Ludlowe’s Stapleton shines in CIAC debut
NEW HAVEN -- Remember the name Tess Stapleton.
The Fairfield Ludlowe freshman made her state championship track debut in the Class LL girls’ Indoor Track & Field meet on February 10, taking a first place (long jump), second place (55 hurdles) and third place (high jump) for the Falcons, who finished third as a team.
Greenwich finished the day with 88.5 points to pull away from runner-up Danbury's 71 over the final three events. Ludlowe came in third (56) with Glastonbury (41) and Brien McMahon rounding out the top five.
It was the first-ever state indoor championship for Greenwich, but Stapleton was one of the individual athletes who nearly stole the show.
She opened the day by winning her first event -- the long jump. Stapleton flew 17 feet, 10 inches on her very first jump and that mark stood up for the victory.
"That felt really good," Stapleton said to Hearst Connecticut Media reporter John Nash. “At FCIACs, I didn't do as well so to come out and do better at the state meet is such a great feeling."
She later placed second in the 55 hurdles by one-hundredth of a second, getting timed in 8.63 seconds, just behind Shelton's Elizabeth Herlihy.
"I had a bad start and I lost my balance after the third hurdle," Stapleton said. "Although it was just a tiny bit, that's what can make a difference."
Stapleton cleared 5-foot-2 in the high jump to place third.
"I've been doing track since I was nine (years old), doing meets in the summer at Staples (High School)," she said. "In middle school, I started getting good coaching and I've improved so much."
She wasn't the only Falcon to soar on Saturday, though.
Right behind her in the 55 hurdles was Nora Skoczen (9.06) and Maya Mocarski won the 55-meter dash in 7.19 seconds. Additionally, Alyssa Kraus was third in the 1,000 (3:04.93), Keegan Simonsen was fifth in the 1,600 (5:23.8) and Lauren O'Neil was sixth in the 3,200 (11:42.28).
Ludlowe's 4x800 relay team (Paige Davis, Lauren O’Neil, Keegan Simonsen, Alyssa Kraus) was third in 9:50.28, while the 4x400 relay team - Davis, Simonsen, Olivia Accomando and Kraus -- placed sixth in 4:16.92.
Other Ludlowe finishers included Madeline Ruggerio, who was 10th in the 1,000 meters (3:14.50) and Micaela Walsh, who was 17th in the 1,000 meters (3:25.34). Paige Davis was eighth in the 1,600 meters (5:25.93), Sophia Lesko was 20th in the 3,200 meters in 12:23.17. The 1,600-meter sprint relay team of Mei Fung, Ashley Moynahan, Olivia Accomando and Madeline Ruggerio placed 11th in 4:37.18. Laurel Blackman finished 11th in the pole vault, clearing eight-feet, Nora Skoczen was 11 th in the long jump at 15-feet, ½-inch.
Warde finishers included Carly Pavoni, who was 14th in the 1,000 meters (3:20.63) and Abigail Hart, who was 15th in the 1,000 meters (3:22.46). Julia Eustace was ninth in the 1,600 meters in 5:26.29, Caroline Egervari was 21st in the 3,200 meters in 12:26.54. Warde’s 4x400 relay team of Abigail Hart, Julia Eustace, Emilia Vella and Lana Kareem finished 13th in 4:33.89. The 1,600-meter spring medley team of Abigail Hart, Tara McVeigh, Nile Robinson and Lana Kareem was 16th in 4:58.86. Mallory Elliott was sixth in the long jump with a leap of 15-feet, 7¼-inches. Manar Enany was 13 th in the shot put with a throw of 30-feet, 8-inches.
BOYS CLASS LL
In the boys’ Class LL meet, Fairfield Prep finished 10th with 20 team points, Fairfield Warde placed 13th with 16 points, while Fairfield Ludlowe was 20th with nine team points.
Individually, Fairfield Prep’s Greg Anderson placed fifth in the 55-meter dash with a time of :6.73 seconds, Warde’s Qasim Danazumi was fifth in the 300-meter dash with a time of :36.94 seconds while Prep’s John Gnibus placed ninth in :37.85 seconds. Ludlowe’s Ian Bartlett finished third in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:32.93 while Prep’s Caleb Bowen was seventh in 2:48.61, Warde’s Alex Mocarski placed second (4:22.88) and teammate James Maniscalco was third (4:27.46) in the 1,600-meter run while Prep’s Ed Tristine finished ninth (4:38.83) and Prep’s MacKinnon Sheldon was 10th in 4:40.22. Warde’s Noah Igram was 11th in 4:40.30.
Fairfield Prep’s Drew Thompson won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:17.09 - a new Class LL record by eight seconds - with Warde’s James Maniscalco taking seventh (9:40.53) and Warde’s Danny Jagoe finishing eighth in 9:44.44. .