WALLINGFORD — Shortly after Memorial Day, Sheehan will host a CIAC outdoor track class championship meet.
Sure, that’s quite a ways away, but it sure is a warm thought in the midst of this snow and Arctic cold.
Sheehan is one of several schools that will fill the breach for the state outdoor meets now that New Britain’s Veteran’s Stadium, perennial host of several class meets as well as the State Open, will be off line this spring due to renovations.
Hosting a state track meet is a first for Sheehan, yet hardly unfamiliar territory. Sheehan, after all, has long been a neutral site for CIAC playoff games, particularly in basketball. Moreover, Sheehan has experience hosting the SCC championship track meet.
“We’ve been doing the SCC meet the last couple of years, so we can handle approximately 30 teams,” veteran Sheehan track coach Charles Farley said Wednesday. “We can handle the SCC meet here without trouble.”
Which the Titans will do again this spring.
In the meantime, the SCC indoor track competition culminates over the next week. Sectionals will be held Sunday at Hillhouse, with the top performers returning to New Haven for the championship on Thursday.
There is a defending champ in the mix for the locals: Cheshire pole vaulter Selina Sampieri.
Cheshire middle-distance runner Liam Nicoll (300 meters) and Sheehan thrower Michaela Mendygral (shot put) were SCC runners-up a year ago and should be leading contenders in 2014.
Sheehan has additional athletes to watch in Mackenzie Mendygral (300), Griffin Cobb (600) and Bryan Allen (1000), who will also run multiple relays.
Lyman Hall is led by the shot-put trio of Chris Ruggiero, Amanda Doukas and Abby Smith. Ryan Woolley will challenge in the pole vault.
Cheshire has a deep well of middle-distance runners, led by Nicoll and Trey Phillips (600). Twins Mark and Frank Fusco are featured in the relays. The Fuscos, teamed with Phillips and Nicoll, won the 4x400 at last week’s Yale Invitational.
Also for Cheshire, Russell Adam, fresh from a cross country season that culminated with the New England Open, will contend in the 1600 and 3200.
The versatile Chibueze Njoku, in his first indoor season after a strong outdoor campaign, will challenge in the shot-put. He’s also developing as a long and high jumper.
The Cheshire girls go in armed — or legged, as it were — with Alex Pelletier, Kimmie Grove and Kristin Cabrera in the 300 meters. Cabrera will also run the 55 hurdles.
Sampieri looks to defend her pole vault crown, while Patricia Larson will battle Mendygral and the Lyman Hall girls in the shot.
Natalie Wickenheisser is Cheshire’s leading distance runner, Janaia Skibicki its leading jumper.