The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Xavier boys, Shelton girls claim titles


NEW HAVEN — It was a banner day at the Southern Connecticu­t Conference Track and Field Championsh­ips for the Xavier boys and Shelton girls.

Xavier-Middletown, which had six individual winners, won the boys team title with 132 points with Amity and Hillhouse-New Haven tied for second with 72 points each. Shelton, led by triple-winner Audrey Kozak, won the girls title with 85.5 points, Hillhouse was second with 74 and Sacred Heart Academy-Hamden third with 71.

It has actually been a banner school year for the Falcons and Gaels. This school year Xavier won SCC team titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for the first time since 2003. Shelton also won the girls SCC title during the indoor season.

“There has been some momentum building in our track program,” Xavier coach Chris Stonier said. “In the past we were known as a distance team that only excelled in the distance events. In 2019 we won the Class L title with 90 percent of the points coming from the distance events.

“Since then we have filled the void, becoming a more well-rounded program with success in sprints and in jumps and and throws. We compete in the (CIAC) Class L meet next week. We knew Hillhouse and Amity would be our top challenges today. Both teams are in Class L and will be tough there too. Coming into the SCC meet we wanted to see how we stacked up against them.”

The Falcons came away with six wins led by Sam

Forte, who won the 110 hurdles (15.17, personal best) and 300 hurdles (39.50, school record). Jack Oullette won the 1600 (4:21.26) and teammate Owen Martin was second (4:23.52). The team also won the 4x800 relay (8:16.24), Stylz Mitchell won the 200 (21.19) and John Larkin won the 3,200 (9:34.31).

“The goal for me and everyone on our team is to get as many points as possible,” said Forte, named the boys meet Most Outstandin­g Performer. “That motivates us to do our best. I ran today’s races the way I always do. I always start okay but I get better as the race progresses with a strong late kick.”

Ouellette and Martin typically run 1-2 in the 1,600.

“We always push each other in events and in practice,” Martin said.

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