NEW LONDON >> In the final event of Tuesday’s portion of the CIAC heptathlon, Hillhouse’s Jaliyah White knew exactly what she needed to do.
White tore down the straightaway at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to run away with the 200 meters title in a time of 26.23 seconds. The victory propelled the junior to second place with 2,426 points heading into today’s final day (11 a.m. start).
Maloney’s Briana Burt sits in first place with 2,435 points while Branford’s Anna Atkinson is third (2,408).
“I knew that I caught up after the shot put, so I knew that if I won the 200, and put down a decent time, I’d be top 2,” White said.
White placed sixth in the 100 hurdles to start the day and, after clearing 4-08.25 in the high jump, White picked up huge points as she won the shot put with a throw of 30-04.75. She capped off the day with a brilliant 200.
“When I was younger I did the shot put and that kind of carried me, and then the 200, it just comes naturally,” she said.
White said she feels confident heading into Wednesday’s competition, which features the long jump and 800, two events in which she knows she can excel.
“I feel great,” White said. “Coming in ranked fifth or sixth and ranked No. 2 now, I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Atkinson also had a strong opening day as she placed second in the 100 hurdles (15.83), cleared 4-10.25 in the high jump and had a solid 200 (27.12) for fourth place.
Cheshire’s Selina Sampieri is in seventh.
On the boys’ side, Foran senior Nik Griswold took advantage of his strengths. Griswold cleared 6-04 in the high jump, which matched his personal record and helped lift him into third place in the decathlon with 3,121 points. Tyler Latham of Fitch is in first (3,529) while Joseph Carter of Ledyard is second (3,249).
“I’m just pretty ecstatic. I believe I was eighth last year, and to be up so many places is amazing,” Griswold said. “High jump bumped me up to second place.”
Griswold also placed third in the shot put (39-8).
Heading into Wednesday he’s neither overly confident nor apprehensive, but knows he can hold his own.
“Realistically, I’m going for first,” Griswold said.
Hand’s Hunter Stokes is in 11th place (2,804). Stokes’ primary event is the pole vault, which is part of today’s schedule.
In the girls’ 2,000 steeplechase, Thomaston senior Sabrina Olsen won the event in 7:23.64, the third straight year she took first.
“It’s pretty cool to end as state champ in my senior year,” Olsen said. “I didn’t expect to win all three.”
Olsen said coming into this spring, she wasn’t sure of the competition in the event, but after she cleared the first hurdle, she felt pretty confident.
“It’s just fun to go out and end on something where there’s not a lot of pressure,” Olsen said.