NEW HAVEN — The bell signaling the final lap of the 3,200-meter race sounded, and Danbury High School senior Daniel Nichols took off like a rocket.
He was ahead of the field by a couple seconds in the fast heat at the FCIAC championships Thursday, and there was no way he was going to let his lead slip away. His teammates needed him, and the Hatter dynasty needed him — and he did not let them down.
Nichols won with a time of 9:40.37 and gave the Hatters some much-needed breathing room in the team scoring as they secured the conference title with 88 points. Ridgefield took second with 53 points.
“I didn’t know where those guys were behind me, but I knew I had to go as fast as I possibly could,” Nichols said of his last-lap surge.
This is the Hatters’ fifth consecutive conference crown and their 20th since 1993, when they won their first. It’s an impressive winning tradition, and it took an impressive team effort Thursday to keep it going.
“I knew a lot of those guys who started (the streak of five titles), and I didn’t want to let them down, because they were great guys,” ‘Nichols said.
— Ryan Lacey (@RyanLacey11) February 2, 2018
The Hatters then put a bow on their championship by winning the 4×400 relay, the final event of the evening. The team of Glenroy Ford, Sean-Michael Parkinson, Malachius Lorick and Malcolm Going won with a meet-record time of 3:27.70. They beat the record set by last year’s Danbury contingent of Parkinson, Daniel Campbell, Going and Terrell Cunningham.
Going and Christopher Cledera both won individual gold medals for the Hatters. Going won the 600 meters in 1:26.14, then later placed second in the 300 in 35.95. Cledera won the 55 meters by one-hundredth of a second in 6.68 seconds, and later took sixth in the long jump with a jump of 20-feet-2.75.
Also for the Hatters, Brandon Gottwals cleared 12-feet-6 to place third in the pole vault; Sean-Michael Parkinson placed fourth in the 300 (36.16) and fifth in the 55 meters (6.80); Nathaniel Mensah-Simms placed fourth in the 55 hurdles (8.23); and Jacob Hefele took sixth in the 3,200 (9:58.88).
The Hatters opened the meet by placing second in the 4×200, with the foursome of Lorick, Jonah Gosnay, Korey Pinkrakthok and Ford crossing the line in 1:36.65.
They then took fourth in the 4×800, with Ryan Caldwell, Eric Collado, Jacob Hefele and Matthew Burke finishing in 8:40.35, and fourth again in the 1,600 sprint medley relay, with Lorick, Pinkrakthok, Ford and Matthew Burke finishing in 3:51.21.
— Ryan Lacey (@RyanLacey11) February 2, 2018
Staples finished third in the team scoring with 50 points, and broke a pair of meet records in the process.
Chet Ellis set the meet record in the high jump with a winning jump of 6-feet-6, which surpassed the mark of 6-4 set by Safir Scott of Greenwich in 2016. Ellis took three cracks at 6-feet-8 — his qualifying height as the top seed in the event.
“There were some scares out there, definitely,” Ellis said. “I missed 6-4 twice, and then I missed 6-6 twice. I didn’t feel on top of my game — I came in here with a little bit of a back thing — but I’m still happy with the results. I’ll take that any day of the week.”
— Ryan Lacey (@RyanLacey11) February 1, 2018
Fellow Wrecker William Landowne set the meet record in the 1,000 meters with a winning time of 2:31.30. He edged the mark of 2:31.66, which was set by another Staples standout, Henry Wynne, in 2012. Landowne then won the 1,600 in 4:19.98.
Trumbull won the 1,600 sprint mdley relay and set the FCIAC record (which is different from the meet record), with the team of Pedro Diamond, Latrell Margraff, Nigel Hayes and Tyler Rubush finishing in 3:44.28. Second-place Ludlowe and third-place New Canaan also bested the previous mark of 3:51.20, which was set in 2004 by the Danbury team of Leon Breece, Glen Mourning, Kyle Herrington and Jeffrey Cohen.
Wilton’s Christopher Colbert won the 300 meters in a meet-record time of 35.46. The previous mark of 34.65 had been set by McMahon’s Shnyden Pierre in 2014.
— Ryan Lacey (@RyanLacey11) February 1, 2018
OH, SO CLOSE
Norwalk sprinter and hurdler Katrell Clay missed out on three gold medals by less than two seconds combined. The Bears senior placed second in the 55 meters, one-hundredth of a second behind Cledera of Danbury. Clay also took third in the 55 hurdles, less than four-tenths of a second behind New Canaan’s Knight, and less than one-tenth of a second behind silver medalist Thomas Vilinskis of Ridgefield. Clay then placed third in the 300, two-hundredths of a second behind Danbury’s Going in second place and a little more than a second behind Wilton’s Colbert in first.
