jumped 5-10 for the first time. I thought Zach was great in the 3200. It’s a great starting point for him in the first big race of the year.”
Area medal-winners on the boys side included Austin Tierney of East Hampton, who was third in the triple jump at 42 feet, nine and a quarter inches and Taqi Bilal of Middletown High, who was fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, eight inches.
Ward’s 6-2 was good for third in the high jump, East Hampton’s Josh Chasseau was fifth in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.29 seconds, Cameron Garrelts of Haddam-Killingworth was sixth in the 1600 meters in a time of four minutes, 29.91 seconds, and Xavier’s Pemberton was third in the long jump at 21 feet, one inch.
H-K’s 4×100 relay team of Nick Afragola, Canute Watson, John Schuster and Christian Ticino was fifth with a time of 45.07 seconds.
“We had some bright spots,” said MHS boys coach Jenn Price. “We had some personal bests and I was pleased with Tagi Bilal’s performance in the triple jump. However, our 4×100 relay team wads DQ’d and that was unfortunate.
“I thought our junior varsity kids did very well Friday and Laurenzo Thompkins won both hurdles events and he’s a freshman.”
On the girls side, East Hampton’s Hannah Cook was second in the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, four inches and the H-K 4×800 meter relay team of Mackenzie Hinds, Menalie Hyde, Maddie Brandon and Lizzie Early was sixth with a time of 10 minutes, 30.56 seconds.
“Overall I thought our kids did well,” said MHS girls coach Deb Petruzzello. “We had a lot of personal bests today, but I thought our jayvees were phenomenal on Friday. They learned how to perform in a big meet, and this was a very big meet. That bodes well for our future.”
Stonier was impressed with the day.
“The meet is a monster,” he said. “Teams come from all over the state, some traveling more than an hour to get here. It’s run very efficiently; it’s quite the masterpiece. I thought Lundell was smart to start the running events at 2 o’clock. This was an SAT day so that was really good. This meet provides great competition.”