Sheehan wins first girls track and field CIAC State Open title, first in coach Charles Farley’s 50-year career

Photo of Maggie Vanoni

NEW BRITAIN — Monday’s CIAC State Open track and field championships had ended. Athletes, teams and families had long gone home.

So the sound of Sheehan High School’s girls track and field team chanting echoed through the empty bleachers of Willowbrook Park. The team jogged a final lap on the track to conclude a historic day, hoisting the state championships plaque above their heads.

“We are the Titans! Mighty, mighty Titans!”

Four days after winning its first Class M track and field championship in head coach Charles Farley’s 50-year tenure, Sheehan won its first CIAC State Open title Monday with 43 points. Following the Titans was Joel Barlow in second place with 37 points and Danbury in third with 35 points.

“I’m excited for them,” Farley said. “I told them at the beginning, at some time this season, that if you want to be the best track class that’s ever come through this building then you’ve got an opportunity to do that. And they’ve responded in everything that we’ve done. We got here today, we scored enough points.”

Sheehan won the state open with just four top-three finishes, including winning the 4x400-meter relay in 48.50 seconds. The Titans scored in eight total events.

The state championship is Farley’s first in his 57 total years coaching.

“They’re just great kids. They do what they have to do. They’re focused and there’s no screwing around when we start practice,” Farley continued. “They come in, they warm up when they’re supposed to, they do all the stuff they’re supposed to do and they have goals. They want to reach these goals and they work very hard at doing it. It’s a real pleasure coaching them.”

The arrival of a new sprinting queen

Sydney Segalla of Housatonic Regional is competing in her first year of high school track as a senior. Danbury’s Alanna Smith has been perfecting her sprint skills for the past four years.

The two were the highest-seeded sprinters in Monday’s State Open sprint events (the 100, 200 and 400). Smith swept all three sprints last year as a junior.

This spring, despite being new to the sport, Segalla wasn’t going to let that happen.

Smith won the 100 in 12.15 seconds. Segalla, who said she had a bad start, finished third in 12.45, but she knew her time to shine was coming up.

“Honestly, I was so excited,” Smith said following her win in the 100. “I love having competition because the past couple years I haven’t had like a whole bunch of competition in Connecticut.”

With about 50 meters remaining in the 400, Segalla kicked past Smith to win her first state title in 53.34. Smith finished behind her in 55.43.

“I knew that the 400 was my race today,” Segalla said after the 400. “If I was going to lose one to her, I was expecting it to be the 100.”

The 200 was the final sprint event of the evening. The two matched pace through the curve and down the stretch crossing the line in what appeared to be a photo finish. While the video board first showed Smith as the winner, it quickly changed, showing Segalla had edged her out to win in 24.39. Smith’s time, 24.40, was a personal best.

Dramatic second-place finish in 1,600

Emily Mrakovcic was fighting for second place when her feet got tangled with Greenwich’s Esme Daplyn’s at the 1,200-meter mark of the 1,600. Both girls fell to the ground and waited to get up until the rest of the pack of runners ran past them.

But that didn’t stop Mrakovcic.

“I think I just tried to make a move and I was a little too aggressive and that fall was probably my fault, which is why I just wanted to get back in there and finish the race,” the incoming Brown freshman said. “It was hard to see that, especially since I was so tired, but I figured it’s my senior year and I’m not gonna let something like a fall get in the way of my goals that I’ve been wanting to achieve for so long.”

The Wilton senior managed to speed up and catch the front pack of runners by the final 250. With less than 50 meters left she kicked past Newington’s Katherine Bohlke to win the second heat of the event in 5 minutes and 0.52 seconds. Her time was the second-fastest of the day behind state champion Rachel St. Germain’s 4:57.77 in the first heat.

Joel Barlow’s Mariella Schweitzer wins final high school hurdle title

Joel Barlow senior Mariella Schweitzer had one goal in mind entering what could be her final high school meet: win at least once of her three events.

After coming in sixth place in the long jump (17 feet and 3.5 inches) and second in the 100 hurdles (14.96 seconds), the Dartmouth commit won her favorite event, the 300-meter hurdles, in a time of 43.57.

“I definitely wanted to walk away with the 300 because I think this year I know I had some competition there that usually I don’t get,” she said. “I was just really excited to have that push myself, and I think I really did push myself with a time that I’m really happy with.”

Last year, Schweitzer won both hurdle races; however, this year she struggled with a foot injury for the majority of the season. The senior said she has an MRI scheduled for her foot later this week, but was happy that she was able to push through to win her final high school crown.