Ridgefield opened the meet with a victory in the 4×200, with the team of Ian Dyson, James Kane, Mitchell van der Noll and Francisco Turdera clocking in at 1:35.53. The Tigers’ Justin Showstead won a gold medal of his own in the shot put with a throw of 49-feet-10.5…
Greenwich won the 4×800, with the quartet of Nicolas Bernal, Thomas Rouffiac, Alexander Kosyakov and Georgios Karadakas finishing in 8:28.48…
Sean Knight of New Canaan won the 55 hurdles in 7.82 seconds, then placed third in the 55 meters in 6.73 seconds…
Jackson Hemphill of Ludlowe cleared 13-0 to win the pole vault…
Jack Jones of Trumbull won the long jump at 21-feet-7.5…
Warde scored well in the distance events, with Alex Mocarski placing second in both the 1,600 (4:20.39) and the 3,200 (9:44.92), James Maniscalco finishing third in both the 1,600 (4:27.58) and 3,200 (9:47.83), Noah Igram finishing fifth in the 1,600 (4:38.13) and Danny Jagoe taking fifth in the 3,200 (9:57.28).
FCIAC INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team scores: 1. Danbury 88; 2. Ridgefield 53; 3. Staples 50; 4. Warde 40; 5. Trumbull 36; 6. Ludlowe; 7. New Canaan 30; 8. Norwalk 28; 9. (tie) Greenwich and McMahon 25; 11. Darien 20; 12. Wilton 16; 13. St. Joseph 11; 14. Stamford 6; 15. Westhill 2.
4×200: 1. Ridgefield (Ian Dyson, James Kane, Mitchell van der Noll, Francisco Turdera) 1:35.53; 2. Danbury (Malachius Lorick, Jonah Gosnay, Korey Pinkrakthok, Glenroy Ford) 1:36.65; 3. Norwalk (Marlon Brown Jr., Alton Hall, Kyle Gordon, Oliver Cloiseau) 1:37.05; 4. St. Joseph (Chris Coughlin, Myles Hall, Darren Warren, Michael Zannis) 1:37.52; 5. Trumbull (Pedro Diamond, Latrell Margraff, Nigel Hayes, Dante DePina) 1:38.09; 6. McMahon (Korey Morton, Elias Pardo, Sean Walters, Akeim Murphy) 1:38.31.
4×800: 1. Greenwich (Nicolas Bernal, Thomas Rouffiac, Alexander Kosyakov, Georgios Karakadas) 8:28.48; 2. Staples (Sunil Green, Nicholas Taubenheim, Conrad Kaplan, Benjamin Seiple) 8:32.23; 3. Ludlowe (Benjamin Mellor, Ethan Lovallo, Kabir Chavan, Colin Agostisi) 8:37.12; 4. Danbury (Ryan Caldwell, Eric Collado, Jacob Hefele, Matthew Burke) 8:40.35; 5. Trumbull (Matthew Collins, Seth Simon, Jonathan DeMelo, James Dubreuil) 8:40.41; 6. Warde (Philip Galletta, Ryan Muhlenberg, Dylan Pomer, Matt Vogt) 8:51.56.
1,000: 1. William Landowne (Staples) 2:31.30 (meet record); 2. Ian Bartlett (Ludlowe) 2:32.81; 3. Tyler Rubush (Trumbull) 2:33.78; 4. Daniel Nichols (Danbury) 2:37.97; 5. Alex Klarer (Darien) 2:38.92; 6. Tyler Wright (Staples) 2:41.30.
600: 1. Malcolm Going (Danbury) 1:26.14; 2. Simon Jupp (Ridgefield) 1:26.79; 3. Akeim Murphy (McMahon) 1:27.28; 4. Oliver Knight (Darien) 1:27.63; 5. Colin Baker (Norwalk) 1:29.75; 6. Gerard Van Spaendock (Staples) 1:30.23.
55 hurdles: Sean Knight (New Canaan) 7.82; 2. Thomas Vilinskis (Ridgefield) 8.08; 3. Katrell Clay (Norwalk) 8.16; 4. Nathaniel Mensah-Simms (Danbury) 8.23; 5. Myles Hall (St. Joseph) 8.38; 6. Shay Fahsbender (Danbury) 8.53.
