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05/22/2022 12:00 AM

Branford Track Earns Three Wins at Sectionals; Hornets’ Golf Notches 14th Victory

Senior Cheng Wu helped the Hornets’ 4x800 relay take first place at last week’s SCC East Sectional Championship meet. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Sound

Boys’ Outdoor Track

The Branford boys’ outdoor track team earned first-place finishes in one individual event and a relay on its way to placing fifth overall in the SCC East Sectional Championship at Bowen Field on May 13. Branford’s 4x400 relay claimed first place, while junior Ryder Kropinwicki won the pole vault for the Hornets, who scored a team total of 65.33 points to take fifth place at the meet.

Kropinwicki cleared the bar at 12 feet-3 inches to place ahead of runner-up Nicholas Kireczyk of Xavier (11-6) for first place in the pole vault at sectionals. The Hornets’ 4x400 relay of senior Patrick Zdunek, senior Cameron Meli, senior Cheng Wu, and senior Peyton Moriarty recorded a time of 3:32.20 to edge out the quartet from Hand (3:32.53) for the gold medal.

Branford’s 4x800 relay of sophomore Dominick Zdunek, Wu, junior Colin Donahoe, and Moriarty took third place (8:22.02) at the sectional meet. Moriarty finished third in the 800 (2:02.84), Meli placed fourth in the 400 (53.32), and junior Avery Atkinson came in third place for the 300 hurdles (46.24).

Sophomore Carter Moore finished fifth (38-6) in the triple jump with Atkinson taking eighth place (37-0) in the event. Kropiwnicki placed fifth (141-5) in the javelin and was followed by Atkinson in sixth (137-9) and junior Evan Bouley in ninth (127-11). Bouley also finished eighth in the pole vault (10-0) for the Hornets.

Branford’s 4x100 relay team of junior Chase Barnikow, Kropinwicki, freshman Akiel Lomotey, and junior Nathan Chieffo posted a sixth-place finish (45.42). Chieffo also finished seventh in the finals of the 100 (11.48) and placed 10th in the 200 (23.84).

Patrick Zdunek finished seventh (2:06.14) in the 800 and was followed across the finish line by Donahoe in eighth place (2:06.40). Junior Massimo Corrick finished eighth in the 3,200 (10:01.29), while senior Inderpreet Behal finished in ninth place for the 300 hurdles (46.24).

Boys’ Golf

The Branford boys’ golf team improved to 14-1 on the season after scoring victories in both of its matchups last week.

Branford began the week by claiming a 170-198 home win over East Haven at Pine Orchard Country Club on May 17. Senior Justin Acquarulo earned medalist recognition by shooting a low score of 38 for the Hornets. Junior Keegan LaLonde carded a 40, and junior Mike Farricielli finished with a 45. Junior Matt Morgan posted a 47, while sophomore Patrick LaLonde and sophomore Devin Gwiazda both recorded a score of 50 in the victory.

The next day, the Hornets played a road match against North Haven and defeated the Nighthawks by the final of 163-183 at Tradition Golf Club. Keegan LaLonde, Morgan, and Farricielli all shot a score of 40 on the afternoon. Acquarulo finished with a 43 for the round. Sophomore Joe Robinson shot a 49, and senior Ava Brunner finished with a 57.

Girls’ Outdoor Track

Sophomore Tess Wasiolek took first place in the 800 when the Branford girls’ outdoor track team competed at the SCC East Sectional Championship on May 17. The Hornets scored 55 points to finish seventh in the sectional meet at Bowen Field.

Wasiolek ran a time of 2:27.71 to earn top honors in the 800, placing ahead of runner-up Julia Lelko of Mercy (2:29.01). Wasiolek also finished second in the 1,600 with a school-record time of 5:07.960, just getting edged out for the top spot by Kelly Jones of Lauralton Hall (5:07.957) in a photo finish. Branford’s 4x100 relay of senior Julia Duffy, junior Sara Nwagboli, junior Sam Burzynski, and sophomore Joelle Budz also claimed second place (51.45) at the sectional meet.

Nwagboli finished third (26.90) in the 200, while Budz came in fourth place (27.15) for the event. Budz also finished fourth (12.90) in the finals of the 100 with Nwagboli taking fifth place (13.03) for the Hornets.

Duffy finished fifth in the 400 (1:03.40) for Branford at sectionals. The Hornets’ 4x400 relay of freshman Glorianna Buckley, freshman Ella Stone, junior Lila Wasiolek, and Duffy also finished in fifth place (4:31.67). Freshman ZuZu Pont Strong took eighth place in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet-2.25 inches.

A few days after sectionals, Wasiolek took second place in the 800 at the Danbury Dream Invitational by running a time of 2:20.67.

Boys’ Lacrosse

The Branford-East Haven (Bfd-EH) boys’ lacrosse team played a pair of games to wrap up regular-season play for the 2022 campaign last week. Bfd-EH, which has qualified for the Class L State Tournament, came away with victories in both contests to conclude the regular season with a record of 10-6.