“It’s just been something I’ve been working through the past couple weeks, definitely been really difficult, hindering me a little bit, but I’ve just been giving it my all,” she said. “It’s all so amazing. This season has been really rough for me, it’s been really chaotic, so I think finally being able to take again first place with honestly like my favorite event, I’m just ecstatic.”

Sophomore reigns on in 800

After winning her first state title in last week’s Class L championships, E.O. Smith sophomore Gabriella Hernandez again edged out older competition Monday at the State Open to win her second title.

Hernandez and Trumbull senior Kali Holden were battling back and forth for the lead coming down the homestretch of the 800. But just like she did in the Class L’s, Hernandez kicked one final time with about 50 meters to go to edge out Holden and win the title in 2:12.88. Holden finished second in 2:13.88. Last year’s 800 winner, Simsbury’s Olivia Birney, finished third in 2:13.65.

Girls track and field State Open

Team Scores

1) Sheehan 43; 2) Joel Barlow 37; 3) Danbury 35; 4) Weston 34; 5) Glastonbury 29; 6) Hillhouse 26; 6) E.O. Smith 26; 6) Housatonic Regional 26; 9) Bloomfield 21; 10) Greenwich 20; 11) Simsbury 18; 11) Somers 18; 13) East Lyme 16; 13) Maloney 16; 15) Capital Prep 15; 15) Ridgefield 15; 15) East Hartford 15; 18) Conard 14.50; 19) Weaver 14; 20) Trumbull 13; 21) Woodland 12; 21) Naugatuck 12; 21) New Milford 12; 24) Bethel 11; 25) Rocky Hill 10; 26) Fairfield Ludlowe 9.50; 27) Lauralton Hall 9; 27) Windsor 9; 29) Old Saybrook 8; 29) Suffield 8; 29) Wilton 8; 29) East Haven 8; 33) Career Magnet 7; 33) Shelton 7; 33) Farmington 7; 33) Cheshire 7; 37) Newtown 6; 37) Newington 6; 37) Masuk 6; 37) New Canaan 6; 37) Windsor Locks 6; 42) Canton 5; 42) Watertown 5; 42) Jonathan Law 5; 42) Hall 5; 42) Ellington 5; 42) Staples 5; 48) Darien 4; 48) Woodstock Academy 4; 48) Notre Dame-Fairfield 4; 51) Fairfield Warde 3.50; 52) Brookfield 3; 52) Brien McMahon 3; 52) Guilford 3; 52) Bacon Academy 3; 52) Derby 3; 52) Killingly 3; 58) Norwalk 2; 58) Northwestern 2; 60) Foran 1.50; 61) Immaculate 1; 61) Southington 1; 61) Mercy 1; 61) Tolland 1; 61) Nonnewaug 1; 61) Lyman Memorial 1; 61) Stonington 1

Individual results

100 Meters: (w: -3.1) 1. Alanna Smith, Danbury, 12.15; 2. Kaitlyn Fay, Greenwich, 12.43; 3. Sydney Segalla, Housatonic R, 12.45; 4. Jalena Martin, Ellington, 12.55; 5. Anna-Sashia Jones, Weaver, 12.60; 6. D'Jior Delisser, Bloomfield, 12.68; 7. Emily Mulhern, Joel Barlow, 12.69; 8. Nancy Inthasit, Stonington, 12.72.

200 Meters: 1. Sydney Segalla, Housatonic R, 24.39, w:-2.1; 2. Alanna Smith, Danbury, 24.40, w:-2.1; 3. Anna-Sashia Jones, Weaver, 25.16, w:-2.1; 4. Kyrah Smith, East Hartfor, 25.47, w:-2.1; 5. Molly Harding, Glastonbury, 25.49, w:-1.2; 6. Kaitlyn Fay, Greenwich, 25.51, w:-2.1; 7. Avery Winters, Sheehan, 25.82, w:-2.1; 8. Marie Kane, Mercy, 26.02, w:-1.2.

400 Meters: 1. Sydney Segalla, Housatonic R, 53.34; 2. Alanna Smith, Danbury, 55.43; 3. Molly Harding, Glastonbury, 56.31; 4. Francine Stevens, Staples, 57.49; 5. Avery Winters, Sheehan, 58.41; 6. Olivia Walters, Brookfield, 58.70; 7. Kyrah Smith, East Hartfor, 58.85; 8. Leah Farrell, Cheshire, 59.10.

800 Meters: 1. Gabriella Hernandez, E.O. Smith, 2:12.88; 2. Kali Holden, Trumbull, 2:13.16; 3. Olivia Birney, Simsbury, 2:13.65; 4. Esme Daplyn, Greenwich, 2:14.19; 5. Julia Blake, Darien, 2:17.55; 6. Regan McGrath, Ridgefield, 2:19.05; 7. Ava Graham, Bethel, 2:19.07; 8. Calista Mayer, Tolland, 2:19.15.

