NEW BRITAIN >> Known more for their strengths on the track than the field at times, Wednesday at the Class M state meet at Willow Brook Park, the Hillhouse girls showed they have talent not just in the sprints.
The Academics scored a third of their points in the field events as they finished in second place as a team with 90 points. Tolland won the title with 143 points.
“The kids definitely exceeded my expectation,” Hillhouse head coach Gary Moore said. “I knew we weren’t going to beat Tolland, but I figured we could at least come in second that would be a good accomplishment for us.”
Hillhouse scored 19 points in the shot put as senior Aalayjhia Cobb won the event with a throw of 35-feet and 6.75 inches. Teammate Ashley Vigio threw a personal record of 34-10 to move up in her placement and take second place.
“It actually feels really good because I really wasn’t supposed to come in second,” Vigio said with a giant smile.
Added Moore: “Kids like that you really feel happy for because you know how hard they work every day and they do everything you ask, andthey are great people.”
Senior Jaliyah White had a banner day as she won the triple jump (35-11), 300 hurdles (44.52) and placed second in the 100 hurdles (15.68). White won the triple on her last attempt.
“In the prelim I only had two jumps, I just had the mindset to jump well,” White said.
Fellow senior Alethia Moore picked up two wins in the 100 (12.64) and 200 (25.88) dash.
“The mindset was to do the best you can do,” she said of the sprints. “Don’t come out here and be pressured and just do what you do in practice.”
Tonija Young Spencer placed fourth in the 400 and the 4×100 (50.37)and 4×4 relays (4:08.15) both took second.
Alethia Moore said what she was most proud of today though was the team effort and overall contributions.
“It’s good that the seniors are performing really well but I’m really proud of our freshmen for stepping up,” she said.
Career finished in fifth place as a team with 51 points.
The Panthers won the 4×100 relay (49.93), while junior Haja Donzo placed second in the 100 (12.80) and teammate Tanaya Wade finished fourth.
In the field events, senior Dashia Middlebrooks took second in the long (16-11.50) and triple (35-06.75). Teammate Brooke Joyner captured fourth in the long.
Middlebrooks, who recorded a personal best in the triple said she was hoping for better marks today, as she also competed in the high jump.
“I’m pleased with myself, but I’m not,” she said. “It really motivates me a lot for next week (State Open). I know what I want to do.”
For the boys, Haddam-Killingworth was the top local finisher capturing sixth place with 41 points. Weston won the state title with 84 points.
Senior Cameron Garrelts had an impressive campaign as he won the 1,600 (4:24.47), 3,200 (9:34.01) and ran on the 4×8 relay that finished second (8:14.67).
“I had a hard triple today, I just really wanted to see what I had left in the tank (in the 3,200),” Garrelts said. “I am very pleased with my day today. I hit PRs in all my races today. I’m really happy.”
Teammate Garrett Murphy was second in the pole vault (13-feet). Seymour’s CJ Falcioni won the disc (148-06) and took second in the shot (49-11.25).