by Tyler Roaix
Already off to a hot start this indoor season, the Central track and field team kept the momentum going with another strong showing at the New England Championships this past weekend.
In an event that featured representatives from 30 of the top schools in the regions, Central was able to establish itself with some key individual performances over the two-day event.
On the women’s side, junior McKenna Kilian stole the show from the entire competition Friday afternoon. Kilian set a whopping five new personal records competing in the pentathlon. Head coach Eric Blake raved about Kilian’s latest showing.
“McKenna had a great day in the pentathlon,” Blake said. “She seems very confident in her ability to do multiple events and do them all well.”
The 60-meter hurdle, high jump, long jump, 800-meter run and total pentathlon all set new personal records for Kilian in what is her best day as a Blue Devil.
Not lost in the shuffle were freshman Angie Rafter and sophomore Megan Brawner, who also set personal records in their respective events. Rafter ran a 2:18.82 in the 800-meter run, while Brawner just barely topped her best time in the 1,000-meter, running it in 3:03.19.
The momentum carried into Saturday with another strong showing from the women. Sophomore Hailey Rospierski came in 10th out of 28 in the 60-meter hurdle, setting a new personal record in 9.07 seconds.
But junior Sierra Nesmith was the star of the show in the second day of competition. She came in with the highest individual finish with a sixth-place mark in the triple jump. It was a new high for Nesmith, posting an 11.47-meter jump.
For the men, the spotlight was on Austin Trainor all weekend. The senior distance runner took home the championship in the 1,000-meter run, setting a new personal best time of 2:27.08 in the process.
Trainor originally won his qualifying heat Friday, but kicked it up a notch in the final on Saturday to bring home a big victory for CCSU.
“Austin is really dialing in on his racing skills,” Blake said of Trainor. “He is becoming very good in tactical races.”
Junior sprinter Akiel Smith also had a great showing, winning the bronze medal in the 200-meter dash, setting a new personal record of 21.80 seconds. Smith also finished fourth, out of 27 competitors, in the 60-meter dash, tying his personal record in 6.89 seconds.
The men continued their strong showing on the track with a seventh-place finish in the distance medley relay. Jonathan Gill, Julio Arredondo, Matt Baum and Adonys Langual ran the race in 10:37.96.
The men had another strong showing in the field events as well. Sophomore Azaziah Gadson came in 12th place in the high jump, making a 1.99-meter leap. Senior Sam Borecki continued his strong season with a 4.70-meter jump in the pole vault, good for eighth place.
The team will be back in action Feb. 9 to take place in the David Hemery invite in Boston, MA. It will be the final event before the NEC Championships Feb. 16 and 17. Blake shared how in next week’s meet, the focus is on staying healthy and preparing for the conference meet.