WHS Track Teams Shine at CIAC DeJesus Dominates “MM” Pole Vault

STATE CHAMP - Adding to her laurels prior to graduating next week, Kelsey DeJesus of Watertown High School won the CIAC’s Class ‘MM’ pole vaulting championship, clearing 10’ 6,” one foot better than runnerup Amando Pedro of RHAM.

NEW BRITAIN - “I’ve never seen anything like this spring.” That spot-on observation by Watertown High School track team coach Brian LaFontaine came after his hale-and-hearty team competed at the CIAC State Meet over the course of two days and two different sites as teams dealt with Mother Nature.

“Thanks to the great year our athletes had there we had them competing throughout the day, which kept us pretty busy, while keeping another eye on the skies,” said LaFontaine.

“Still, we received great efforts and strong performances, which I believe were the theme of the two days,” he added.

WHS GIRLS CLASS ‘MM’

The meet, which was won by Hillhouse High School, began May 29 at Middletown High School and finished May 30, at Willow Brook Park, with WHS coming in 14th with a team total of 20 points.

Kelsey DeJesus continued the final chapter of her standout athletic career at Watertown High School as she captured the Class MM state title in the pole vault, clearing a career best 10’ 6” to bring home the gold medal.

How much better was the Indians’ personable mulit-sport champion than the rest of the field?

Her dominance wasn’t measured in mere inches, as she was one foot clear of runnerup Amanda Pedro of RHAM, who cleared 9’ 6”

DeJesus also had enough spring left to perform well in both the long and triple jumps.

Ari Polletta also jumped well in a strong field as she put up marks of great marks in the long jump and triple jump.

Sophomore Erin Egan was 10th in the high jump and sprinted well in the 100,” LaFontaine noted.

“Erin teamed with Malina LaCapra, Sophia Guerrera and Polletta to run a strong 4x100 relay; our 4x800 team of Kaitlynn Thrall, Emma Gallagher, Rebekah Holmes and Kristina Kyle placed 11th,” said LaFontaine.

Senior captains Emily Deptula in the discus and Emma Zaccaganini both recorded solid efforts and top ten finishes.

Morgan Dodge and Allie Mazzarella threw well in the javelin despite tough conditions as both finished in the top 15 with Dodge medaling with a throw of 96’ 5.”

“Morgan then came back with excellent efforts in both hurdles as she ran a season best in the 100 hurdles to crack the top 10; she also advanced to the open with her 4th place finish in the 300 hurdles,” said an admiring LaFontaine.

LaCapra, Thrall, Maddie Daigneault and Emily Gursky capped the two-day meet off with  a strong performance in the 4x400.

WHS FINISHERS

100m: 27. Erin Egan - 13.69

400m: 9. Emma Zaccagnini - 1:02.46

100h: 9. Morgan Dodge - 16.72

300h: 4. Morgan Dodge - 48.49 (5 pts.)

4x100 relay: 24. Sophia Guerrera, Arianna Polletta, Erin Egan, Malina LaCapra - 54.37

4x400 relay: 14. Maddie Daigneault, Kaitlynn Thrall, Emily Gursky, Malina LaCapra - 4:27.09 

4x800: 11. Emma Gallagher, Kristina Kyle, Kaitlynn Thrall, Rebekah Holmes - 10:50.25

High Jump: 10. Erin Egan - 4’ 8”

Pole Vault: 1. Kelsey DeJesus - 10’ 6” (10 pts.)

Long Jump: 13. Kelsey DeJesus - 15’ 9;”  24. Arianna Polletta - 15’ 1”

Triple Jump: 12. Kelsey DeJesus - 33’ 1;” 16. Arianna Polletta - 32’ 1.50”

Discus: 7. Emily Deptula - 104’ 1” (2 pts.)

Javelin: 6. Morgan Dodge - 96’ 3” (3 pts.); 14. Allison Mazzarella - 86’ 11.” 

TEAM FINISH: 1. Hillhouse - 94; 2. RHAM - 65; 3. Tolland - 62; 4. North Haven - 53; 5. Joel Barlow - 46; 6. St. Joseph - 37; 7. Sacred Heart Academy - 35; 8. Suffield 33; 9. Hartford Public - 31; 10. Masuk - 28; 11. Killingly - 25; 12. Brookfield - 24; 13. East Haven - 21; 14. Watertown - 20; 15. Avon - 19; 16. Foran - 17.50; 17. Torrington - 12.50; 18. Bristol Central - 12; 18) East Lyme - 12; 20. Harding - 10; 20. Bunnell - 10; 22. Woodstock Academy - 9; 23. Mercy 6; 23. Lauralton Hall - 6; 25. Platt - 3; 25. Fitch - 3; 25. Bullard Havens Tech - 3; 25. Waterford - 3; 29. Rockville 1; 29. Stratford - 1.

