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Junior Andrew Ferguson and the Valley Regional boys’ outdoor track team came in fourth place at the Shoreline Conference Championship on May 22. Ferguson grabbed a gold medal in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.59 seconds. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior Nick Braga took top honors in the 100-meter dash by timing in at 11.20 seconds for the Warriors at Shorelines. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/ The Courier )
Sophomore Madelyn Costello is one of several underclass athletes who’s making an impact for the Valley girls’ outdoor track squad this season. Last week, Costello took third place in the high jump aby clearing 4 feet-8 inches at the Shoreline Conference Championship. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Valley Regional's boys' and girls' outdoor track teams both turned in strong efforts at the Shoreline Conference Championships last week. The boys' team captured fourth place as a squad with a total of 77 points, while the girls came away with a sixth-place finish with a final tally of 45 points. Each club saw some of its athletes put forth great performances as they tuned up for the Class M State Championships.
The Valley boys' squad saw a handful of first-place finishes at the Shoreline meet. While the Warriors don't feature the level the depth that some of the other Shoreline Conference teams do, they still have some top-notch athletes. As it stands, the sprinting and middle-distance events are the biggest strengths for Head Coach Tim King's club.
"We don't have the depth that some of these other teams have, especially in the distances. They have so many kids, they can put three or four kids in every event," said King. "But our 4x100 team won, and we went 1-2 in the 100."
Valley's 4x100 relay quartet of Andrew Ferguson, Nick Braga, Arick Outama, and Jason O'Brien grabbed the gold medal with a time of 43.75 seconds at Shorelines. Braga earned a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.20, while Ferguson came in second place at 11.30. Ferguson finished first in the 200 by running a time of 22.59.
Valley also received a solid amount of points in the jumping events. The Warriors spend a lot of time lifting and building muscle, and Coach King believes that makes a big difference.
"I think a lot has to do in the weight room. Our sprinters and jumpers are in the weight room all the time," King said. "I don't care what sport it is, the weight room is going to benefit you. It's just going to help."
Jason O'Brien took second place in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet-5 inches and also finished second in the triple jump at 43 feet-5.5 inches. Ryan Shasha brought home a bronze in the high jump by clearing 5 feet-8 inches. Braga also came in sixth place in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 43.49 seconds.
Also for Valley, Brian Rankin's time of 52.97 seconds earned him fourth place in the 400-meter dash. In the 800, James Diluca finished in fourth with a mark of 2:07.84. The 4x800 relay team of Diluca, Macklin Miezejeski, Jason Montecalvo, and Egan Rothrock took sixth place with a time of 8:43.68, while the 4x400 squad of Diluca, Outama, Rankin, and Shasha came in ninth by clocking in at 3:52.27.
Montecalvo took eighth place in the 3,200 (10:35.09) and claimed ninth place in the 1,600 (4:52.78). Also in the 1,600, Miezejeski came in 12th place (4:57.79) for the Warriors. Rothrock finished in 14th in the 3,200 (10:56.83).
Alex Jean-Baptiste finished in 10th place in the high jump (5-4), while Nate Szymanski and John Tibbets both took 15th place (5-2). Tibbets placed 11th in the triple jump (37-5.5), and Outama took 12th (37-1.75). Rothrock finished 12th in the 300 hurdles (46.66).
Colin Michaud placed 11th in discus (93-8), while Dan Hearn came in 15th place (92-10). Connor Riordan took 12th place in the shot put (37-4.75) and was 19th in the discus (86). Jake Ramage came in 17th place in the shot put (34-10).
Miezejeski earned 16th place in the 800 (2:17.14), Outama came in 17th place in the 400 (57.96), Justin Kehlenbach took 17th in the javelin (110-8), Hearn placed in 18th for the javelin (110-2), and Szymanski came in 19th place in the 200 (25.72).
As for the girls' squad, Coach King saw some underclass athletes step up with their performances at Shorelines. Valley is getting a lot of mileage out of young athletes who still have room to grow.
"There isn't even a senior on the whole team. It's mostly freshmen and sophomores with some juniors scattered in here and there," said King. It's pretty impressive what these young kids can do."
One of those young standout performers is sophomore Madelyn Costello, who tied for third place in the high jump with her height of 4 feet-8 inches and also claimed a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles by notching a time of 50.61 seconds. Costello also ran with Hanna Babek, Audrey Lenda, and Addison Marchese on the 4x400 relay that claimed second place with a time of 52.90 seconds.
Junior Jenifer Caulfield grabbed third place in the javelin with a distance of 102 feet-7 inches and took fourth place in the discus with a throw of 75 feet-2 inches. The 4x800 relay of Samantha Calamari, Ava Cunningham, Grace Jacaruso, and Elizabeth Klomp placed fourth with a time of 10:45.11.
Emma King posted a fifth-place finish in the triple jump (31-8). In the 100, Audrey Lenda came in sixth place (13.59) for the Warriors. Cunningham grabbed a sixth-place finish in the 3,200 (12:50.67) and finished in 10th in the 1,600 (5:55.41).
Valley's 4x400 relay of Calamari, Duval, Hall, and Jacaruso took eighth place (4:39.33). Ashley Bill came in eighth place for the javelin (75-5). Babek notched a 10th-place finish in the 200 (28.93), while Lenda was 22nd (33.46). Calamari took 10th in the 800 (2:42.79), Elizabeth Klomp finished 11th (2:43.33), and Jacaruso earned 15th place (2:44.62).
Lenda took 12th in the long jump (14-1.5), while Emma King finished 15th (13-9.5). In the 400, Ava Duval finished 15th (1:09.06), Jacaruso was 16th (1:09.39), and Hall came in 18th (1:10.15). Emma King, Erin Ward, and Loretta Cecchini all tied for 18th place in the high jump by clearing 4-2. Caitlyn Bogan turned in a time of 6:07.43 to take 20th in the 1,600.
After Shorelines, Valley started getting ready to compete in the Class M State Championship meet that's taking place this week.
"At states, the standards are higher. We have 11 girls and 10 boys going when, last year, we had seven," Coach King said. "You're competing against much larger schools, and they have more bodies to work with. We have a good group of freshmen, and a few of them qualified."
The annual guide to the CT River Valley has arrived.