Top Performers of the Week: Track and Field Stars and Boys Lacrosse Teams Win Titles

By Danny Atkinson 

The final week and a half of the high school regular season took place until the middle of last week, with conference championships occurring in multiple sports up until the end of the week. The Central Connecticut Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships were held last Tuesday for boys and girls, with a large number of local athletes winning events. Multiple boys lacrosse players had excellent CCC Tournament performances, with South Windsor’s and Glastonbury’s stars leading the squads to championships.

In track and field, the CCC North Championships were preceded by the Randy Smith Journal Inquirer Invitational on the 20th. Multiple athletes won the same events at both competitions.

The Tolland and Manchester girls squads had two athletes as repeat as winners at the Journal Inquirer Invitational and conference championships. Senior AmyErin Zadroga won the pole vault and javelin at both events. Zadroga set an event record in the pole vault at Journal Inquirer Invitational with a leap of 11-6. She also won the javelin by throwing it 109-6. In the CCC Championships, Zadroga won the pole vault and javelin with marks of 11 feet and 119-11.  Eagles senior Hayley Collins won the 3200 meters at both events. She ran a time of 11:14.49 at the conference championships to leave the competition in the dust, after recording an 11.25.09 at the Invitational. For Manchester, seniors Chelsea Smith and Elizabeth Lodge won the 200 and high jump multiple times. Smith set a record time in the 200 at the Journal Inquirer Invitational by finishing in 25.12, and followed it up with a 25.54. Lodge jumped 5 feet and 4 inches in the first event, and improved on it with a leap of 5-6 at the conference championships. The Tolland 4×800 relay teams won at the Journal Inquirer Invitational and CCC Championships. The team of so. Kaitlyn Bedard, jr. Bryanna McNamee, fr. Olivia McCarthy and sr. Sidney Perryman finished in 10:10.69 at the Invitational, and improved on the time at the CCC Championships with a mark of 9:59.52. Senior Michaela Caron replaced Perryman in the race.

Manchester’s Jevin Frett, Enfield’s Joel Stewart and Tolland’s Ron Jaworski also each won at both the Journal Inquirer Invitational and CCC Championships, with Frett capturing two events. The junior won the 200 and 400 at the Invitational in 21.34 and 48.51, setting event records in both. Frett then ran times of 21.75 and 48.54 to outpace his conference competition at the championships. Stewart, a sophomore, was champion in the 100 at both, first running an 11.17 and then improving on it significantly at the CCC Championships with an 11.08. Jaworski, a senior won the javelin at the Journal Inquirer Invitational with a toss of 170-3, and recorded one of 181-11 a few days later.

The Manchester and Tolland girls teams both captured the Randy Smith Journal Inquier Invitational in the large and small school divisions. Manchester and Tolland captured each championship with 107 points. They again had great performances at the CCC Championships, finishing second and third with 148 and 92.375 points. On the boys side, Manchester finished runner-up at the Invitational with 92.5 points, and were fourth in the conference with 105. The Eagles were defeated at the CCC Championships by Tolland, which finished third with 111 points.

CCC Boys Lacrosse Tournaments 

Glastonbury and South Windsor won CCC divisional championships behind multiple players. In the CCC Central Tournament, Glastonbury dominated Avon and then Simsbury by scores of 18-1 and 15-2. Sophomore attacker/midfielder Nick Consoli was the catalyst in Tuesday’s semifinal, scoring seven goals. Two days later, the dynamic duo of senior attackers Mike Hawkins and Ronan Jacoby scored six and four goals to lead the Tomahawks to the title. South Windsor won the CCC North Tournament behind multiple offensive players and the excellent play of senior goalie Kyran Blackwell. In the Bobcats 16-7 semifinal win against Newington, junior Tyler Osit fired in five goals and sophomore Connor Smith earned four. Blackwell made 12 saves. On Thursday, South Windsor edged rival East Catholic 11-9 for the championship. Seniors Matt Greer and Jake Klemba anchored the offensive with three goals each, and Blackwell’s 13 saves kept the Eagles offense in check.

Baseball

Multiple pitchers had great performances in their team’s final games. Enfield sophomore Kyle Menaker threw a complete game shutout in Wednesday’s 4-0 win against East Granby, allowing just one hit. Rockville senior Tim Baczanski also tossed a complete game shutout against Enfield on the 17th, allowing just five hits. East Catholic hurlers Nicholas Massaro (so.) and Mickey Howe (sr.) led the Eagles to wins on the 15th and 18th. Massaro punched out nine Manchester batters while allowing just one run and three hits, while Howe shut out RHAM and held it to six hitsTolland senior Jacob Simon was overpowering in Wednesday’s complete game win against Rockville, striking out eight batters while allowing one run and three hits. South Windsor senior Brett Dabrowski defeated Hartford Public on the 15th, allowing one run and four hits. RHAM senior Matt Ely and Suffield junior Alex Honey earned wins against Bloomfield and SMSA Tuesday, each allowing one run and five hits. Glastonbury senior pitcher Andrew Heymann was on top of his game in Wednesday’s 7-3 win over Simsbury, also going 2-3 with 3 runs batted in. Rockville senior John Ashmead had the top performance of any local hitter in the final two weeks, recording three hits and 6 RBI in a blowout of Bloomfield on the 15th.

