Smith’s record effort leads Danbury girls to FCIAC track title

Danbury’s Alanna Smith has unquestioned ability as a sprinter, but there’s an added benefit which may be overlooked from the outside.

“She has just a natural grit to her,” Danbury coach Nick Fraticelli said. “A lot of people say, oh my God, she’s so talented, but her biggest talent is her work ethic and her ability to endure through any challenge.

“It’s brilliant what she does.”

The rest of the Hatters have apparently picked up on that grit.

Competing without two key athletes, Danbury found a way to win, scoring 120 points to win the FCIAC girls outdoor track and field championship Monday in Wilton.

The Hatters, who defeated runner-up Ridgefield by 40, have won five of the last six FCIAC titles, and wrestled the crown back after finishing second to Staples last spring.

“The toughness of the team — it’s like it doesn’t matter,” Fraticelli said of the Hatters’ performance. “It was just ‘no, we’re not going to let that happen’. We thought the toughest team that had the grittiest team would win today, not to take anything away from any of the other teams, but I see these girls every single day, I teach some of them in my classes and they are just Danbury tough.”

Smith led the Hatters with a pair of individual victories. She set a FCIAC record with a time of 55.64 in the 400-meter dash and also won the 200 in 24.52. Winning the 400 was something Smith had been thinking about for a while.

“My freshman year, I was really close to getting the FCIAC record in the 400, so when I came here today, that was one huge thing that was on my mind. I was ready to leave everything out on the track.”

Danbury’s Audrey Cooper won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches, and Ahlanna Glasgow was the javelin champion at 118 feet, 10 inches.

“It shows how determined we are,” Smith said of the team title. “Even when our top people are hurt, we can pull through. Everyone can do their job, and even if you’re not at the top, you still have a chance to make a difference and score some points.”


The high school seniors weren’t the only ones saying good-bye to the FCIAC, as last week, Ridgefield coach John Goetz announced he was retiring after 11 years and 33 seasons as the Tigers’ track and cross country coach.

During his time, Ridgefield has won seven state and eight FCIAC championships, and on Monday, they scored 80 points to take the runner-up spot, with Trumbull third at 73.5.

“It’s still fun,” Goetz said. “I’m happy to be retiring because its time for me, but it’ll be a little bit sad not to be around the kids. I’m happy for them today, it was a really good day, and I like to go out like that.”

The Tigers’ relays have always been a strength, and that held true on Monday, as Ridgefield won the 4x400 (4:08.34) and the 4x800 (9:38.18) and was runner-up in the 4x100 (50.67).

The final race of the day was the 4x400, with Elaine Matthews, Grace Tomasetti, Maya Rubio, and Grace Hooker pulling out a close win against Darien.

“We have always loved the 4x4 and the 4x8 and we won both of those today, so really happy with that,” Goetz said. “I think we’re in a really good spot.”


Trumbull senior distance runner Kali Holden was a double-winner, claiming FCIAC championships at 1,600 and 800 meters.

Holden won the 800 in 2:14.61, with Wilton’s Emily Mrakovcic second in 2:18.01.

She finished the 1,600 in 4:56.24, with Ridgefield’s Katherine Rector second in 4:58.88 and Holden led the from start to finish, although that wasn’t exactly the original plan.

“My plan was just to go out and run and, going around the first lap, I was thinking ‘is someone else going to take the lead or am I going to have to do all the pacing?,” Holden said with a smile. “Our first lap was pretty slow and I looked at the clock and said ok, I need to pick this up. So I just pushed and tried to hold position.

“Once we finished the first lap, I was like ‘I am not losing this race, just go’”


New Canaan picked up three gold medals, as junior Gabriela DeFelice won the shot put and discus, and senior Eliana Bukai was first in the long jump and second in the triple jump.

Their performaces helped boost the Rams into fifth place with 62 points.

DeFelice won the shot put at 35 feet, 8.5 inches, and the discus at 123 feet, 4 inches. Bukai was the long jump champ at 16 feet, 4.5 inches, and was second in the triple jump at 34 feet, 11 inches.


