While other Connecticut leagues are still in the planning stage when it comes to competitive high school indoor track meets, the Southern Connecticut Conference and South-West Conference is a step ahead thanks to facilities like the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven and indoor track venue at Bethel High.
The CIAC approved a competitive dual meet schedule in March for indoor track two weeks ago. The CIAC decision also allowed for outdoor meets if weather allowed and indoor venues weren’t available. New Haven public schools athletic director Erik Pathkofsky, SCC commissioner Al Carbone and other school officials started working out the schedule a week ago.
Plans are in place for each SCC school to have two boys and two girls meets in March. The SCC dual meet season begins Thursday at Floyd Little Athetic Center with Hillhouse facing East Haven (boys and girls) at 3:30 p.m. and Notre Dame/Sacred Heart Academy facing Wilbur Cross at 5:15 p.m.
“All the credit goes to Erik Patchkofsky and his New Haven athletic department staff, especially (FLAC track coordinator) Bob Davis, who is our SCC indoor track chairperson, and Hillhouse coach Gary Moore,” Carbone said. “The plan they put together several months ago to host meets at Floyd Little Athletic Center was the reason why we could do this.
“Bob, Gary and Thom Jacobs, who owns Paynes Corner Timing and will do live scoring for all of the dual meets, worked with Erik and New Haven Department of Public Health to make sure we had a safe plan so our SCC member schools could compete. We are very lucky we have such a great, well-run facility like Floyd Little Athletic Center for our league events, especially indoor track.”
Carbone said the addition of indoor track meets to the Floyd Little Athletic Center helps enhance it as a multi-dimensional destination spot in New Haven.
“Erik and (FLAC director) Bob Rafferty also make sure our league gets priority, and that is why it can handle a city-wide basketball bubble, but also be a vaccination site, and now, host indoor track meets at the same time,” Carbone said. “Unfortunately, we are not going to be allowed to have anything more than dual meets, so we do have a plan to recognize the best student-athletes based on their performances at these dual meets for All-SCC recognition.
“We just won’t be able to crown a league team champion (there will be no postseason meets). However, I am very happy our indoor track student-athletes will get the chance to compete this winter.”
The SWC and Bethel athletic director Mark Caron, who operates the Bethel track facility,will begin the SWC dual meet season on Tuesday.
“We are running duals for most SWC schools over the next three weeks,” Caron said. “Each school will get to compete three times in our facility and the last meet will go towards individual SWC honors. Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. is the first meet between Brookfield and Masuk.”
FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz said there are no immediate plans for dual meets in his league with all meets being held outdoors.
“There are no meets planned at this time as the conditions outside do not warrant it,” Schulz said. “Some schools will be running informal outdoor meets when the weather gets better in March and this will flow right into the outdoor season.
“We can not run indoors at the venues at Staples or Wilton.”
The Eastern Connecticut Conference is in the process of planning its dual meet season that starts the end of this week
“The ECC will be running dual meets outdoors,” Stonington athletic director Bryan Morrone said. “Stonington has scheduled three meets (March 6 at Fitch, March 13 at East Lyme and March 20 at Waterford).
“The rest of the league coaches are also organizing meets among themselves.”
SCC INDOOR TRACK SCHEDULE AT FLOYD LITTLE ATHLETIC CENTER
Thursday, March 4 — 3:30 p.m. — Hillhouse vs. East Haven
Thursday, March 4 — 5:15 p.m. — Notre Dame/Sacred Heart Academy vs. Wilbur Cross
Sunday, March 7 — 11:30 a.m. – Amity Regional vs. Cheshire
Sunday, March 7 — 2 p.m. – Daniel Hand vs. Mercy/Xavier
Monday, March 8 — 5 p.m. — Foran vs. Jonathan Law
Monday, March 9- 7 p.m. — Lyman Hall vs. Sheehan
Thursday, March 11 — 5 p.m. — Hamden vs. Shelton
Thursday, March 11 — 7 p.m. — Fairfield Prep/Lauralton Hall vs. West Haven
Wednesday, March 17 — 3:30 p.m. — Hillhouse vs. East Haven
Thursday, March 18 — 3:30 p.m. – Notre Dame/Sacred Heart Academy vs. Wilbur Cross
Friday, March 19 — 5 p.m. — Hamden vs. Shelton
Friday, March 19 — 7 p.m. — Lyman Hall vs. Sheehan
Saturday, March 20 — 9 a.m. – Amity Regional vs. Cheshire
Saturday, March 20 — 11 a.m. – Fairfield Prep/Lauralton Hall vs. West Haven
Sunday, March 21 — noon — Foran vs. Jonathan Law
Sunday, March 21 — 2 p.m. — Daniel Hand vs. Mercy/Xavier