NEW HAVEN >> For the Mercy indoor girls’ track team, it was a rather familiar scenario entering the Southern Connecticut Conference Championship Friday evening at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.
Last season Mercy was fresh off an SCC Western Sectional crown, but stumbled in the main event.
The Tigers made sure Friday night was not a repeat of 2014. Mercy scored 72 points to beat out a surging Hillhouse (67) and win the program’s first ever SCC indoor title.
“We were just talking to the girls about last year when we were trying to take pictures, and it was not this feeling.” Mercy head coach Kathryn Schumann said. “We had two relays DQ-ed (disqualified) and things didn’t go our way. We tried to kind of block all that out this year.”
Mercy used a balanced attack and secured the victory with a dominating performance in the 3,200, claiming three of the top five spots.
“We were hoping,” said Mercy sophomore Bridgid Selfors, who won the 3,200 in 11:43.25. “We had gone through everything and we were kind of coming in as the underdogs. Hillhouse had a couple points on us, they are really good at sprinting. But we were hoping.”
While Mercy only won two events, the 3,200 and 4×8, the Tigers placed in the top five in seven of the events.
“Sometimes the sectional winners don’t always win the meet, so you almost wonder when you win the sectional if you did too much at the sectional,” Schumann said. “We’re really excited.”
Runner-up Hillhouse was equally as impressive as senior Alethia Moore set a meet record in the 55 dash (7.16) and senior Jaliyah White finished second in the 55 hurdles and 300, and ran the anchor in the 4×4 that placed second.
Defending champion Cross, which finished in third place (58 points) was led by meet MVP junior Danae Rivers who won the 1,000 (2:58.21), 1,600 (5:08.41) and ran the anchor on the winning 4×400 relay (4:04.37) that came from behind to beat out Hillhouse in an epic finish.
“Overall it was a pretty good performance,” Rivers said of her wins and finishing in third as a team.
Junior Gabby Curtis of Cross ran the third leg of the winning 4×4 and won the 55 hurdles in a personal best time of 8.39 seconds.
“I’m still so pumped about winning,” Curtis said. “Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it, and then I did it.”