Girls’ Indoor Track
Caroline O’Neil collected three more postseason victories last week by winning the 55- and 300-meter dashes at the SCC Championship, after which she ran to first place in the 300 at State Open Championship.
Hand finished sixth out of 18 teams with 36 points at the SCC Championship on Feb. 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. O’Neil took home title in the 55 in a time of 7.33 seconds and also won the 300 by running 41.66. Also scoring for the Tigers were Gabby Harmon as she was runner-up in the 300 (43.11), Megan Phillips finished third for the 1,000 (3:10.53), plus Emily Connelly was sixth in that same event (3:15.31), and the 4x800 relay of Julia Thompson, Victoria Hartmann, Madeline Yaggi, and Connelly was also sixth (10:56.21).
At the State Open on Feb. 20, Hand was ninth with 14 points. O’Neil won the 300 (40.36) and was fourth in the 55 (7.31) to complete the scoring for the girls. Additionally, Gabrielle Harmon was 12th in the 300 (42.64) and the 4x200 relay of Harmon, Bridget Phillips, Kathryn Donahey, and O’Neil was 13th (1:50.05).
Boys’ Indoor Track
The Tigers finished 10th out of 18 schools by scoring 17 points at the SCC Championship on Feb. 17. Devon McShane claimed the pole vault crown for the Tigers by clearing 13 feet-3 inches.
Additionally scoring points for Hand were Colin Roth by finishing sixth for the 1,600 (4:41.36); the 4x400 relay in John Hartman, John Lisi, Anthony Marzitelli, and Roth was fifth (3:41.87); and Troy Lefler came in fourth for the long jump (20-8).
For the State Open at the same site, the Tigers were tied for 19th with eight points. McShane was runner-up in the pole vault (14-0) to score for Hand. Also competing was Max Veth (9th for the 600, 1:25.41).
For the Class L State Championship on Feb. 19-20 at Bristol Central, Hand was eighth out of 26 teams with 118.5 points. Liam Sullivan was the lone state champion for the Tigers by defeating Charles Schultz of New Milford 5-4 in the finals of the 132-pound weight class. Also placing for the Tigers were Mark Hartmann (113-pound weight class, 3rd place, prevailing with a pin at 1:43 in his consolation match); Michael Burchell (220, 3rd, winning with a pinfall at 1:43); and Connor Sakmar (106, 4th, 1-0 loss in the consolation bout).
Boys’ Swimming and Diving
Hand defeated Haddam-Killingworth on Feb. 16 by an 83-75 final to finish 10-4 for the regular season. With this win, the Tigers are the SCC Division II champions for the third year in a row. The Tigers have additionally gone undefeated in their divisional dual meets throughout the past three years.
“We did this together as a team. It wasn’t just one individual that made this team goal a reality. Every member did their part, so we could have this success,” said Head Coach Christina Forristall. “With one season goal completed, we are looking forward to our postseason. We are looking for strong performances from not only our swimmers, but our three divers [Teddy Zeng, Declan Maloney, and Joey Wolek], as well.”
Hand swept a pair of tri-meets this past week to improve to 16-2. First, the Tigers (132.65) bested Pomperaug (117.65) and Nonnewaug (30.0) on Feb. 17 before scoring 136.2 points to defeat Glastonbury (135.25) and Wethersfield (132.7).
In the Feb. 17 meet on Senior Night, performers included Erin Naclerio (34.0 all-around, 8.8 on vault, 8.7 on bars); Erin Maxwell (30.8 all-around, 8.6 on vault); Becca Anderson (30.55 all around, 8.25 on beam); Genevieve Geller (8.6 on beam, 8.2 on vault); Noelle Bergere (8.7 on beam, 8.6 on floor); Mary Huminski (8.2 on vault and floor); Schylar Saliba (8.4 on floor, 8.15 on beam); Nicole Farrales (8.1 on vault); and Grace Rogers (8.0 on bars).
“This was our Senior Night meet and it was so much fun. Before the meet we honored our five seniors—Erin Maxwell, Becca Anderson, Genevieve Geller, Nicole Farrales, and Meredith Ovian—and it was a very heartfelt and fun celebration including a slam poem written by juniors Torrey Donoghue and Megan Hayden,” said Head Coach Kelly Smith. “This group of seniors has been a part of four SCC Championships and three state championships, but it’s not just their gymnastics that makes them so memorable. They are a happy, fun, hard-working group and that was clear all night as they competed. Even the judges and the other team seemed to have fun as our seniors were spotlighted. There was a lot of giggling and a lot of fun tonight. We had a good night and a solid team score as we get closer to states. We had some sloppiness in our routines, but the skills are there. We just need to refine them. Tonight was all about fun in honoring our seniors and, now that we’ve done that, we’ll hunker down a bit and make those final corrections we will need for states.”
Facing Glastonbury and Wethersfield, performances came from Naclerio (35.75 all around, 9.35 on beam); Maxwell (34.1 all around, 9.0 on beam); Anderson (8.75 on beam); Bergere (8.65 on floor); and Huminski (8.6 on floor).
“This was an exciting win; a close one. It’s a big confidence booster going in to the end of the season. We might not see these two teams at states, but we’ll see teams of this caliber,” said Smith. “Overall, it was a great meet for us with one of our higher scores of the season. Our only glitch was a little trouble on beam and having to count a score that included a fall. Otherwise, we did great and the girls were excited with the win.”