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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com

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May 30, 2020
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1

Junior Matt Jennings won three events at the Shoreline Conference Championship to help the Haddam-Killingworth boys’ indoor track team claim the league crown for the second year in a row this winter. Jennings capped off his season by taking third place in the 1,000-meter run at the New England Championship. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

Junior Matt Jennings won three events at the Shoreline Conference Championship to help the Haddam-Killingworth boys’ indoor track team claim the league crown for the second year in a row this winter. Jennings capped off his season by taking third place in the 1,000-meter run at the New England Championship. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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Junior Kedarjah Lewis had a spectacular year for the H-K girls’ indoor track squad. Lewis earned first place in the 300 at the Shoreline Conference Championship and also had prolific showings in the 55 and the long jump during the postseason. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

Junior Kedarjah Lewis had a spectacular year for the H-K girls’ indoor track squad. Lewis earned first place in the 300 at the Shoreline Conference Championship and also had prolific showings in the 55 and the long jump during the postseason. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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Junior Gabrielle Lester unleashed a throw of 30 feet-7 inches on her way to winning the shot put for the Cougars at the Shoreline Conference Championship. H-K finished in second place at the meet. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

Junior Gabrielle Lester unleashed a throw of 30 feet-7 inches on her way to winning the shot put for the Cougars at the Shoreline Conference Championship. H-K finished in second place at the meet. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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Senior Dmytri Mallon was part of a 1,600 sprint medley relay team that finished first at Shorelines, states, and the Open for H-K this season. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

Senior Dmytri Mallon was part of a 1,600 sprint medley relay team that finished first at Shorelines, states, and the Open for H-K this season. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

H-K’s Track Teams Enjoy Stellar Seasons

Published Mar 23, 2020 • Last Updated 12:48 pm, March 23, 2020

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Haddam-Killingworth’s boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams both had memorable seasons this winter. The boys’ team defended its league title by taking first place at the Shoreline Conference Championship for the second-straight year and then came in second place at the Class S State Championship. Meanwhile, the girls’ squad turned in a fine campaign in its own right by placing second in Shorelines and seventh at the Class S meet.

One of the biggest contributors for the H-K boys’ team was Matt Jennings. A junior, Jennings proved crucial in the Cougars’ Shoreline title defense by taking first place in three distance events at the conference meet: the 1,000 (2:32.94), the 1,600 (4:38.14), and the 3,200 (10:23.40). H-K finished with a team score of 170 points to outpace runner up Old Saybrook (108) for the crown.

“Winning a Shoreline championship requires a combination of quantity, as well as quality. This year, the H-K boys had both,” Head Coach Richard Dupuis said. “We had a lot of depth and skill with that team, whereas the girls were a bit younger and had some building to do. But both teams were equally impressive this year.”

Along with Jennings’s trio of first-place finishes, H-K’s 4x200 relay quartet of seniors Dalton Modehn, Dmytri Mallon, and Seth Regan, and junior Aidan Coleman recorded a triumphant time of 1:35.46 at Shorelines. The 1,600 sprint medley relay featuring Mallon, Regan, senior Luke Sodergren, and junior Max Cozean took first place with a mark of 3:53.89.

Other individual winners for the boys included Regan, who finished first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.68 seconds; and Sodergren, who won the 55 hurdles by clocking in at 8.14 seconds. Junior John Bruder took first place in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet-8 inches.

On the girls’ side, junior Kedarjah Lewis put fourth an outstanding performance while competing at the Shoreline Conference Championship for the first time. Lewis finished first in the 300 with a time of 42.67 seconds and was second in the 55 with a mark of 7.45. Fellow junior Gabrielle Lester won the shot put with a toss of 30 feet-7 inches. The H-K girls earned runner-up honors with 109 points scored at the meet.

“For how young this girls team is, I wasn’t expecting them to finish as high as they did at Shorelines,” said Coach Dupuis. “They overachieved all year, and I know they’re going to do great things next season, as well. It’s a solid group of kids all around.”

The H-K boys followed up their victory at Shorelines by taking second place at the Class S State Championship. Jennings again claimed first place in the 1,000 by running a time of 2:32.04, edging out East Hampton’s Jacob Hampton (2:32.64) by less than a second for top honors. The Cougars’ 1,600 sprint medley relay team of Coleman, Regan, Mallon, and Jennings also took first place with a time of 3:45.03.

Lewis showcased her talents for the girls’ team by placing in three events on her way to scoring 22 of the Cougars’ 24 points at the Class S meet. Lewis finished second in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet-2.25 and also took second in the 300 at 42.67 seconds. In the 55, Lewis posted a time of 7.24 to take third place.

“Kedarjah continuously impressed me all season long,” said Dupuis. “She was hands down one of our best competitors this season, and it showed in every event she competed in. She was a top finisher in practically everything she did.”

Lewis went on to have another big day at the State Open, placing in all three events that she competed in to score 13 points for H-K. Lewis took second in the 55 by crossing the finish line with a time of 7.31 at the Open. She also finished sixth for both the 300 (42.00) and the long jump (17-3.25).

The boys’ 1,600 sprint medley relay of Coleman, Regan, Mallon, and Jennings claimed first place with a school-record time of 3:37.15 at the Open, nearly eight seconds faster than their time at states. Jennings came in second place in the 1,000 with a mark of 2:29.56, a three-second improvement from his time at states.

“I thought the boys were incredible at this meet and really showed that hard work pays off,” Coach Dupuis said. “They shaved off eight seconds on that relay time, and that really is a lot of time when you think about it. Not to mention, it was a school record, so they have a lot to be proud of.”

Following the State Open, Jennings ran his way to a third-place finish in the 1,000 by timing in at 2:28.80 at the New England Regional Championship. Jennings was less than a second behind first-place finisher Rhys Hammond of Stonington, who posted a time of 2:28.12.

Lewis also competed at New Englands, finishing 13th in the preliminaries of the 55 with a time of 7.48. She also finished 15th in the long jump by recording a leap of 16-6.5.

With Jennings and Lewis returning next season, Coach Dupuis believes that both teams are poised to follow up this year’s success with excellent campaigns next year.

“Matt set school records in the 1,000, the 3,000, and the [1,600], while Kedarjah set school records in the 55 dash and the 300,” said Dupuis. “Overall, it was a great season for both teams.”

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