Girls’ Indoor Track
The Tigers came in third out of 10 teams with 60 points for the SCC East Sectional Championship at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
Caroline O’Neil took home both the 55 (in 7.33 seconds) and 300 (42.07) titles, plus Gabrielle Harmon was runner-up with the 300 (43.25). O’Neil also contributed to the Tigers’ triumphant 4x200 relay (1:50.98) with Harmon, Bridget Phillips, and Kelley Levis. Also, Julia Thompson came in seventh with the 600 (1:51.41); Megan Phillips (3:14.03) and Emily Connelly (3:18.43) finished 4-5 for the 1,000; Emily Baker finished seventh in the 1,600 (5:49.40); Jade Law saw eighth for the 3,200 (12:58.99); the 4x400 relay group in Anna Lefante, Hunter Donahey, Ashlinn Virgulto, and Abby Walton was fourth (4:42.14); fourth also went to the 4x800 quartet of Madeline Yaggi, Thompson, Victoria Hartman, and Connelly (11:37); and the 1,600 sprint medley relay of Erin McHugh, Mary Arida, Connelly, and Bridget Phillips was runner-up (4:45.25).
Boys’ Indoor Track
Hand finished fifth out of 10 teams by scoring 39.83 points at the SCC East Sectional Championship on Jan. 28.
Devon McShane took home the pole vault title with a height of 12 feet to lead the Tigers. Max Veth was second in the 300 (37.20) and third in the 600 (1:26.07); John Lisi came in fifth for the 1,000 (2:49.98), while Sean Collins followed him in eighth (2:53.29); Colin Roth finished eighth with the 1,600 (4:49.41); Roth was seventh in the 3,200 (10:34.76); Troy Lefler found fifth for the 55 hurdles (8.42); the 4x400 relay of John Hartman, Lisi, Anthony Marzitelli, and Lefler was fourth (3:43.84); Tim Stevens was tied for fifth in the high jump (5-2), plus Tim Orlando and Caleb Nugent tied for seventh (5-0); Evan Dennison finished sixth in the pole vault (9-0); and Lefler leaped to fourth with the long jump (20-2.5).
The Tigers improved to 11-3 thanks to a 38-24 final over Guilford on Jan. 27. Winners were Connor Sakmar (106, pin at 3:34); Mark Hartmann (113, pin at 2:38); Dylan Brochard (120, 12-11 decision); Liam Sullivan (138, 16-5 major decision); William Hendrick (145, 11-1 major decision); Rex Pardales (170, 6-3 decision); Luke Bernardo (182, 8-4 decision); Michael Burchell (220, 6-0 decision); and Christian Westphal (285, pin at 4:30).
Hand moved to 10-0 by scoring 123.75 points in a Jan. 26 tri-meet with Law (115.15) and Hamden (95.5). Erin Maxwell (8.55) won the vault, while Olivia Finke and Becca Anderson tied for second (8.1); for bars, Finke prevailed (7.5) and Erin Maxwell was runner-up (7.4); on beam, Anderson tied for first (8.0), Finke was second with a 7.9, and Schylar Saliba finished in a dead heat for third (7.7); in the all-around, Maxwell was the high scorer (32.25) and Finke was right behind her (31.2).
In a quad-meet two days later, Hand (136.3) was edged by Haddam-Killingworth/Hale-Ray/Coginchaug (137.35), but defeated Mercy (130) and Valley Regional (123.55) to go to 12-1 overall.
Performances included Erin Naclerio (35.75 all-around, 9.1 on beam, 9.05 on vault); Grace Rogers (33.35 all-around, 8.5 on vault, 8.35 on beam); Maxwell (31.85 all-around, 8.2 on bars, 8.45 on floor); Genevieve Geller (8.6 on vault, 8.2 on beam); Noelle Bergere (8.7 on beam); Anderson (8.1 on beam); Finke (8.2 on bars); and Sam Mayhew (8.25 on vault, 8.1 on floor).
“Tonight’s meet was really fun. It’s a bit hectic with a quad-meet and all four events going on simultaneously, but there was a big crowd, some great gymnastics, and great camaraderie among the athletes. Many of the girls from different teams knew each other and it wasn’t unusual to hear cheers for athletes on different teams,” said Head Coach Kelly Smith. “We are happy to come away tying our top score of the season and beating SCC team Mercy. Certainly, we would have liked to beat the co-op, as well, but they have some big skills and high start values, so they had that advantage over us. We weren’t perfect, but we had a good night and certainly can walk away from tonight pleased with our performance. We’re especially proud of Erin Naclerio, who was really solid on all four events for us and had her highest all around so far this season. She’s really a rock in our lineup and we rely on her and her difficulty to bring in some big scores for us.”
Hand took a 77-56 loss to Mercy at home on Jan. 27 to drop to 9-4. Hand’s Paula Materin led the Tigers with 19 points, including five threes. Kaitlyn Martin added 10 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Gillian Kraemer dished out 10 assists. Mercy jumped out to an 11-0 lead. The visiting Tigers were white-hot to start, making nine of their first 11 shots to take a 25-7 lead after one. Hand ramped up the pressure in the second, forcing 13 first-half turnovers and riding Materin’s four first-half three-pointers to get the lead down to 10 by the half. However, Mercy proved to be too much in the second half, using its size inside to increase the lead to 55-38 heading into the final frame. Hand continued to fight, but never could close the gap as Mercy cruised to the win.
The Tigers then went to 10-4 thanks to a 58-36 win over Sheehan on Jan. 29. Materin scored 15 points, including a pair of threes. She also grabbed four rebounds and had three blocks. Gabby Martin stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, and three assists. Colleen Caruth added nine points, nine rebounds, and seven steals. Kaitlyn Martin and Halle Freund combined for 13 points and 16 rebounds. Hand jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead early in the first behind 10 points from Materin and Gabby Martin. Sheehan recovered, going on a run of its own to get within five heading into the second. Sheehan outscored the visitors 12-11 in the second as Hand struggled to regain its offensive rhythm. The second half was a different story as Caruth led the charge with eight points in the third and the Tigers stretched their lead to 18 heading into the final frame. The host Titans had run out of gas by then and Hand gained the decision.
“After Wednesday’s start against Mercy, it was really important that we got out to a good start and the kids did a great job with their defensive pressure and then converting on the offensive end. Still, we can’t afford to let teams back in and gain confidence, but that’s something we’re still working on,” said Head Coach Tim Tredwell. “I was very impressed with our composure in the second half. We shared the ball on offense and played solid, stingy defense. It felt good to come away with a positive result, especially heading into such a big week.”
Hand took on Old Lyme on Jan. 20. Girls’ foil prevailed 9-0 as outstanding performances came from Erin Schroeder, Chloe Moulin, and Lauren Ganino, who all went 3-0. Boys’ foil took a 14-4 loss.