55: 1. Christopher Cledera (Danbury) 6.68; 2. Katrell Clay (Norwalk) 6.69; 3. Sean Knight (New Canaan) 6.73; 4. Jaden Shirden (St. Joseph) 6.75; 5. Sean-Michael Parkinson (Danbury) 6.80; 6. Qasim Danazumi (Warde) 6.81.
Pole vault: 1. Jackson Hemphill (Ludlowe) 13-0; 2. Oliver Hayes (Ridgefield) 12-6; 3. Brandon Gottwals (Danbury) 12-6; 4. Zach Iannucci (Trumbull) 12-0; 5t. Hendrik Vossler (Darien), Kayin Chisolm (Darien) 11-6.
High jump: 1. Chet Ellis (Staples) 6-6 (meet record); 2. Korey Morton (McMahon) 5-10; 3. Owen Bianchi (Greenwich) 5-10; 4. Ryan Eppley (Darien) 5-10; 5. Troy Bardos (McMahon) 5-8; 6. Kayin Chisolm (Darien) 5-8.
1,600: 1. William Landowne (Staples) 4:19.98; 2. Alex Mocarski (Warde) 4:20.39; 3. James Maniscalco (Warde) 4:27.58; 4. Christian Myers (Staples) 4:29.83; 5. Noah Igram (Warde) 4:38.13; 6. Jack Watson (Danbury) 4:44.74.
1,600 sprint medley relay: 1. Trumbull (Pedro Diamond, Latrell Margraff, Nigel Hayes, Tyler Rubush) 3:44.28 (FCIAC record); 2. Ludlowe (Carter Lambo, Dillon Buongiorno, Gregory Arrigo, Ian Bartlett) 3:48.47; 3. New Canaan (Oliver Crookenden, Clark Grigsby, Sean Knight, Alexander Urbahn) 3:48.83; 4. Danbury (Malachius Lorick, Korey Pinkrakthok, Glenroy Ford, Matthew Burke) 3:51.21; 5. Staples (Casey McGeehan, Gabriel Wick, Brandon Cua, Tyler Wright) 3:54.56; 6. Greenwich (Nicholas Glass, Lance Large, Pierce Ornstein, Georgios Karakadas) 3:55.53.
300: 1. Christopher Colbert (Wilton) 35.46 (meet record); 2. Malcolm Going (Danbury) 35.95; 3. Katrell Clay (Norwalk) 35.97; 4. Sean-Michael Parkinson (Danbury) 36.16; 5. Qasim Danazumi (Warde) 36.42; 6. Simon Jupp (Ridgefield) 36.63.
Shot put: 1. Justin Showstead (Ridgefield) 49-10.5; 2. Jack Conley (New Canaan) 48-9; 3. Michael Neary (Darien) 48-3.5; 4. Kyle Woodring (Greenwich) 45-1.5; 5. Marcellous Bell (Westhill) 44-2; 6. Michael Zannis (St. Joseph) 44-1.75.
3,200: 1. Daniel Nichols (Danbury) 9:40.37; 2. Alex Mocarski (Warde) 9:44.92; 3. James Maniscalco (Warde) 9:47.83; 4. Christian Myers (Staples) 9:56.74; 5. Danny Jagoe (Warde) 9:57.28; 6. Jacob Hefele (Danbury) 9:58.88.
Long jump: 1. Jack Jones (Trumbull) 21-7.5; 2. Troy Bardos (McMahon) 21-0.75; 3. Aaron Foskey (Stamford) 20-5.5; 4. Luke DeMato (Warde) 20-5.25; 5. John Orefice (Ludlowe) 20-4; 6. Christopher Cledera (Danbury) 20-2.75.
4×400: 1. Danbury (Glenroy Ford, Sean-Michael Parkinson, Malachius Lorick, Malcolm Going) 3:27.70 (meet record); 2. Ridgefield (Simon Jupp, Kevin Arnold, Mitchell van der Noll, James Kane) 3;32.35; 3. Wilton (Samuel Mangino, James Sweeney, Christopher Colbert, Liam Mannix) 3:35.25; 4. Greenwich (Lance Large, Pierce Ornstein, Thomas Rouffiac, Georgios Karakadas) 3:38.13; 5. Trumbull (Seth Simon, Nigel Hayes, Tyler Rubush, Latrell Margraff) 3:39.69; 6. Ludlowe (Gregory Arrigo, Colin Agostisi, Ethan Lovallo, Ian Bartlett) 3:40.55.