NEW HAVEN >> Canton’s Keith Wilson knows he is among the top sprinters in Class S. He proved it in the 55 meter hurdles at Saturday’s Class S indoor track and field championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High.
He became just the fourth Canton athlete to win a Class S state championship, easily winning the 55 hurdles in 8.02 seconds, a whopping 0.25 seconds ahead of Morgan’s Chase LeMay (8.27 seconds).
Wilson also ran on Canton’s 4×400 relay team that finished third with a school record time of 3:37.43 and qualified for Saturday’s State Open championships. Riley Hollis, Wyatt Campbell and Colin Martin were the other runners on the relay team.
Canton finished fifth with 28 points with Bloomfield winning its second straight state championship with 90 points. The last Canton athletes to win an indoor state championship came in 2010 when Mike LeDuc (3,200 meters) and Brian Magna (600) won a pair of races.
Avon High’s sprint medley relay team finished second at the Class M girls indoor track and field championships to earn a spot at the State Open.
The sprint medley relay team of Tara Shayler, Chamiyah Rowland, Jennifer Koo and Maddi McHugh ran the race in 4:30.58, the second fastest time in school history. Tolland, which won its first Class M indoor title, won the race in 4:23.02. The sprint medley relay consists of legs of 200, 200, 400 and 800 meters.
The team’s silver medal was the highlight of the day for the Falcons, who finished 10th in Class M with 17 points.
Wilson came close to winning a second state championship for Canton. He and Bloomfield’s Jermaine Lascelles virtually tied in the final of the 300 meters. Lascelles beat Wilson to the line by 0.006 of a second.
Wilson will have to be satisfied with the memory of his effort because he was disqualified for a lane violation – stepping out of his lane. There is no appeal of the judgment of the meet officials.
Canton’s 4×200 relay team (Martin, Hollis, Campbell, John Solomon) finished fifth with the third best time in school history, 1:37.86. It’s best finish for the Warriors in this event. Canton’s 4×800 meter relay (Athan Chekas, Dean Yost, Zach Oliver, James Yost) finished sixth.
It was a busy afternoon for the Yost brothers, who were celebrating their birthday. Dean Yost ran his best time of the season in the 1,000 meters (2:45.11) to finish fifth. James Yost ran his time of the year in the 1,600 meters (4:46.73) to take sixth and shaved a couple of seconds of his personal-best time in the 3,200 meters (10:25.36) to take fifth.
Martin finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 3¼ inches. A little shy of his school record of 20-7, it was good enough to earn Martin an invitation to next week’s State Open.
Wilson will also be competing in the 55 hurdles at the Open, where he is seeded ninth. Martin is seeded 15th in the long jump while Canton’s 4×400 relay team is seeded 11th.
On the girls side, Canton had its second medalwinner. Lucy Tanner took sixth in the 55 hurdles in 9.35 seconds, shaving 0.02 of a second off her own school record. The only other Canton girl to score points at a Class S meet was Kim Powell, who took third in the 1,000 meters in the first year of the program in 2007.
Kaelyn Oliver had a personal best time of 10.01 in the 55 hurdles, to finish 16th. It was an excellent time for a first-year hurdler. Her previous best time was 10.26 seconds.
Canton’s 4×200 relay (Tanner, Elizabeth Raynor, Lindsey Milligan, Abby Briggs) shattered the school record with a time of 1:56.81, good enough to take ninth place.
Eliza Chekas ran a personal best of 3:26.92 and finished eighth in the 1,000 meters. Chekas joined Tanner, Raynor and Briggs on Canton’s sprint medley relay team that took seventh in 4:41.08, the second-best time in school history.
Along with Avon’s sprint medley relay silver medal, there were three other medal winning performances for the Falcons. Molly Hamel (1,600 meters) and Amanda Holtzman (600) each finished fourth in their respective events while the 4×800 relay team was sixth.
Hamel broke her own school record in the 1,600 for the third time this season with her time of 5:24.99, which was about two seconds behind Tolland’s Caitlin Swanson in third place and about 12 seconds behind the winner Chrissy Bendzinski of RHAM. Hamel also finished seventh in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:49.36.
The 4×800 relay (Sara Stokesbury, Koo, Kristin Goldie, Holtzman) ran its fastest time of the season (10:18.38). Holtzman’s time of 1:42.78 was less than a second slower than her school record performance (1:42.35) earlier this winter.
McHugh finished ninth in the 1,000 meters while Caroline Rendiero was 12th in the high jump and Jade Yen was 19th in the shot.
The Avon High boys didn’t score a point in the meet. Evan Edgar had the top individual performance, finishing 14th in the 300 meters in 39.00 seconds. Avon’s 4×200 relay team (Edgar, Zach Zweibel, Jack Kostal, Frank Campanelli) finished eighth in 1:40.06. It was their fastest time of the season.
The Granby High girls finished 17th in Class S with 10 points, led by senior Cynthia Jones, who was second in the 1,600 meters. Jones turned in a time of 5:19.84, which was her fastest time of the season by nearly five seconds. But Jones was still far behind Jessica Wojnicki of Immaculate, who won the race in 5:03.21.
Still, it was a good enough time to earn Jones an invitation to the State Open.
Granby’s 4×800 relay team took fifth in a time of 10:23.82, nearly 14 seconds than its previous best this season. The team consisted of senior Alexa Cipkas, freshman Abigail Shtekler, senior Catherine Pinson and Jones.
Pinson also took seventh in the 3,200 meters with a time of 12:07.64.