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NEW HAVEN — Nothing like going up against the best to bring out the best. And, in the case of some members of Newtown High School’s indoor track and field teams, surpassing the best.
South-West Conference and NHS records were broken by Nighthawks during the SWC championship meet, at Floyd Little Athletic Center, on February 3.
Newtown Coach Becky Osborne, a former Nighthawk standout herself, saw her two-decade-old shot-put event record finally fall as Marley Marston moved into the top spot with a first-place throw of 39-01.
“I’m so excited for her. It’s a great day for her and I’m super excited. I’m glad that it came down. That’s what records are for. They’re for making people work harder and get better,” said Osborne, adding that she’s asked Marston to not be satisfied and continue to try to better her mark.
That was one of several record-breaking and/or first-place results turned in by the Nighthawks as the girls’ squad placed second and the boys finished fifth. Nemesis Weston won both competitions.
The Weston girls scored 110 points to edge Newtown, which scored 105. On the boys’ side, Weston logged 106. NHS recorded 47.50, just a half point behind fourth-place Bunnell of Stratford. There were 13 girls’ schools and a dozen boys’ teams.
“We did what we were supposed to do. We had a good meet. Just some breaks didn’t go our way,” said Rich Marcello, head coach of the girls’ squad. “We competed well.”
Carly Swierbut had an all-time SWC and SWC championship meet record in the 300 meter dash, sprinting to the finish in 40.91 seconds.
“It feels awesome,” said Swierbut, putting emphasis not on her individual accomplishment but the team effort spearheaded by Marcello. “We’re just a family. Everybody works hard every day.”
Swierbut also took home a first-place medal in the 55 dash with a time of 7.37 seconds, tying her own school record in the process.
School records were set by the girls’ 4×400 meter relay and 1600 sprint medley relay (SMR) teams, both of which placed second in the meet.
The 4×400 team of Jaclyn O’Leary, Grace Pettinelli, Sarah Houle, and Swierbut clocked in at 4:10.73. The SMR group, comprising Brianna Lovely, Emma Curtis, Pettinelli, and Houle, finished in 4:28.40.
Sarah Tressler tied her school record in the high jump, getting over the bar at five feet, to earn first-place accolades.
Zach Crebbin won the high jump competition, clearing the bar at 6-02.
Houle was second in the 600, clocking in at 1:42.53.
Erin Burns was runner-up in the shot-put throw with a toss of 33-01.75,
Brett Deri placed second in the 55 hurdles, with a time of 8.10, just two hundredths of a second off the first-place mark.
Christian Lestik placed second in the 1000 with a time of 2:41.22.
Aidan Jasinski came in second in the pole vault competition, clearing 12-06.
The 4×200 relay team of O’Leary, Pettinelli, Sarah Dowling, and Emma Curtis was fourth in 1:51.99.
Newtown’s 4×200 relay team of Thomas Shkreli, Thomas Hartley, Rory Edwards, and Grant Moxham was sixth in 1:39.41.
The 4×800 relay of Lu Hage, Camille Johnson, Gloria Rowley, and Grace Corcoran was fourth in 10:26.75. The 4×800 relay of Benjamin Albee, Evan Hildenbrand, Alexander Wong, and Jonathan Nahmias was sixth in 9:04.99.
Audrey Benson was fourth in the 55 hurdles, clocking in at 9.64 seconds. Thomas Hartley placed seventh in the 55 hurdles in 8.90.
In the 55 dash, Curtis came in third in 7.63. Shkreli was seventh in the 55 dash with a time of 6.89.
Corcoran placed ninth in the 600, finishing in 1:50.67. Joel Duval came in tenth in the 600 with a time of 1:29.16.
Courtney Henchcliffe was eighth in the 1600 in 5:54.83.
The 1600 SMR squad of Toby Ferris, Edwards, Duval, and Lestik was fourth in 3:54.30.
In the 300, Moxham was fifth in 37.94 and Deri was sixth in 38.06.
O’Leary was eighth in the 300 dash in 44.84.
The Newtown girls recorded three straight finishers in the 3200 as Cate Norton (12:11.25), Hallie Filan (12:13.94), and Hage (12:17.29) took the ninth through 11th spots.
The boys’ 4×400 relay contingent of Deri, Todd Perrin, Lestik, and Moxham was tenth in was tenth in 3:48.36.
Katie Ryan was third in the pole vault event, clearing the bar at 9-06. Michael Greenspan was ninth in the pole vault competition, at 10-06.
Anna Burns was 11th in the shot-put throw with a toss of 26-05.75. In the boys’ shot-put Ryan Williams was fourth with a throw of 41-06, and Robert Carroll was seventh (39-08.25).
There were a trio of Newtown girls among the top ten in the long jump competition, led by Dowling in third place with a leap of 16-01.50. Elizabeth Mawdsley was sixth (15-03), and Ryan ninth (14-07.50).
Mawdsley tied for eighth in the high jump, clearing 4-04.