Track: Breene third at New Englands in 1000 meters

Wilton High senior Aaron Breene capped off his high school indoor track career in impressive fashion, taking third in the 1000 meters at Saturday’s New England track and field championships in Boston, Mass.

Breene, who had a season-best time of 2:31.72, was fractions of a second from winning the New England title. He was just nosed out at the finish by Stephen Tyler of Weston (2:31.53) and Devin Connell of Andover, Mass., (2:31.72).

“He ran his best race of the season. He was pretty much in the lead the whole way until 50 meters to go and the other two guys kind of snuck by,” said Wilton coach Jeff Gee. “I’m really happy for him, that he put it together in the biggest race of the season.”

Breene lowered his best time by more than two seconds. He had finished fifth in the 1000 at the State Open, after winning the event (along with the 1600 meters) at the Class L state championships.

The Wilton boys also got a strong performance at New Englands from junior Chris Colbert, who qualified as an alternate and went on to finish 10th in a time of 36.39.

Colbert, who had finished eighth at the State Open, was the third Connecticut finisher at the New England meet.

“He’s very hard worker and he’s very self motivated. He’s been very, very consistent all season,” said Gee.

Colbert holds the school record in the event, 36.12, which he set in January.

Junior Morgan McCormick was the lone Wilton girl to qualify for the New England meet, coming off wins in the 3200 meters at the FCIAC, Class L and State Open championships.

This time, her string of victories was ended, as she finished 12th in the two-mile run.

Despite the finish, it was another record-setting effort for McCormick, who broke the Wilton record for the fifth straight race with a time of 10:59.94, which converts to 10:56.11 for 3200 meters.

“I think she ran well. She still ran faster than she did at the Open,” said Gee.

At the New England meet, however, McCormick was never able to catch up to the lead pack as she had done at the State Open.

“The fast pace put her in a really tough spot early on and she couldn’t get into the flow of the race later,” Gee said. “She just could never catch up to the leaders.”

Over the last five weeks, McCormick’s time in the 3200 has dropped from 11:19 to 10:56. She initially broke the school record of 11:17 at the FCIAC East Division championships in on Jan. 28 with a time of 11:08. Since then, she’s run 11:04 at the FCIAC championships, 11:00 at the Class L championships, 10:56.15 at the State Open, and 10:56.11 at New Englands.

“She ran just a tremendous series of races,” said Gee, who feels that, despite all her accomplishments, McCormick’s best is still ahead of her.

“As she gets more experience and trains more, she’ll be able to better her times by quite a bit next year,” he said.