The past year was tough for Connecticut high school track athletes with the 2019-2020 indoor postseason canceled due to COVID-19 and the 2020 spring outdoor season canceled entirely.
Like many track athletes, Conard boys track standout Gavin Sherry, a junior, worked hard to stay fit and competed in out-of-state national meets. At the NSAF Meet of Champions in South Carolina in March, in the championship division 2-mile event he finished fifth in 8 minutes, 57.67 seconds. While Sherry said the result was okay, he was hoping to do better.
During a dual meet against cross-town rival Hall at Conard’s McKee Stadium on Friday, Sherry came away “very satisfied” with his result. The junior posted the second best time in Connecticut history, finishing in a personal best 8:47.20.
“Gavin’s effort in our regular-season dual meet against Hall was a solo effort that places him second in Connecticut all-time,” Conard track coach Ron Knapp said. “The large crowd of fans from West Hartford were certainly treated to a special performance usually only seen at large meets with quality competition. Gavin improved significantly on his 2-mile effort in late March in South Carolina of 8:57.67.
“The Friday performance was a calculated effort to prove his current fitness and it just happened to be done on a perfect night with little breeze. What made it a special day for us was to have former Conard great Ahmed Haji in attendance as he watched Gavin run for the first time. Gavin had presented Ahmed with a Conard t-shirt in a ceremony before the 1600 race.”
The state record for the 3200 meters is 8:43.95 set by Alex Ostberg of Darien in 2015 at the Loucks Games.
The 3200 finish for Sherry was satisfying on many levels.
“I’m super happy with the race and extremely happy I finally PRed after over a year of difficulties brought on by COVID-19,” Sherry said. “While I was proud of my 2-mile performance at the NSAF meet, I definitely didn’t feel that it accurately represented my fitness.
“With this 3200 finish in the dual meet I feel that I’ve finally got back onto my feet. That race gave me a lot of confidence and reassured my trust in myself. I’m very hyped to have that going into the postseason.”
It should be noted that Gavin Sherry’s brother Callum was second in the 3200 at the Hall meet in 9:18.44.