Remembering the best local outdoor track teams of all time

Published on Monday, 4 May 2020 15:29


When it comes to outdoor track, the Hardware City boasts the most hardware.

The Hurricanes boast a remarkable 15 state championships, including State Open titles, and have at least one state championship in four different decades. The success has been consistent, and New Britain is clearly the top local team in terms of historic success on the track.

Still, there are a number of other schools who have boasted state championship teams, so let’s continue our series by recounting the top outdoor track teams in the history of the local area, starting with the best:

NEW BRITAIN BOYS, 1977, 1979

Arguably the greatest track team in New Britain’s rich history, the Hurricanes rolled to a state championship in Class LL before also picking up a win in the State Open. The star of the team was Richard Edwards, who was the No. 2 sprinter in the nation during his senior year, and went on to compete at the University of Houston. New Britain’s title in 1977 came on the heels of another state championship in 1975, when it won the Class L title.

Two years later, the Hurricanes were back, once again winning both the Class LL title and the State Open in 1979.


What a run for the Hurricanes during this stretch of four seasons, when the program won state titles every year during that span. The run of dominance began with a Class L championship in 1958, then escalated with another Class L title in 1959, when the team also won the State Open. New Britain did the same in 1960 and 1961, winning the L title and State Open both years, marking four state championships and three State Open victories in four years.

The Hurricanes would win two more state titles in the 1960s, winning in 1964 and 1967. The New Britain area was a hub for track and field success during that decade, as Pulaski also won state championships in 1967 and 1968.


While the Hurricanes were owning the state on the track from the late 1950s into the 1960s, another local team was enjoying plenty of success at the state level as well. The Blue Devils won the Class M state title in 1958, then repeated as champs in 1959. After falling short of a three-peat in 1960, Plainville was at it again with another Class M championship in 1961, and make it four titles in five years when the Blue Devils won it all again in 1962.


The Blue Devils suffered through a title drought after the boys team owned Class M in the 1950s and 60s, and the girls team put the school back on top in 1996, winning the Class M title thanks in large part to Jill Giannini, who would go on to earn All-State honors in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and the long jump during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Before her career was over, Giannini had been All-State in 11 events, all-conference in 21 and won the New England Championships in the long jump and 55 meter hurdles. By the time Giannini graduated, she held eight school records and concluded her illustrious career with a win in the heptathlon. She later continued her track career at Sacred Heart University.


The school no longer exists, but its 1992 state championship banner hangs forever. Aquinas won the Class S state title in 1992 by winning the 4x100 relay and a top finish by Teri Harper in the 400 meter. Dina Boryczewski took first in the long jump, helping the team finish with a total score of 54, well in front of second-place Trinity Catholic’s 42.


The last New Britain team in any sport to win a state championship, the Hurricanes were back on top in 2013, honoring the school’s long tradition of track and field greatness. New Britain finished the Class LL championships with a total score of 86.50, beating out Amity’s 77.

Malique Jones was a force for the Hurricanes, finishing third in the finals of the 100 meter dash and second in the 200 meter. Zachary Andrews took third in the 200 meter and won the 400 meter, while teammate Basil Niccolls came in fourth in the same event.

In the hurdles events, Stephon Henry took third in the 110 meter hurdles and took second in the 300 meter hurdles. The 4x100 relay team of Jones, Andrews, Niccolls, Juan Usuga and Michael Robinson took first place, as did the 4x400 relay team of Niccolls, Henry, Usuga and freshman Macris Webb. Dauquone Clark won the high jump to complete a memorable year for New Britain.


The Redcoats have never won a state championship in outdoor track, but they came awfully close in 2007 when they were the runner-up in Class MM, finishing with a total of 81 points. Jamie Rasmussen was a top-five finisher in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash, while Cara Riley took fourth in the 1600 meter run and fifth in the 3200 meter run. Among the big stars for Berlin were Krista Sullivan, who won the pole vault, and Sarah Hansen, who took first in the triple jump. Veronica Roche also shined, winning the javelin throw.


Shortly after Berlin took second in Class MM, the Hurricanes showed their might with a runner-up finish at the State Open, finishing second to Weaver.

Symone Roberts, largely known for her historic career on the basketball court, was also a star on the track for New Britain, taking sixth place at the State Open in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.98. Roberts was also part of the 4x100 relay team with Alyssa Forde, Cherelle Allen, Melanie Gonzalez, Mindi McLeod and Deidre Thomas, which took sixth place overall. Allen had a memorable day at the State Open in individual competition, winning the long jump and the triple jump. A pair of New Britain starts also excelled in the shot put, with Athalia and Chantual Smith coming in second and third place, respectively.


The Hurricanes tried to add another state title to their extensive collection in 2009, but came up short and settled for second place in Class LL.

Markeith Cirinna finished in third place in the 100 meter dash and fourth in the 200 meter, while Robert White took second in the 400 meter dash. Cirinna and White later teamed up with Arthur Strumilowski and Thomas Phommalinh to win the 4x100 relay, and the 4x400 relay team of Phommalinh, White, Strumilowski, Antione Cesar and Adrian Baclawski finished second overall.

In the triple jump, New Britain’s Kaiway Boima finished first overall.


The only state championship in outdoor track among Bristol schools since 1934 belongs to the Falcons, who took home the Class M state championship in 1971.

No Bristol school has been able to replicate that success ever since.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, New Britain, Plainville on Monday, 4 May 2020 15:29. Updated: Monday, 4 May 2020 15:32.