NEW HAVEN—Drew Thompson of Fairfield Prep and Nick Petruzelli of Notre Dame-West Haven each produced milestones for themselves, while Danbury won the final event of the day to win the team title with 44 points at the CIAC State Open Indoor Boys championships at Floyd Little Athletic Center on Saturday.
Thompson won his first State Open indoor title when he won the 3,200 in a personal best 9 minutes, 12.66 seconds. Petruzelli won the pole vault in a school record 14 feet, breaking his mark of 13 feet, 8 inches set earlier this season.
Danbury’s Malcolm Going won the 600 in a personal best 1:20.40 to contribute to the boys’ team title. Trailing Hall by three points going into the final event, the Hatters won the 4×400 relay in 3:28.55 to clinch the win for their third straight State Open title and 13th overall.
“The State Open is very competitive and every place you get in the events you are in is important,” Danbury coach Rob Murray said. “We had a great effort today scoring in five different events (4×200 relay, 4×400 relay, pole vault, 600 and 3,200). Going into the meet and looking at the program of events and the seedings, I figured there were five teams with a shot for the team title and that 40 points would win it. Fortunately, we were the only ones who had 40 or more points.”
In the 3,200, Thompson’s four-year rival Brendan Murray of Cheshire took the early lead and Thompson followed with Danbury’s Dan Nichols right behind Thompson in third place. The threesome pulled away from the other runners and stayed 1-2-3 for 16 laps.
With two laps to go, going around the far turn Nichols surged ahead. As Nichols surged to first, Thompson made his own move and took first down the straightaway. In the final lap, Thompson pulled away and cruised to an easy win. Nichols was second in 9:18.98 and Murray was third in 9:23.67.
“I wasn’t sure how Murray would approach this race,” Thompson said. “He challenged me so hard. With Murray it’s never an easy race. He took that quick lead and really pushed me. I just stayed right behind him waiting for the right time to move. When the kid from Danbury surged ahead with about 400 meters to go I decided I needed to make my own surge to take the lead.
“What helped me is my training for this race. I did a lot of short 4×800 workouts. This is a great feeling. It’s the first time I won a State Open title and it was also a PR for me.”
Petruzelli’s goal going into the State Open was to set another school record and get 14 feet in the pole vault. At the Class L meet, soreness in his knee contributed to a disappointing second place finish with 13 feet.
“The difference in the State Open is I was healthier and I had a high mind set,” Petruzelli said. “I’m a senior and I wanted to go out with a bang. I made 14 feet on my second try. It’s really exciting as a senior to go out this way, with a win.”
Going was excited to be able to contribute to the Danbury’s win.
“My game plan in the 600 was to hang back and take the lead at the end,” Going said. “I stayed behind the leaders and really gave it all I had with a late kick. It feels so amazing to produce points for the team.”
Other winners included Dyson Vaughn of Career in the long jump. He won it with jump of 23 feet, 8.5 inches. Vaughn entered the event ranked No. 1 in the state in the event by Athletic.net in its Connecticut track and field rankings.
Deshaune Poole of Hillhouse won the 55 hurdles in 7.53 and was fourth in the 300 in 35.76. Ja’kwan Hale of Derby won the high jump (6-8), Xavier won the 4×800 relay (8:09.95) and Fairfield Prep was second (8:11.47).