Tolland High Girls Indoor Track Wins Class M Championship

By Danny Atkinson

The Tolland indoor girl’s track team won the program’s third consecutive Class M Championship on Saturday at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The Eagles finished with 101 points, easily finishing ahead of second-place Weston. Tolland won six events overall.   

Junior Kat DeLoreto won the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:59.20 and later captured first in the 1,600 in 5:19.07. Senior Julia Sprout won the 600, the first individual state championship win for the star runner. Sprout finished first with a time of 1:39.95. Sprout also started off the Eagles winning 4×400 relay team and anchored their  winning 1,600 sprint medley team.

“First, Julia is tough as nails. Once the gun goes off you won’t find a more intense competitor than her,” Tolland head coach Corey Berneir said. “She has tremendous experience, going to nationals every season of her career so far, so she is more then capable of being ready to compete. Kat has really stepped up this indoor season. With Caitlin Swanson out with a stress fracture, Kat was ready to take on whatever I asked to fill the void, and we knew she could be quite successful this indoor season.

The 1,600 sprint medley team of sophomore Marissa Airoldi, junior Jessica Barry, freshman Kaitlyn Bedard  and DeLoreto won in 4:21.98. The 4×400 relay quarter of Sprout, sophomore Maddie Clark, senior Karissa Laramie and sophomore Brooke Bonadies won with a time of 4:09.71.

Junior AmyErin Zadroga earned Tolland’s final win in the pole vault. Zadroga set a new meet record by vaulting 10-8.

“AmyErin has just come in and worked so hard since she transferred here,” Bernier said. “She fits right in.Going into M’s when 2-6 seeds were all from Weston, who was our closest competition, can be a lot of pressure. She handled it well, took care of business, and got the win.”

Junior Hayley Collins also had an outstanding day, finishing second in the 3,200 with a time of 11:15.12 and third in the 1,600 in 5:23.90. The Eagles 4×800 relay team finished runner-up in 10:06.48.

Bernier said he was very satisfied with Tolland’s ability to repeat its success this season and win Class M after losing Swanson, one of the area’s top track runners.

I am most proud of how we responded after finding out Caitlin  would be out for the indoor season,” Bernier said. “Taking out an athlete like that can be a major blow. Our girls have really stepped up and embraced the challenge. It’s not often a team can take out its most decorated athlete and still manage to compete at a high level.”

“Being able to continue our success and win a third consecutive championship makes me quite proud,” he said. “Our girls respect the work that has been put in to build this program. They continue to push the envelope and do not back down from any challenge.  No matter our level of our success, if you step on the track with Tolland, you know the effort will be there.”

Tolland will compete at the State Open Saturday, again at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. The Eagles are expected to again finish near the top of the standings. Bernier is certainly confident going in.

“I think we have top 5 potential and to be in the mix is something  for ourselves and the town to be proud of. Winning the open is really a matter of which team is on that day, and we’re looking forward to competing,” he said.

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