WEST HARTFORD – Standout performances at the Connecticut State Open and New England Championships highlighted the end of the 2014 Track & Field season at Hall High.
The Hall High 4×800 meter relay team of Zach Magin, Chris Ahlquist, Grant O’Connor and Ari Klau finished strong after winning a Class L state title in the event. The Warriors quartet finished second at the State Open and went on to a fifth-place finish at the New England Championships.
In the Open, Hall got nipped down the stretch by Darien and Alex Ostberg. The Warriors were leading with about 50 meters to go before Ostberg closed the gap and crossed the line to give Darien a winning time of 7:54.22. Hall was second in 7:55.63.
There was no shame in losing the lead to Ostberg, who won the 5,000-meter championship on June 13 at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina. Ostberg finished that race in 14:16.61, the fastest time in the United States this year and the second fastest time in the history of the race.
“We ran a really fast time and the guys ran some really good splits,” Hall coach Mike Mosca said. “Overall we ran really well and we got out kicked by one of the best runners in the country.”
Also at the State Open Klau was sixth in the 3,200 in 9:25.13 followed by Magin in eighth with a time of 9:28.57 and O’Connor in 11th in 9:30.88.
Hall freshman Connor Blodgett capped a standout campaign with a trip to the State Open in the 300 hurdles. Blodgett was the only freshman in the field in the event and Mosca feels the best is yet to come from his young runner.
“As a freshman that’s a great season to make it that far and it was good for him to get the experience of competing in a State Open,” Mosca said. “It’s really rare for a freshman to get to the Open in the 300 hurdles and I’m sure it will make him even better in the seasons to come.”
After the tough loss to Darien in the Open, the Warriors 4×800 team went to the New England Championships where they finished fifth. Danbury won the title in 7:52.64, while Hall crossed the line in 8:06.41.
“We ran slower in New England’s than in the Open,” Mosca said. “We went out and tried to win the race, it was the end of a long season and overall they ran pretty well.”
Another solid performance was turned in by Hall sophomore Claudia Hess, who competed in the girls Heptathlon held on June 17-18 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Hess finished in 14th place with a total of 3,250 points. Branford senior Anna Atkinson won the competition with 4,091 points.
“Claudia did really, really well,” Mosca said. “She is a phenomenal athlete and can run any event up to a mile and she is a really versatile athlete.”
Those performances put the finishing touches on a solid season for the Warriors and set them up well for the future.
“Overall we had some really good performances this season,” Mosca said. “We will have more depth next season, which will help and we have a lot of kids who did well this season coming back and the experience should only make them better.”