This is the second year in which the FCIAC outdoor track and field championships have been split, with the girls competing on Monday and the boys on Tuesday.

The change was made last year with both meets held at Danbury. According to Wilton coach Jim Gerweck, the format worked well so it was continued this spring.

Using Wilton as one of the two venues came about, Gerweck said, as a way to showcase the schools’ new track surface. Wilton’s track is eight lanes on the straightaways, but just six on the turns, but Gerweck said that would not make a difference in the girls meet.

Having the meets run at two different sites spreads out the responsibilities from just one school, according to FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz.; @dstewartsports

FCIAC Girls Outdoor Track and Field

Team scores: 1 Danbury 120, 2 Ridgefield 80, 3 Trumbull 73.5, 4 Greenwich 68, 5 New Canaan 62, 6 Warde 47, 7 Darien 46.5, 8 Ludlowe 45.5, 9 Staples 44.5, 10 Brien McMahon 43, 11 Wilton 36, 12 Norwalk 19, 13 Westhill 10, 14 Bridgeport Central 5, 15T St. Joseph and Stamford 1.

Individual events: 100: 1 Kaitlyn Fay (Grn) 12.48; 2 Jade Ferdinand (BM) 12.55; 3 Ida Moczerniuk (FW) 12.69; 200: 1 Alanna Smith (Dan) 24.52; 2 Kaitlyn Fay (Grn) 25.91; 3 Francine Stevens (Stap) 26.14; 400: 1 Alanna Smith (Dan) 55.64; 2 Francine Stevens (Stap) 59.51; 3 Caroline Dickson (Dan) 1:00.40; 800: 1 Kali Holden (Trum) 2:14.61; 2 Emily Mrakovcic (Wilt) 2:18.01; 3 Esme Daplyn (Grn) 2:18.42; 1600: 1 Kali Holden (Trum) 4:56.24; 2 Katherine Rector (RF) 4:58.88; 3 Kathryn Marchand (Trum) 5:06.72; 3,200: 1 Kathryn Marchand (Trum) 11:06.75; 2 Stephanie Queiroz (Dan) 11:25.45; 3 Esme Dapln (Grn) 11:29.03; 110 hurdles: 1 Meg Barnouw (FW) 16.06; 2 Corinne Whelchel (Dan) 16.69; 3 Tylyn Johnson (Dan) 16.86; 300 hurdles: 1 Elaine Mathews (RF) 47.85; 2 Haley Townsend (Grn) 48.18; 3 Grace Hooker (RF) 48.41; 4x100: 1 Brien McMahon 49.62; 2 Ridgefield 50.67; 3 Ludlowe 50.87; 4x400: 1 Ridgefield 4:08.34; 2 Darien 4:09.42; 3 Danbury 4:15.76; 4x800: 1 Ridgefield 9:38.13; 2 Greenwich 9:46.88; 3 Wilton 9:50.67; High jump: 1 Audrey Cooper (Dan) 5-02; 2 Tia Stapleton (FL) 5-02; 3 Meg Barnouw (FW) 5-02; Pole vault: 1 Jessica Queiroz Amaral (Dan) 9-06; 2 Isabelle Blend (Stap) 9-00; 3 Maggie Russell (Dar) 8-06; Long jump: 1 Eliana Bukai (NC) 16-04.5; 2 Giuliana Robles (Dan) 16-04.5; 3 Leah Martins (Wilt) 15-05.25; Triple jump: 1 Tia Stapleton (FL) 36-01; 2 Eliana Bukai (NC) 34-11; 3 Giuliana Robles (Dan) 34-08.5; Shot put: 1 Gabriela DeFelice (NC) 35-08.5; 2 Serenity Mayhew (Nor) 35-07.0; 3 Madison Roman (FL) 31-11.00; Discus: 1 Gabriela DeFelice (NC) 123-04; 2 Serenity Mayhew (Nor) 103-07; 3 Lauren Smith (NC) 103-02; Javelin: 1 Ahlanna Glasgow (Dan) 118-10; 2 Maya Marin (Trum) 106-09; 3 Lauren Smith (NC) 98-09.