Softball

South Windsor sophomore Maria Hanchuk dominated on the mound in the final two weeks. The star won five games against Manchester, Bristol Central, East Catholic, RHAM and Enfield. Hanchuk averaged nearly 15 strikeouts per game, with a high of 20 against RHAM on Tuesday. She allowed no runs in four of the starts as well as either two or three hits in these contests. Hanchuk also smacked 4 RBI on the 16th against Manchester, and hit the Bobcats go-ahead RBI double in the 10-inning win over RHAM.

Many teams won games where multiple players had great performances. In Enfield’s beautiful 23-0 win against Bloomfield Tuesday, sophomores Brianna Pelletier and Kelly Mazza drove in five and four runs, and fellow sophomore Destiny Bailey struck out seven while allowing just one hit. The win was a bounce back from the Eagles 16-0 loss to Rockville the previous Wednesday. The Rams were led in the win by seniors Morgan Bolduk and Alyssa D’Alessandro. Bolduk overpowered the hitters to the tune of 16 strikeouts and one hit, and D’Alessandro drove in four runs on four hits. Seniors Kristi Van Meter and Claire Russo led RHAM to a shout win against East Catholic on the 18th. Van Meter threw a four-hitter and struck out nine, and Russo supported her with a homer and 4 RBI. East Catholic senior Brianna Lachapelle and sophomore Erin Cullinane were both outstanding in its blowout of Avon on the 20th, as Lachapelle drove in seven runs on two homers and Cullinane allowed just three hits and one run.  Ellington sophomore Megan Beebe threw a one-hitter in the Knights shutout of East Windsor on the 16th, with freshman Katelin Johndrow making her presence felt with a grand slam. Glastonbury sophomore Madison Garrity was in the zone in Tuesday’s shortened game against Avon, allowing no hits. Suffield received an excellent performance from junior Amy Martin-Ryan in Wednesday’s blowout of SMSA, as she permitted no runs and seven hits and had three hits at the plate.

Boy’s Tennis

(Already started, multiple players have lost, matches on Saturday and now  Tuesday)

Tolland sophomore Nick Brennan is the only local singles player to advance to the quarterfinals of the state tournaments. Brennan, ranked sixth in Class M, defeated Andrew DiBiase of Bacon Academy 6-0, 6-2 in the first round, and Suffield’s Brad Pines 6-0, 6-1 in the second. He will face off against Weston’s Charlie Gosnell in the third round Tuesday at Yale University.

Five doubles teams are remaining as the tournament’s advance to the quarterfinals, with East Catholic’s top two teams leading the way in S at Conard. The second-seeded duo of seniors Troy Romano and Ben Adams earned a first-round bye and then dispatched Westbrook’s Dylan Martinson/Jason Rauniker 6-1, 6-2. Romano and Adams will face Old Saybrook’s team of Mac Coppes/Ben VanVliet in the quarters. Meanwhile, the Eagles Victor Alessi (jr.)/Robert Costello (fr.) defeated East Lyme’s Morgan Greenho/Quinn Hartmann 6-1, 6-2, and Ellington’s Jake Frye(jr.)/Nathan Welton(sr.) 6-4, 6-1 in the first two rounds. The senior team of Randy Philavong/John Zuffelato has found success for the Knights, however. Philavong/Zuffelato opened by defeating Nonnowaug’s Riley Baker/Daniel Swanson 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and then outlasted No. 10 Buckeley Huffstetler/Spencer Sivillia of Litchfield 6-1, 3-6, 10-7. Philavong and Zuffelato will face off against No. 7 Christoper Charette/Trevor Hutchins of Ledyard next.

In LL at Yale, South Windsor’s duo of Parker Pacekonis(jr.)/Ronnak Saxena(so.) defeated Darien’s Ben Langlois/John Lochtefeld 6-4, 6-4, and upset Notre Dame’s second-seeded team of Eric Harkins/Andre Signer7-6 (7-4), 6-4. In M, Tolland’s senior team of Ryan Camemolla/Dalton Lotz, seeded twelfth, earned a first-round bye and then defeated William Lonergan and Britt Walman of Brookfield 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. No. 5 Austin Chet and Evan Purcell of Avon are waiting in the third round.

Boy’s Outdoor Track

In addition to the previously listed track athletes, three individual athletes and a relay team won events at the CCC Championships. Tolland senior Josh Bedard captured two races, winning the 800 and 1600 in times of 1:56.09 and 4:27.73. Eagles freshman Killian McNamee also outraced the competition in the 3200, running a 10:07.27. Enfield freshman Matt Santy also made his presence felt, winning the high jump with a leap of 6-2. Finally, Manchester’s 4×400 relay team of Shawn Akomeah (jr.), Jevin Frett, TaVaughn Webber (sr.) and Kyle Smith (jr.) ran a 3:24.67.

