Wilton Running Club sending five to nationals; Dejana qualifies in four events
The Wilton Running Club qualified five athletes for the National Junior Olympics, which will be held in Lawrence, Kan., from July 24-30.
Each athlete had to place in the top eight in the USA Track and Field-Connecticut meet and top five in the Region 1 meet, held in Fitchburg, Mass., last weekend. The USATF Region 1 is comprised of 11 associations in eight states from New Jersey to Maine.
Shelby Dejana of Wilton was the big story for the WRC by qualifying for nationals in four events in the Girls 13-14 division. She was second in the 200-meter hurdles in a time of 29.08; second in the 4x100 relay in 52.91; third in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.44; and third in the 100-meter dash in 13.02.
Dejana also competed in the pentathlon and placed third in that event with 2,265 points.
Her 200-meter hurdle time is ranked 11th in the country this year.
“Shelby had a fantastic weekend. She competed in nine total events and 11 event heats over two days and excelled in them all,” said WRC coach Kevin Foley. “She is an inspirational athlete and we are very proud of her.”
The weekend was not without drama for the WRC as the Girls 13-14 division 4x100 relay team of Elena Tan, Ashley Nicoletti, Dejana and Abby Ota was interfered with by a competing team but still managed to come in second in a club-record time of 52.91 and qualify for the national meet. The WRC team was edged out by a team from Valley Stream, N.Y., by .16 seconds.
“We were seeded number one and undefeated going into this meet and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that had the interference not occurred we would still be number one and undefeated in the region,” said Foley. “It is what it is and credit goes to each of the girls for keeping their composure and making it a photo finish at the end.”
The other qualifier for the WRC was Sam Kurian, who qualified in the Boys 11-12 division 400-meter dash in a time of 1:07:68 to finish in fifth place.
“Sam ran a smart race and finished with a PR. It was a great performance on his part,” said Foley.
Kurian also placed seventh in the 11-12 division 800 meters in a time of 2:34:36 and another PR for him.
Additional Region 1 competitors for the WRC were as follows:
William Arnold (9-10) – 13th in the 1500 meters;
Vihan Jayawardhane (11-12) – eighth in the 400 meters;
Brivic Sato (11-12) – 11th in the 400 meters;
Dev Madhavani (11-12) – 12th in the 1500 meters;
Ryan Rupprecht (13-14) – sixth in the 3000 meters; 11th in the 1500 meters;
Thomas Arnold (13-14) – eighth in the 3000 meters; 13th in the 1500 meters;
Michael Biondo (13-14) – ninth in the discus; 10th in the shot put;
Wooder Thoby (15-16) – 18th in the 100 meters; 13th in the shot put; 11th in the long jump;
John Wise (15-16) – 19th in the 100 meters; 18th in the 200 meters; 10th in the shot put;
Caitlyn Garcia (11-12) – 19th in the 400 meters;
Tara Slovinski (11-12) – 20th in the 400 meters;
Abby Ota (13-14) – 11th in the 100 meter;
Ashley Nicoletti (13-14) – seventh in the Long Jump; 12th in the 200 meters; 19th in the 100 meters;
Elena Tan (13-14) – ninth in the 800 meters; eighth in the 4x400 relay;
Hailey Looney (13-14) – 12th in the 800 meters; eighth in the 4x400 relay;
Olivia Flatt (13-14) – eighth in the 4x400 relay.
Cailyn Goetz (13-14) – eighth in the 4x400 relay.