The indoor track season was an overwhelming success for a number of local athletes, who thrived at the State Open while some even moved on to compete at a regional and national level.
The 2018-19 All-Herald Indoor Track Team boasts state champions, State Open champions and New England Track and Field Championships place-winners, as well as competitors at the New Balance National Championships. This year’s team represents five area athletes who can run, jump and throw with the best in the state, and even the country.
Both Berlin and Southington earned a pair of entries to this year’s team, with the Redcoats being highlighted by Patricia Mroczkowski and Maxine Muscatello, both of whom competed at the New Balance National Championships in New York on Mar. 8.
Mroczkowski made her sixth trip to the National Championships (between indoor and outdoor track) after finishing in 15th place in the high jump last year, and improved upon that mark by taking seventh place this season. The senior set a personal record on the biggest stage with a jump of 5 feet, 8.75 inches, a mark that was bested by only four other jumpers in the country.
Mroczkowski’s performance in New York was the last of many successful jumps throughout the season, as she won the Class M state title and the State Open championship for the second year in a row. Her jump of 5 feet, 6.25 inches at Class M set a record for the event, one that had stood for nine years.
Joining Mroczkowski at the National Championships was fellow senior Muscatello, who competed as part of Berlin’s 1,600 sprint medley relay team with Kylie Gentrie, Noelle Konior and Megan Perrotta. The lone upperclassmen of the group, Muscatello provided valuable experience that helped the team finish 4th at the Class M championships with a time of 4:25.41, while also competing in the 4x200 meter relay in the same event, securing 10th place for the Redcoats.
The 1,600 sprint medley team only improved as the postseason wore on, as Muscatello helped the group finish in second place at the State Open, finishing less than half a second behind champion East Lyme. The relay team finished 42nd against top competition in the country.
Muscatello also competed in individual events as well, finishing in 11th place at the Class M championships in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.91.
The Blue Knights would have had a State Open champ had it not been for Mroczkowski, as Sydney Garrison finished in second place with a jump of 5 feet, 4 inches, just two inches short of Mroczkowski’s mark. Garrison, a junior, also placed second at the Class LL championships, tying two other jumpers with a mark of 5 feet, 2 inches.
Garrison’s jump at the State Open was a personal best and a program record. She finished in 13th place at the New England Track and Field Championships with a jump of 5 feet, 1 inch. She was the first Southington athlete to compete in the high jump at the event since 2008.
Fellow junior Trinity Cardillo also made the Blue Knights proud in 2018-19 with strong showings at the state level. Cardillo took home the Class LL state championship in shot put with a throw of 39 feet, 6.5 inches, and placed fourth at the New England Championships, hurling her way onto the podium among the best athletes in the northeast, after earning another fourth-place finish at the State Open.
Cardillo saved her best for the New England event, as all four of her throws beat her previous personal best of 39 feet, 11 inches. Her best throw was logged at 41 feet, 9.5 inches, which earned her a fourth-place finish. Cardillo also placed sixth in the emerging elite division at the New Balance Nationals with a throw of 40 free, 10.5 inches.
Representing the boys on the All-Herald team is senior Jonathan Lindsay of New Britain, who also made an appearance at the New England Championships this season. Lindsay was a CCC champion in the 55 meter hurdles, and ends his final winter campaign with the second best time in the event in school history.
Lindsay almost won a state championship in Class LL, clocking a time of 7.91 seconds in the finals, finishing in second place and just two-one hundredths of a second behind the first-place finisher.