Hall boys, Bloomfield girls win State Open indoor track titles
Last year Jon York came out of the slower heat of the 300 meters at the State Open indoor track and field championships to win the race, earning 10 points that helped Hall High win the title by four.
Saturday, York did it again and so did Hall – except this time, York won the 600-meter title out of the slow heat and Hall dominated, winning its second straight State Open title with 66 points. Runner-up Greenwich had 30.
The Bloomfield High girls, last week’s Class S champion, won their first State Open title since 2019, beating runner-up Glastonbury, the Class LL champion, 47-41.
“They had to do what was on paper and for the most part, they did,” Bloomfield coach Anne Burrows said. “When I scored it, I had us third - Glastonbury, Windsor, then us.
“I’m very proud of them. This was the goal all season.”
It was Hall’s third State Open indoor title. The Titans won the State Open cross country title last fall and they were the outdoor State Open runners-up last spring.
“With everything that happens for Hall, it’s almost so easy to say, ‘Oh, another one,’” said York, who won the 600 in 1 minute, 23.49 seconds. “But our coach said last time when we won [the Class LL meet], these kids on this team, they’re only juniors once, they’re only sophomores once, they’re only seniors once.
“I’m soaking it in. I’m happy.”
York had just come off the track after he ran the third leg on Hall’s State Open record-breaking 4x400 team, which won the title in 3:24.88.
“We got one senior on the team – it’s his last race, our last race of the season, we’re all just like, ‘Let’s do something, see what we can do, if we get it, great.’
“I was against Greenwich’s Gianluca Bianchi, he’s a Princeton commit. He scared me so much, I just had to run faster.”
York had to run the 600 because a hamstring injury prevented him from defending his 300 title. He didn’t have a great race in the Class LL meet last week and his time put him in the second heat.
His teammate Gabe Sisk won the fast heat of the 600 but finished second.
“We have a friendly rivalry,” York said. “I was smack-talking him a lot just for fun. I went out fast and I let the cheers of my teammates bring me in.”
Bloomfield got wins from freshman Jahniya Barclay (55 meters, 7.16) and sophomore Caleah Baker (300, 40.31) and won the 4x200 relay.
“Since my freshman year, we haven’t won [the State Open] at all so for it to be my last year, and for us to win … it’s a wonderful group of girls who perform beautifully and know when it’s time to win,” said senior Laniyah Henderson, who finished fourth in the long jump. “It feels amazing. We really earned it.”
Sherry Twins Part II
Tess and Liv Sherry are identical twins from Conard, just like their older brothers Gavin and Callum Sherry, who graduated last year after excelling in track and cross country.
Tess and Liv, both sophomores, swam with their club team last winter. This year they decided to run indoor track after swimming with Conard in the fall.
Saturday, Liv won the State Open 1,000 title in 2:55.86, after finishing as the runner-up last week in the Class LL meet. Tess finished second in the 1,600 (5:02.56) to Newington’s Katherine Boehlke, who won in 4:57.50.
“I wanted to take it out pretty strong,” Liv said. “The second lap I felt a little better than I was used to feeling but at the end, I was feeling it. I just tried to finish hard.”
Both said there was a certain amount of pressure being Sherry twins but that their brothers, who are both at Stanford, inspired them.
“There’s definitely some pressure but I just try to run my own race,” Tess said.
Conard’s Kirkutis wins high jump title
Audrey Kirkutis of Conard did not have a good meet last week at the Class LL championships, despite winning the high jump title. Her best is 5-7; she only managed 5-2 last week. But Saturday, she got back into form, clearing 5-6 for the State Open title and she went for the State Open record of 5-7 ½ but did not clear it. “Getting 5-6 was very big,” said Kirkutis, a senior who is heading to Princeton next fall. “I was so nervous [last week]. Then I realized this is my last meet here at Hillhouse so I thought I should have fun with it, shake the nerves off.” ... Noble Gorgon of Simsbury won the 55-meter championship in 6.35 seconds, beating Enfield’s Mason Pilkington (6.51). “It’s my first season indoor, so it’s exciting,” he said. “I felt good in the race, got out, got a good start and I got the good turnover in and finished the job.”
Lori Riley can be reached at email@example.com.