Bfd-EH started the week by earning an 11-7 home win over Berlin at Branford High School on May 17. Senior Cam Paleski and junior Sean Bosworth both scored 3 goals, while junior Matt McNulty and freshman Gennaro Pompano each had 2 goals with 2 assists in the victory. Junior Alex Milne had 2 assists, and junior Jack Linder scored 1 goal. Senior goalie Aidan Strebel made 14 saves in net.

Two days later, the Hornets hit the road to face West Haven and claimed an 18-2 win. Bosworth netted 7 goals for the Hornets. Pompano had 3 goals and 2 assists, Milne also scored 3 goals, Paleski had 1 goal with 3 assists, and McNulty scored 1 goal with 2 assists. Senior Kevin Lee scored 1 goal, while Strebel, Linder, and senior Dimitrios Gionteris all had 1 assist. Strebel made 6 saves, and freshman Max Rosenberg stopped 3 shots in goal for Head Coach Jim May’s squad.

Girls’ Lacrosse

The Branford girls’ lacrosse team completed its regular season by hosting Guilford for a contest on May 20. The Hornets took a 16-1 loss against the Grizzlies at Branford High School to finish regular-season play with a record of 6-9. Branford will be competing in the Class M State Tournament this week.

Girls’ Tennis

The Branford girls’ tennis team finished the regular season with a record of 14-3 after winning three of four on the courts last week. The Hornets have qualified for the Class M State Tournament and will open play in the draw beginning this week.

Branford kicked off last week by netting a 6-1 victory in West Haven on May 17. Freshman Peyton Gaudreau earned an 8-0 win in the No. 1 singles match for the Hornets. Junior Evelyn Mollow won an 8-3 decision at No. 2 singles, and junior Leila Omeragic claimed an 8-1 win at No. 3 singles. The Hornets’ No. 1 doubles team of senior Juliana Torello and senior Celina Shrestha recorded an 8-6 victory; and the No. 2 team of senior Zaide Schlesinger and junior Scout Engstrom prevailed by that same score. Branford’s No. 3 doubles team of senior Tiffanie Ly and freshman Erin Newlan posted an 8-0 shutout.

That same day, the Hornets faced Foran in a makeup match and defeated the Lions by a 5-2 final at West Haven High School. Gaudreau (8-0) and Mollow (8-3) were victorious at the top two singles spots. Branford’s tandems of Torello-Kaiser (8-2), Schelsinger-Engstrom (8-1), and Ly-Newlan (8-1) also won their matches.

On May 18, Branford hosted Mercy and notched a 4-3 victory in the contest. With the match tied 3-3, Shrestha won her No. 4 singles match in a third-set tiebreaker to clinch the win for the Hornets, taking the contest by the final score of 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-0). Gaudreau (6-0, 6-0), Mollow (6-1, 6-1), and Omeragic (6-1, 6-4) all claimed victories in singles action.

The day after that, the Hornets took a 4-3 road loss to Sacred Heart Academy in their regular-season finale. Gaudreau recorded a 6-0, 6-0 shutout at No. 1 singles to finish the regular season with an unblemished record of 17-0. Mollow won a 6-3, 6-3 decision at No. 2 singles, completing regular-season play with a mark of 15-1. The Hornets’ No. 3 doubles team of Shrestha and Newlan claimed a 6-0, 6-1 victory in the match.

Boys’ Tennis

The Branford boys’ tennis team wrapped up the regular season by winning three of its four matches and then took a loss in the SCC quarterfinals last week. The Hornets have an overall record of 12-7 heading into the Class M State Tournament.

Branford took a 5-2 home loss versus Amity on May 17. William Mollow earned a 6-4, 6-3 win in the No. 2 singles match; while Matt Gaudioso posted a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory at No. 3 singles for the Hornets.

The following day, the Hornets were on the road to face West Haven and blanked the Blue Devils by a 7-0 score. Josh Berdon (6-0, 6-1), Mollow (6-2, 6-3), Gaudioso (6-1, 6-0), and Mason Porras (6-0, 6-0) were victorious on the singles court for Branford. In doubles action, the Hornets’ tandems of Luke Baylis and Adam Albrecht (6-0, 6-0), Cole Graver and Aidan Shamas (6-0, 6-2), and Dawson Nagy and Matt Law (6-1, 6-10) all won their contests in straight sets.

Then on May 19, Branford netted a 7-0 win against Wilbur Cross in a home match. The day after that, Branford hosted Hamden for its regular-season finale and posted a 7-0 shutout over the Green Dragons.

On May 21, No. 8 seed Branford faced top-seeded Hand on the road in the quarterfinals of the SCC Tournament and took a 7-0 defeat to the Tigers.


The Branford baseball team took three recent defeats to close out the regular season with a record of 4-16.

On May 17, Branford took a 7-2 home loss against West Haven. The next day, the Hornets were on the road to face Cheshire and lost the contest by an 8-7 score. Then on May 20, Branford hosted East Haven for its regular-season finale and dropped a 2-1 decision versus the Yellowjackets.


The Branford softball team took defeats in its last three games of the regular season to finish with a record of 4-16 on the year.

The Hornets took a 13-1 defeat versus East Haven in a road game on May 17. The following day, Branford hosted Hand and lost the contest by an 18-4 final. Then on May 19, the Hornets traveled to Wallingford to face Lyman Hall and dropped a 9-8 decision in their regular-season finale.