1600 Meters: 1. Rachel St. Germain, Somers, 4:57.77; 2. Emily Mrakovcic, Wilton, 5:00.52; 3. Katherine Bohlke, Newington, 5:01.88; 4. Kali Holden, Trumbull, 5:02.72; 5. Kelly Jones, Lauralton Ha, 5:06.12; 6. Chloe Poulos, Woodland, 5:06.31; 7. Esme Daplyn, Greenwich, 5:07.79; 8. Hannah Stephenson, Farmington, 5:10.56.

3200 Meters: 1. Katherine Rector, Ridgefield, 10:45.68; 2. Rachel St. Germain, Somers, 10:45.91; 3. Bria Benigni, Maloney, 10:53.87; 4. Katherine Sanderson, Hall, 11:03.80; 5. Stephanie Queiroz, Danbury, 11:06.02; 6. Abigail Miles, Weston, 11:08.91; 7. Alexa Ciccone, Cheshire, 11:09.36; 8. Tess Sherry, Conard, 11:17.88.

100 Hurdles: (w: -2.8) 1. Leonaya Knox, Hillhouse, 14.82; 2. Mariella Schweitzer, Joel Barlow, 14.96; 3. Amanda Castaldi, Sheehan, 15.35; 4. Katherine Baisley, Lauralton Ha, 15.69; 5. Lalia Best, Career Magne, 15.79; 6. Kareema McKenzie, Windsor, 15.99; 7. Grace Stephens, Masuk, 16.21; 8. Allison Murphy, Naugatuck, 16.51.

300 Hurdles: 1. Mariella Schweitzer, Joel Barlow, 43.57; 2. Allison Murphy, Naugatuck, 43.82; 3. Patrice Mansfield, Sheehan, 45.97; 4. Caden Simpson, Jonathan Law, 46.11; 5. Squirrel Lanz, Cheshire, 46.77; 6. Aliana Campbell, Derby, 47.41; 7. Kareema McKenzie, Windsor, 47.51; 8. Gianna Lodice, Nonnewaug, 47.62.

4x100 Relay: 1. Sheehan (Patrice Mansfield, Amanda Castaldi, Maya Wresien, Avery Winters), 48.50; 2. Old Saybrook (Abigail Colella, Avery Rueckert, Sanai Baker, Anna Brodeur), 49.12; 3. Joel Barlow (Emma Borgeault, Sedonia Holub, Jenna Najjar, Emily Mulhern), 49.37; 4. Danbury (Florence Dickson, Giuliana Robles, Corinne Whelchel, Caroline Dickson), 49.72; 5. Weaver (Ashlee James, Anna-Sashia Jones, Sabrika Johnson, Amoy Maxwell), 49.75; 6. Brien McMahon (Sofia Aguilar, Shaniya Young, Emily Legere, Jade Ferdinand), 49.79; 7. Greenwich (Noelle Wilkinson, Olivia Eslava, Skylar Aysseh, Kaitlyn Fay), 49.81; 8. Bloomfield (Shanell Thompson, Dream Wilson, Nacquelia Fletcher, Sianna Lloyd), 49.86.

4x400 Relay: 1. Glastonbury (Alyssa Healy, Riley Carroll, Meghan Smith, Molly Harding), 3:56.55; 2. East Hartford (Queen Lewis, Keira Stewart, Re'Ann Fletcher, Kyrah Smith), 4:00.34; 3. Newtown (Riley Powers, Amelia Daly, Skyler Howard, Hannah Snayd), 4:00.94; 4. Weston (Sophia Taylor, Ellison Weiner, Keira Seibert, Kathleen Saussy), 4:01.78; 5. Simsbury (Victoria Francis, Leila Gary, Kayla Logan, Olivia Birney), 4:02.26; 6. E.O. Smith (Mary Jasmine DeVivo, Elizabeth Bigelow, Navia Casa, Gabriella Hernandez), 4:02.46; 7. Ridgefield (Elaine Mathews, Regan McGrath, Maya Rubio, Grace Hooker), 4:02.71; 8. Naugatuck (Julia Kropo, Lauren Sonski, Lily Jason, Allison Murphy), 4:02.97.