Three athletes and a relay also won at the Randy Smith Journal Inquirer Invitational. Tolland sophomore Stephen Sutton ran a 10:10.93 to win the 3200. South Windsor junior Pat Bell and RHAM sophomore Michael Browning won field events, with Bell capturing the pole vault with a leap of 12-6 and Browning winning the shot put with a toss of 38-53/4.  The East Catholic 4×800 relay quartet of Cooper Shifrin (jr.), Heath Olivieri (so.), Peter Crowley (sr.) and Evan Kennedy (jr.) earned a 8:08.05 to win.

Girl’s Outdoor Track

In addition to the previously listed athletes’ local teams saw many great individual performances at the Journal Inquirer Invitational, with eight girls winning events. Glastonbury’s junior standout Erin McGill had the best performance, setting an event record in the 800 with a time of 2:13.55. Manchester had three winners on the day. Freshman Kate Hedlund outraced the competition in the 1600 with a mark of 5:16.63, senior Elizabeth Lodge won the 100 hurdles in 10.77, and fellow senior Kezia Serebour won the discus with a toss of 108-11. RHAM sophomore Bridget Lalonde joined McGill in winning a running event, capturing the 100 in 12.58. Suffield junior star Alexis Bergamini won the 300 hurdles with a mark of 46.82. Ellington junior Megan Knowling used her leaping skills to win the triple jump with a 35-10. Finally, Enfield senior Camille Balicki earned first in the shot put with a toss of 35-5. At the CCC Championships, Tolland senior Kat Deloreto helped the Eagles finish third b y winning the 800 with a time of 5:18.03.

Girl’s Lacrosse

East Catholic junior star Alexa Weber earned an impressive milestone with some excellent play at the end of the season. Weber scored a combined 25 goals in four games, three of them wins. Weber dominated Mercy with eight goals on the 16th, and fired in six against both Northwest Catholic and St. Bernard on the 18th and 20th. She then scored five in the season-ending loss to Farmington on Tuesday. The great game allowed Weber to break the East Catholic program’s single-season scoring record.

Glastonbury received great play in its final four wins. Junior Marina DiPiazza led the way for the Tomahawks, scoring five goals against both Farmington and South Windsor on the 16th and 18th. Senior Caroline Bogue scored five times against Farmington and fired in four goals on Conard in Tuesday’s season finalee. Fellow junior Tori Hurley earned six goals and three assists against Farmington and had four assists against Conard. Finally, senior Angela McCarthy also scored five goals against the Bobcats.

Tolland junior Cory Mahlstedt was outstanding with five goals in the Eagles triumph against Rockville on the 18th. Ellington senior midfielder/attacker Aby Wylie helped the Knights earn Tuesday’s 10-7 win against Somers by scoring five times. Junior Ali Martin scored four goals for South Windsor to anchor an impressive win against RHAM Wednesday.

Boy’s Lacrosse
East Catholic advanced to the CCC North Tournament finals against South Windsor with an impressive 11-2 win against Farmington on Tuesday. The Eagles were led on offense by sophomore Jake Tellers and freshman Nick Campognone, who both scored four goals. Senior goalie Aric Graves was also on his game, making 11 saves.  South Windsor’s Matt Greer ended the regular season on a role, foreshadowing his great performance in the conference tournament. The senior scored 3 goals in wins against both NFA and Farmington on the 16th and 20th. In the second triumph, Greer scored his 100th point of the season. Senior Jake Klemba also scored four times in the Farmington win, and junior Tyler Osit had a huge game with 7 goals in the Bobcats rout of NFA on the 16th. Glastonbury’s Ronan Jacoby had two more great games amongst an outstanding season, scoring five goals in wins against Conard and Simsbury on the 15th and 19th. Teammate Mike Hawkins scored four goals in the first win. Ellington attackers Zach Dougherty (sr.) and Blake Printy (fr.) led the Knights to a win against Valley Regional on the 18th by each scoring four goals. RHAM senior Connor Missal led the Sachems to a 15-11 win against Fitch on the 18th by scoring four times.

Boy’s Volleyball

Rockville senior star Nate Shliphack helped lead the Rams to the semifinals of the CCC Tournament by smashing 23 kills in Tuesday’s 3-2 quarterfinal win against Enfield. He also earned 23 kills the previous day in a 3-1 win against Wethersfield. Enfield senior Kumar Brown had led the Eagles to a win against Rockville the previous Wednesday. Junior teammate Dillon DeSouza had a well-rounded game in a win against East Hartford on the 19th, recording 11 kills and six blocks. He smacked 16 kills in the tough loss to Rockville. South Windsor senior Brandon Baker and junior teammates Braden Goodale and Maxwell Iacovelli led the Bobcats to their final three wins of season, all sweeps. Baker hit 12 kills against Enfield on the 15th, Goodale earned 29 assists two days later against Bloomfield, and Iacovelli dove for 14 digs Monday against Norwich Free Academy. Glastonbury seniors Pat Morrisroe and Mike Allen helped the Tomahawks earn their final two wins against NFA and Maloney on the 16th and 18th, with Morrisroe obtaining 20 assists and Allen smacking 23 kills.

 

 

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