Versatile Track And Field Team Members Compete In Multievent Championships
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Outdoor Track Multievent Championships took place at New Britain’s Willowbrook Park over the course of three days in the middle of June.
Newtown had representation and solid performances in some of the competitions. Caleb Smith placed fifth in the decathlon with 5,396 points.
Riley Powers and Kayleigh Troy competed in the heptathlon, with Powers finishing fifth with 3,605 points and Troy 17th with 3,109.
Emily Litke and Clara D’Amico were 15th and 17th, respectively, in the 2000 meter steeplechase, and Soheib Dissa placed third in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Litke clocked in at 8:15.14, D’Amico had a time of 8:19.20, and Dissa finished his race in 10:06.26.
Aside from the fourth-place finisher who graduated this spring, each of the top five decathletes will be seniors next year.
“We know what to expect, We know what’s coming,” said Becky Osborne, head coach of the Nighthawk boys. “This class is going to have to fight it out again next year, which is going to be fun to watch.”
The decathlon features ten events: 100 meter dash, 400 dash, 1500 meter run, 110 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, shot-put, discus throw, and javelin throw.
“He’s a great utility player,” Osborne said of Smith, adding that his versatility helped the team rack up points throughout the season while he prepared for the decathlon.
This was the first time Powers and Troy competed in the heptathlon, which includes seven events: 100 hurdles, high jump, shot-put, 200 meter run, long jump, javelin throw, and 800 meters.
“They both did really great,” said Becky Bourret, head coach of the NHS girls.
Bourret added that her team members had little opportunity to work on javelin and shot-put skills during the season as they focused on other events.
The track athletes did not have regular opportunities to work on their steeplechase skills either. There were some invitationals that included the steeplechase event. The event includes jumping over obstacles and into water-filled ditches.
Litke and D’Amico are cross country runners with jumping abilities — Litke, a senior captain who is headed to Marist College to continue her career, and D’Amico, a sophomore. D’Amico also competes in horse shows, clearing obstacles on horseback, making her an ideal candidate for the steeplechase, Bourret thought.
“I said, ‘this will be fun for you and now you will know how your horse feels.’ (D’Amico) is a great athlete, too,” Bourret said.
Dissa is a freshman, making his third-place steeplechase performance all the more impressive.
“I am so excited to see what the future holds for him. He’s dedicated; he’s hardworking,” Osborne said.
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