MIDDLETOWN >> Track and field athletes from Middletown High, Haddam-Killingworth, East Hampton, Mercy and Coginchaug high schools qualified for the New England Regional Track and Field Meet at the State Open held at Rosek-Skubel Stadium at Middletown High Monday afternoon.
The top six finishers at the Open qualified for the New England championships on Saturday at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.
One of the biggest stories of the spring is the emergence of Middletown High’s Kareem Bracket-Woodberry. The senior, who came out for track for the first time this year and will attend American International College in Springfield (Mass.) in the fall, took fifth place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.32 seconds.
The Blue Dragons 4×100 meter relay team, of which Bracket-Woodberry runs the anchor leg, also took fifth at the Open in a time of 43.70 seconds.
“He’s a really coachable kid and I couldn’t ask for a nicer kid,” said Middletown sprint coach Alexander Tucci of his burgeoning star. “He has come so far in such a short time. To be the fifth fastest kid in the state is an accomplishment.”
The other members of the relay team are London Highsmith, Jeremy Perry and Jacob Homar.
“This team has been together for only a month,” said Tucci. “We put it together after the Middletown Invitational. Two of the teams that beat us are going to Nationals the same day as the New Englands, so we’ll go in with the third fastest time from Connecticut and if things break right, who knows?”
Mercy’s Kaleigh Roberts will also go on to the New England event following her strong third place finish in the 3200 meter run in a time of 10:47.12.
Other New England qualifiers include East Hampton’s Hannah Cook, who was third in the high jump with a leap of five feet, two inches; Coginchaug’s Leah Pfrommer, who was fourth in the long jump at 17 feet, two and a half inches; and Middletown’s Rajeen Mayo, who took third in the triple jump at 36 feet, one half inch.
The Coginchaug girls 4×800 relay team finished fourth, thus qualifying for the New Englands, with a time of 9:25.74.
Jessica Drop of Coginchaug qualified for the New England event also, with a time of 2:18.49 in the 800 meter run.
Cook also scored points for her team with an eighth place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, two inches, while H-K’s Ethan Kovach came in eighth in the boys 400 meter run with a time of 51.72 seconds.
Darien won both the girls and boys State Open Championships. Staples of Westport was the runner-up on the girls side and Windsor was the boys runner-up.
In girls team standings, Mercy and Middletown tied for 42nd, Coginchaug was 23rd, East Hampton was 40th and H-K was 47th. In the boys competition, Middletown was 30th and H-K was 63rd.