4x800 Relay: 1. E.O. Smith (Elizabeth Bigelow, Alexis Buskey, Jayden Stygar, Gabriella Hernandez), 9:14.74; 2. Glastonbury (Ava Gattinella, Kelley MacElhiney, Jacqueline Caron, Annika Paluska), 9:14.81; 3. Weston (Abigail Miles, Caitlyn McKiernan, Charlotte Carter, Kathleen Saussy), 9:23.67; 4. Simsbury (Abigail Smith, Grace Myers, Kate Martin, Olivia Birney), 9:31.08; 5. Bethel (Macie Mietz, Yee-Ying Ng, Abigail Correard, Ava Graham), 9:31.53; 6. Guilford (Julia Antony, Clara Gahm, Olivia Skapczynski, Riley Hickey), 9:31.82; 7. Windsor (Malia Alabre, Brittani Westberry, Alexa Overstreet, Casey Krapalis), 9:35.41; 8. Immaculate (Kayla Ondy, Nicole Merritt, Keelin Bremmer, Lauren Manning), 9:41.19.

High Jump: 1. Shaelyn Murphy, Maloney, 5-04; 2. Kayla McCullough, Suffield, J5-04; 3. Audrey Kirkutis, Conard, J5-04; 3. Tia Stapleton, Fairfield Lu, J5-04; 5. Rowan Houston, Notre Dame-F, J5-04; 6. Avery Pitts, E.O. Smith, 5-02; 7. Meg Barnouw, Fairfield Wa, J5-02; 8. D'Jior Delisser, Bloomfield, J5-02.

Pole Vault: 1. Ellison Weiner, Weston, 11-06; 2. Jordan Carr, Joel Barlow, 10-06; 3. Sarah Warden, Farmington, J10-06; 4. Talia Graham, Bethel, 10-00; 5. Grace Stephens, Masuk, J10-00; 6. Devyn Battistoni, Simsbury, J10-00; 7. Ava Steigbigel, Foran, J10-00; 7. Jessica Queiroz Amaral, Fairfield Wa, J10-00.

Long Jump: 1. D'Jior Delisser, Bloomfield, 18-11, w:NWI; 2. Audrey Kirkutis, Conard, 17-11.25, w:NWI; 3. Audrey Kozak, Shelton, 17-07.75, w:NWI; 4. Saryah Winborn, Capital Prep, 17-07, w:NWI; 5. Anichka Malachi, New Milford, 17-06.75, w:NWI; 6. Mariella Schweitzer, Joel Barlow, 17-03.50, w:NWI; 7. Lydia Beers, Northwestern, 16-09, w:NWI; 8. Leah Comeroski, Lyman Memori, 16-07.75, w:NWI.

Triple Jump: 1. Saryah Winborn, Capital Prep, 37-08.50, w:NWI; 2. Anichka Malachi, New Milford, 37-01.25, w:NWI; 3. Laniyah Henderson, Bloomfield, 36-09.25, w:NWI; 4. Laci Davis, Woodland, 36-02, w:NWI; 5. Tia Stapleton, Fairfield Lu, 35-08.50, w:NWI; 6. Lalia Best, Career Magne, 35-07.25, w:NWI; 7. Sophia Seguin, East Lyme, 35-06.50, w:NWI; 8. Audrey Kozak, Shelton, 35-04.75, w:NWI.

Shot Put: 1. Marina Perry, Rocky Hill, 38-07; 2. Savannah Soleau, East Lyme, 38-05.25; 3. Olivia O'Connor, Hillhouse, 38-02.75; 4. Tommie Barker, Canton, 36-05.50; 5. Darla Jagrosse, Sheehan, 36-04.25; 6. Jennifer Whipple, Bacon Academ, 35-06.75; 7. Serenity Mayhew, Norwalk, 35-05.25; 8. Gabriela DeFelice, New Canaan, 35-04.50.

Discus: 1. Olivia O'Connor, Hillhouse, 133-09; 2. Darla Jagrosse, Sheehan, 126-05; 3. Tristin Oberg, Windsor Lock, 116-00; 4. Gabriela DeFelice, New Canaan, 114-09; 5. Magdalena Myslenski, Woodstock Ac, 113-06; 6. Madison DiPasquale, Sheehan, 111-11; 7. Lauren Plummer, Windsor, 109-01; 8. Layla Spann-McDonald, Glastonbury, 108-10.

Javelin: 1. Shea Greene, Weston, 151-02; 2. Alice Stettinger, East Haven, 125-10; 3. Savannah Soleau, East Lyme, 122-04; 4. Morgan Hodorski, Watertown, 119-06; 5. Sarah Cooley, Woodland, 116-05; 6. Hannah Grudzien, Killingly, 114-08; 7. Julia Kropo, Naugatuck, 112-04; 8. Makenzie Marek, Southington, 109-02.