BRISTOL – Back in the day, the Greater Bristol Invitational was a competitive affair with several local teams attending the meet.
But those days of the invite just being a Bristol, Wolcott, and Terryville event is a distant memory.
Now the Greater Bristol is a huge deal including several squads from all over the Central Connecticut Conference, the Naugatuck Valley League, the Berkshire League among other conferences.
Over two dozen schools participated in the event, which is now a major springtime scholastic affair.
And even the weather couldn’t spoil this year’s meet from Bristol Central high school as Bristol’s finest were in action on both the boys and girls fronts.
Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern had a pretty good outing with several athletes placing in the top eight spots in a number of track and field events.
Here’s a recap of the Greater Bristol Invitational:
Eastern’s Alicia Rappleyea was fourth in the 200 meters in 28.33 seconds while Central’s Julia Simpson took eighth with a time of 30.41.
The Central duo of Adalia Malick and Mia Hinton finished in the top-eight of the 400 meters with Malick finishing in fifth place (1:03.54) and Hinton takin eighth (1:06.88).
The Rams’ Natalia Popielarz was the seventh place finisher in the 800 meters (2:40.86) while in the 3200 meters, Alexa Sirko nabbed seventh with a time of 12:53.65.
Central’s Emma Stone finished the 300 meter hurdles in 55.62 seconds, good for seventh place.
Bristol Eastern got the better of Bristol Central in the 4×100 meter relay as the Lancers’ foursome of Alyssa Lavoie, Kayla Lavigne, Jenesis Howard and Alicia Rappleyea seized fifth place in 54.95 seconds.
Central’s combination of Julia Simpson, Hannah Aldieri, Morgan Labbe and Sofia Veronesi was one place behind, finishing in 56.49 seconds.
The Rams’ 4×400 meter relay team finished just behind first place Immaculate in 4:25.61.
Hinton, Stone, Gabriella Calfe, and Malick did quite well in the 4×400 while Eastern’s grouping of Alyssa Lavoie, Rappleyea, Brianna Champagne, and Avery Braccia earned fifth place in 4:48.28.
The Rams got the better of the Lancers in the 4×800 meter relay with Central finishing in sixth place.
Natalia Popielarz, Salvatrice Bosco, Marisa Heller, and Alexa Furniss ended the event in 11:12.29 while Eastern’s grouping of Kaitlyn Laskowski, Fiona Gallagher, Kelsie St. Germain, and Braccia took seventh in 11:20.37.
Eastern’s Kasey Buchas earned fourth place in the pole vault with a make of seven feet, six inches.
Central’s Abigail Calfe made a leap of 14 feet, ten inches for the fifth best mark in the long jump while earning sixth in the triple jump (31 feet, 2.25 inches).
And in the girl’s shot put, Kaiya Alexander ended the day in fourth place with a chuck of 32 feet, one-and-a-half inches.
The boys from both Bristol public schools had several excellent finishes at the invitational with several athletes winning multiple events.
In the 200, Eastern’s Joe Hardin was outstanding – finishing in second place with a time of 23.79 seconds.
Central’s Wilmer Rivera-Ortiz made a dash for eighth place in the 200, ending the race in 24.57 seconds.
Hardin also made a top-8 finish in the 400 as his time of 52.75 seconds was good for fifth place while Ramon Ambert was third in 52.28.
Central’s Jose Ramirez won the 800 meters in 2:05.09 while teammate Austin Freve seized sixth place in 2:12.11.
The Rams also had two athletes place in the 3200 with Mark Petrosky taking fifth (9:58.33) and Nate DeAngelo finishing in eighth (10:07.71).
Eastern’s 4×100 meter relay squad of Dante Marciano, Dylan Braccia, Matt Millare, and Zach Martin placed seventh in 48.39 seconds.
And the Rams’ 4×400 meter relay team easily won the race with the grouping of Ramiez, Ambert, Galen Hickey (“Hickeymania”) and David Bowes ending the event in 3:35.58.
Eastern (3:44.95) took fourth place behind the relay squad of Matt Miller, Martin, Kyle Rivera, and Hardin.
The 4×800 outfit of Petrosky, Devin Flores, Freve, and Ramiez was the runner-up in 8:35.74 for Central while Ben Johnsky, Jose Rodriguez, Nick Provenzano, and Ben Wadowski earned a fourth place finish in 9:09.63 for Eastern.
Central’s Hunter Peterson’s highest leap of six feet was good for second place in the high jump while Eastern had two athletes place in the top-eight of the pole vault event.
Kyle Rivera (fourth, 12 feet) and Martin (eighth, 10 feet, six inches) got the job done for the Lancers while Peterson took third in the long jump (21 feet, 6.5 inches).
“Hickeymania” invaded the triple jump as Hickey turned in a first place performance with a leap of 42 feet, 5.5 inches while Hunter finished in second place at 41 feet, one inch.
And in the javelin, Jakob Salinas seized fifth place with a toss of 142 feet, eight inches as both Central and Eastern did well at the event overall.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.