Looking back at the area's top indoor track teams of all time

Published on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:30
Written by RYAN CHICHESTER

@ryanchichester1

Track has a rich history in both indoor and outdoor competition in the local area, so for our series chronicling the most memorable area teams of all time in every sport, we had to split up the two track seasons into two different lists. No girls team has won a state championship in indoor track yet, but plenty of boys teams have finished atop the podium dating back to as early as 1944.

The deep history in indoor track is thanks to programs like New Britain, St. Paul and Plainville, all of which have won at least three straight state championships at some point in their history. Thanks to legendary coaches and decades of dominance, this list features some of the best teams the state has ever seen.

Here are the most memorable indoor track teams of all time:

NEW BRITAIN BOYS, 2010

After falling short in the Class LL state championships to first-place Hamden, the Hurricanes won it where it counted, winning their second State Open title over Hamden, which finished in second place.

Chris Linares was dominant for New Britain, taking first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.43. He also finished second in the 300-meter dash with a top mark of 35.09, and fellow senior Robert White took first in the event as well as the 600-meter run. Another senior, Conor Kane, came in second in the 600 meter.

White, Kane and Linares teamed up to also win the 4x400 relay, which was anchored by Kaiuway Boima, another standout senior. Boima also finished sixth in the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 2 inches to complete one of the team’s best performances ever at the state level.

BRISTOL CENTRAL BOYS, 2020

The Rams won’t have a banner to hang in their gymnasium next school year, but the 2020 boys indoor track team still has plenty of reasons to celebrate what was a memorable season.

After coming second in the Class L state championships, Central carried that momentum into the State Open, where it also secured a second-place finish against the top competition in Connecticut. Among the impressive finishes for the Rams was Ramon Ambert, who came in seventh overall in the 30- meter dash, while junior Nate DeAngelo took fifth in the 3200-meter run.

The highlight of the State Open for Central was its 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams, with Ambert leading the way in securing a second-place finish in the 4x400 along with Galen Hickey (who later committed to compete at AIC), Ryan Krompegal and Jose Ramirez, a group of four seniors that helped make the 2020 season the Rams’ best ever in indoor competition. The 4x800 team of DeAngelo, Ramirez, Austin Freve and Mark Petrosky took first overall, the lone top finish for Central.

ST. PAUL BOYS, 1970-1975

Has there ever been a more dominant team than these Falcons were in the 1970s? St. Paul began the decade with its first state championship, which it shared with East Catholic, then won it outright in 1971 to become Class M state champions for the second straight season.

The Falcons completed the three-peat in 1972 with another outright title, then made it four in a row in 1973 when they shared the title with Bethel and Farmington. It became an unprecedented five titles in a row with sole possession of the 1974 Class M state championship, and capped off an unforgettable string of success with their sixth straight state championship in 1975, sharing the honor with Xavier. The six straight state titles are the most consecutive wins by any local team in track history.

ST. PAUL BOYS, 1977

The Falcons couldn’t make it seven in a row in 1976, but they still sealed their claim as the team of the decade with a return to glory in 1977, winning the Class M state championship once again to make it seven titles in eight years.

The St. Paul teams of the 1970s enjoyed a level of success that may never be repeated.

PLAINVILLE BOYS, 1961-1964

If there is any team that can rival a decade of dominance that St. Paul had in the 1970s, it would be the Blue Devils teams of the 1960s. Behind star runner Ed Coleman, Plainville won four straight Class M state championships from 1961 to 1964, with Coleman leading the way for three of them. Coleman, later inducted into the Plainville Sports Hall of Fame, set the school record for the mile in 1960, the state record for the mile in 1961 and set the Class M state record for the mile in indoor track in 1963, helping the Blue Devils complete what was at the time a three-peat, though they still weren’t finished winning state championships.

NEW BRITAIN BOYS, 1958-1960

Just before Plainville began its stretch of dominance in the 1960s, the Hurricanes had a run of their own, winning three titles in a row to from 1958 to 1960.

New Britain was the sole champ of Class L all three years during that dominant run, and by 1960, the program had five state championships in 16 years, nearly one ever three seasons.

NEW BRITAIN BOYS, 1967

The Hurricanes won another state championship in 1967, capturing the Class L title to continue a consistent string of success under legendary head coach Irv Black. Black, who coached indoor and outdoor track at New Britain High School, as well as cross country, won a total of 22 state championships with those three Hurricanes programs from 1953 to 1988, with 1967 being one of the five he won in indoor track competition.

NEW BRITAIN BOYS, 1979

The fifth championship won by Black’s group came at the State Open in 1979, where the Hurricanes made sure they secured at least one state championship for the fourth decade in a row. New Britain came up short at the Class L state championships but won the big one, claiming the program’s first-ever State Open title in indoor track.

PULASKI BOYS, 1967-1968

Two New Britain schools won state championships in indoor track in 1967, with Black’s Hurricanes taking first in Class L and Pulaski winning it all over in Class M. Pulaski repeated as champs in 1968, marking the only two state championships the program ever had.

BRISTOL CENTRAL BOYS, 2007

The Rams came up short of a state title in 2007, but still had a memorable season thanks to a second-place finish in Class L. The top event for Central was the 1600 sprint medley team of Joshua Darveau-Simmons, Ryan Dudzinski, Mitchell Pecevich and Brian Robbins, all seniors who took first place overall in the event. The 4x800 relay team of Daniel Beaudoin, Matthew Greer, Chris Janczyk and Robbins, all seniors as well, took third place to help boost the Rams’ score as well. In continuing with its strong relay performance, the 4x400 squad of Greer, Pecevich, Matthew Petersen and Janczyk took fourth place, while the 4x200 relay group of Janczyk, Darveau-Simmons, Pecevich and Dudzinski came in second place.

Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or rchichester@newbritainherald.com



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain, Plainville on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:30. Updated: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:33.