MIDDLETOWN – The Bristol Central boys track and field team knew it was going to be in the title mix at the Class L championships on Thursday, May 30 from Middletown High School.
And the Rams did extremely well, scoring 60 points overall on its way to a third place finish.
Central had nearly six competitors finish in second and third place positions as the team was successful over both the track and field events.
“We had a very strong day at Class L finishing third for the second year in a row,” said Bristol Central coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk. “We put up a lot of points that were not guaranteed and really gutted out some performances to score in a lot of events.”
Hall of West Hartford won the championship behind a 96 point effort while Amity – who was the runner-up – finished just seven points better than Central (67) in a close battle to the end.
The Rams earned three second place finishes that included an outstanding race by the 4×800 meter relay team.
The combination of Devin Flores, Austin Freve, Pacifico Flores, and Jose Ramirez ended the event in 7:57.58.
And then in the high and long jumps, Hunter Peterson excelled.
In the high, Peterson cleared six feet, two inches for second place while he finished the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 11 inches – also for second place.
The outstanding Jose Ramirez placed third place in the 800 meters (1:57.02) while Jose Navedo nabbed fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.64 seconds).
In the triple jump, “Hickeymania” was running – or, in this case jumping – wild.
Galen Hickey finished the triple jump in fourth place with a leap of 42’, 3” while Peterson (41-4) took eighth.
And Jakob Salinas finished fifth in the javelin (157’, 2”).
Those finishes were outstanding while several other Central competitors had a good day in Middletown.
The 4×400 meter relay squad of Ramon Ambert, Jose Ramirez, Wilmer Rivera-Ortiz, and Adam Jones took sixth place in 3:27.38 while in the 300 hurdles, Navedo finished in sixth place with a time of 42.96 seconds.
Also in the 300 hurdles, Alejandro Garcia-Rivera place eighth (43.68 seconds).
The 4×100 meter relay team earned seventh place as Jose Navedo, Ramon Ambert, Wilmer Rivera-Ortiz, and David Bowes finished in 44.87 seconds.
In the 1600 meters, Mark Petrosky finished at 4:26.80 – good for seventh place.
And to complete the top-eight finishes, Bowes, (200 meters, 22.67 seconds), Jones (400 meters, 51.20 seconds), and Petrosky (3200 meters, 9:51.77) all took eighth place in their respective events.
It was a busy but very successful day for the Central program and with minimal losses due to graduation, Stafford-Kirk expects even bigger things come the 2020 spring scholastic campaign.
“I’m really proud of this team and with only four seniors scoring for us we are looking to get after it again next year,” said Stafford-Kirk.
Stafford-Kirk has several competitors that moved onto the State Open event on June 3 off the success of the Class L showdown.
All those top-five winners punched their own tickets to continue deeper into the postseason.
Navedo (110 hurdles), Peterson (high and long jumps), Hickey (triple jump), Salinas (javelin), Ramirez (800 meters), and the 4×800 meter relay crew of Devin Flores, Freve, Pacifico Flores, and Ramirez all made up part of the State Open field from Bristol Central.
However, that list might have grown by the time the Open event commenced.
“A few others may get once [once the CIAC] reviews performances from all five class meets,” added Stafford-Kirk.
And, per usual, the top finishers from the Open will advance to the New England Championship in Saco, Maine on June 8.
The Bristol Eastern squad finished in 16th place at the event and made some big finishes – scoring 18 points overall.
In the 200 meters, Joe Hardin placed ninth with a finish of 22.91 seconds while the junior scored a point for his team with a 7th place time in the 400 meters (50.91 seconds).
Jake Woznicki excelled in the 300 meter hurdles, placing fourth in 41.57 seconds.
Bryce Curtin ended the high jump in seventh place with a leap of 5’ 10” while the duo of Zach Martin and Kyle Rivera tied for fourth place in the pole vault (12’ 6”).
The trio of Woznicki, Martin, and Rivera all moved on to the State Open event due to those excellent finishes.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.