Patience is a virtue in track and field and it paid off for Xavier junior Robbie Cozean at the New Balance National Track and Field meet held Thursday-Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Cozean waited for the right moment to make his move in the championship division 5000-meter event. He took his first lead with about 500 meters to go and pulled away to win in 14 minutes, 26.18 seconds, the top time in the distance in the United States this season according to reports and second fastest time ever in Connecticut. Caleb Futter of Christian Academy (Indiana) was second in 14:28.95.
“For the early part of the race, there was the leader (Futter) and then everyone else,” Cozean said. “My plan was to stay behind the leader and wait for the right time to move. With three laps to go, all of us in the pack behind the leader closed the gap. I was behind him with 600 meters to go and with 500 to go I took the lead.
“To get a win at the Nationals is your goal all year. When I crossed the finish line it felt really special, especially with teammates, parents and coaches cheering for you and supporting you.”
Cozean also ran the last leg of the boys championship division distance medley relay that finished second in 10:06.95. William Curran, K.J. Grisham and Pierre Sylvain ran the first three legs to earn All-America honors.
“Winning the 5000 is such a confidence booster,” said Cozean, who earned All-American status with the win. “You have to be grateful to be healthy enough to be that competitive at that level. Right now, I’m happy but you can’t be satisfied. I have a target on my back now and I need to be more motivated to work even harder when I go into my senior year. You have to keep getting better.”
In the boys competition, Gary Moore Jr. of Hillhouse had a record performance as he won the shot put in the freshman division in a meet record 50 feet, 6.75 inches. He also placed second in the discus with a throw of 179-6. Edward Williams of Sacred Heart posted a win in the emerging elite division 110 hurdles in 14.04 seconds.
Justin Forde of McMahon, committed to the University of Miami, won the championship division triple jump in 51-6. Korey Steele of Bloomfield won the emerging elite triple jump with a leap of 48-8. Hall won the championship division 1600 sprint medley relay in a state record 3:26.26.
In the girls events, Sydney Masciarelli of Marianapolis Prep won the championship division 5000 (16:16.20) and won the championship division 2-Mile (10:11.99).
Other top finishers
Malcolm Beckford of Bloomfield finished second in the boys freshman division 200 dash in 22.22 and Jordan Davis of Sheehan was third in the championship division javelin (207-6). Jason Sawicki of Notre Dame-West Haven was fifth in the emerging elite high jump (6-4.25), and Nicholas Campbell of Bloomfield was fifth in the emerging elite hammer throw (171-9).
Sean Dixon-Bodie of Bloomfield was fifth in the championship division triple jump (50-5.25) and Wilbur Cross was 10th in the Championship Division 1600 sprint medley relay (3:29.72).
In the girls competition, Mari Noble of Greenwich was second in the emerging elite mile in 4:56.37. Kate Joyce of Weston was third in the javelin with a throw of 145-3 and teammate Shea Greene was eighth (129-9).
Leah Moore of Hillhouse was fifth in the emerging elite division hammer throw (138-10), Jenna Zydnaowicz of Hall was sixth in the emerging elite 2-mile (10:53.14) and third in the emerging elite mile (4:57.04), Giuliana Robles of Danbury was 10th in the freshman division long jump (17-8.75), and Kali Holden of Trumbull was 13th in the freshman division 2-mile (11:48.68).
Emma Langis of Ridgefield was third in the emerging elite 400 hurdles (1:01.39), Zoe Harris of Greenwich was eighth in the emerging elite 800 (2:13.99) and Ja’Kwan Hale of Derby was 16th in the championship division 400 (48.42).
Cozean, Forde, Davis and Dixon-Bodie earned boys All-American status with their championship division performances, along with the Xavier boys distance medley team. Masciarelli earned the girls All-American honor with her two wins at the meet.