Colella’s on the Fast Track at Old Saybrook
Abby Colella is making a major impact during her first season as a member of the Old Saybrook girls’ indoor track and field team. Abby, a junior, has thrived in several events for the Rams, while helping them claim their sixth-straight Shoreline Conference title this winter.
After debuting with the outdoor track team last spring, Abby decided to put her skills to the test on the indoor circuit as a junior. Abby competed in the 55-meter dash and was also the lead runner in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays for Head Coach Pete Capezzone’s squad.
“I did outdoor track as a sophomore and was very successful and had lots of fun. So, I decided to do indoor, as well,” says Abby. “I first began track last year because Coach Cap is known for his successful track program. I realized I wanted to be a part of a program where I could compete individually and as a part of not only the big team, but the relay teams.”
In her first year of indoor track, Abby took third place in the 55-meter dash at the Shoreline Conference Championship and then finished seventh in the Class S State Championship. Abby was also part of a 4x400 relay team that finished third at states, as well as a 4x200 relay that placed second in states and claimed first place at Shorelines. Old Saybrook’s 4x200 quartet set a school record by posting a time of 1:51.69 at the Shoreline meet.
“My favorite moment as a runner this season was beating our school 4x200 record at the Shoreline Championship. I had the best feeling during this race because I came out strong, giving our team the biggest lead I have been able to give them all year,” Abby says. “Once I finished running, I was able to watch each runner on the relay team maintain and strengthen the lead. Nothing is better than knowing after you finish your leg, your teammates will do everything they can to help secure the win.”
Coach Capezzone credits Abby for being an instrumental part of Old Saybrook’s success this season. Capezzone is excited to see Abby hit the track for the Rams during the spring campaign.
“Abby is a huge part of our team. As a junior, she was part of a record-setting 4x200 team. She has an explosive start and has been a really strong asset to our team,” says Capezzone. “Abby and the other runners on that relay team qualified for Nationals and will compete in New York City [on Friday, March 11] at the Armory. The goal is for them to go under 1:50.”
Abby has a solid relationship with Capezzone and appreciates how he takes time to get to know all of his athletes. Abby describes Capezzone as the best coach she’s ever worked with.
“My relationship with Cap is unlike any of my other coaches I have had in the past. Cap understands me. He has really taken the time to get to know me as a person, and he has seen high potential in me since day one,” Abby says. “Cap has always pushed me to my absolute hardest to get the best out of me. I hate to admit it, but I would not be the same runner as I am without Cap pushing me every day to get better.”
Along with track and field, Abby also plays for the Old Saybrook girls’ soccer team, earning All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention for her performance as a goalkeeper last fall. In addition to competing for the Rams, Abby suits up as a goalie for her travel team, Connecticut FC, in the Elite Club National League.
“I have excelled in the goalie position due to my aggression and quickness in the box. I am currently deciding if I am going to play soccer in college or run track,” says Abby. “I have had the opportunity to travel across the country to compete in all levels of soccer playing for CFC. Through this team and my former Oakwood team, I have traveled to about 10 different states, with California being my favorite.”
Abby is excited to compete with her teammates in the 4x200 relay at Nationals this weekend. Abby wants to help the Rams achieve their goal of finishing with a time less than 1:50, after which she will start gearing up for the outdoor track season.
“I have high expectations for us beating our personal best. I am also starting to prepare for outdoor track, where I will start to train a little differently due to some different events like the 300 hurdles and the 4x100,” Abby says. “I have high expectations for not only myself, but for the team, as well. This season, we should be really successful. I am excited to see where the spring will take us.”