WHS BOYS CLASS ‘M’

The Indians needed only one day to complete their work at Willow Brook Park on May 29, finishing 14th with a team total of 21 points; the team championship was taken by Tolland High School with 68 points.

Watertown’s 4x800 relay team of Dan Ottowitz, Matteo Perugini, John Polletta and Keith Caouette ran a season best 8:23 to place fifth and qualify for the state open.

Sophomore Gabe Giusto ran a season-best in the 200 while Jordan Arnold finished well in the 110 hurdles.

“Senior captain Joe Skowronski had a really good day,” said LaFontaine. “He finished 11th in the long jump and qualified for the state open with his fifth place finish in the triple jump.”

Skowronski also teamed with Giusto, Rafael Dayton and Jack Gorski to run in the 4x100 in 46.4 seconds.

“Jon Shirk, also a senior captain, advanced to the state open by finishing fourth in the pole vault,” said LaFontaine.

In the 400, sophomore Keith Caouette continued his stellar season as he finished fourth while Matteo Perugini ran a season best 52.5 to crack the top 10 as well.

Senior Spencer Dodge ran strong in both the 1600 and 3200; Caouette, Perugini, Giusto and Polletta capped off a strong showing by the Indians as they narrowly missed a school record, finishing with a season best 3:31.6 in coming in sixth in the 4x400 relay.

“Overall,” said an exhausted but thrilled LaFontaine, “the teams had good days with a number of athletes qualifying for the State Open Championship meet, a deserved reward for the hard work they’ve all put in.”

WHS FINISHERS

200m: 15. Gabe Giusto - 23.74

400m: 4. Keith Caouette - 51.61 (5 pts.); 10. Matteo Perugini - 52.50

1600m: 19. Spencer Dodge - 4:52.62

3200m: 32. Spencer Dodge - 10:54.58

110h: 20. Jordan Arnold - 18.31

4x100 relay: 18. John Gorski, Gabe Giusto, Rafael Dayton, Joe Skowronski - 46.46

4x400 relay: 6. Matteo Perugini, Johnathan Polletta, Gabe Giusto, Keith Caouette - 3:31.67 (3 pts.)

4x800 relay: 5. Dan Ottowitz, Matteo Perugini, Johnathan Polletta, Keith Caouette - 8:23.48 (4 pts.)

Pole Vault: 4. Jonathan Shirk - 12’ (5 pts.)

Long Jump: 11. Joe Skowronski - 19’ 4.25”

Triple Jump: 5. Joe Skowronski - 41’ 2” (4 pts.).

TEAM FINISH: 1. Tolland - 68; 2. Windham - 56; 3. Sheehan - 54; 4. Ledyard - 50.25; 5. Haddam-Killingworth - 47.75; 6. Ellington - 44; 7. Valley Regional - 40; 8. Plainfield - 36; 9. Suffield - 31; 10. Stonington - 29; 11. Granby Memorial - 22.75; 12. Montville - 22; 12. Cromwell - 22; 14. Watertown - 21; 15. Killingly - 20; 16. WCA - 18; 17. St. Joseph - 17; 18. Nonnewaug - 15; 19. Wolcott - 12; 20. Bacon Academy - 11; 21. Northwestern - 10; 21. Lewis Mills - 10; 23. Seymour - 9.50; 24. Norwich Tech - 7; 24. Rocky Hill - 7; 26. Aerospace and Engineering - 6; 26. Prince Tech - 6; 28. Woodland - 3.50; 29. Bulkeley - 3; 30. East Catholic - 2; 31. Plainville - 1.25.

CIAC STATE OPEN MEET 

At the CIAC State Open Meet on June 3 at Willow Brook Park, DeJesus finished sixth in the pole vault, matching her class championship-winning height of 10’ 6.”

Morgan Dodge finished 25th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.13.

For the WHS boys, Keith Caouette was 20th in the 400 with a time of 51.82; the 4x800 relay team of Daniel Ottowitz, Matteo Perugini, Johnathan Polletta and Caouette came in 12th in 8:19.14.

In the Pole Vault, the Indians’ Jon Shirk finished tied for 12th clearing 12’ 6;” in the Triple Jump, Joe Skowronski was 21st at 40’ 8.50.”

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