The yearâ€™s All-Herald Boys Track & Field Team is a group that has showed to be as diverse as it is talented. Although there is plenty of talent throughout the state, our roster for the spring can run, jump and throw with the best of them.
Berlin had an impressive showing this season, where it placed 12th in Class MM, and it was easy to see why after a number of top performances from its athletes.
Matthew Luddy jumped his way into the record books in his senior season - literally. He broke the schoolâ€™s 40-year-old high jump record of 6-foot-2 by jumping 6-4 against Maloney, and broke his own record just over a week later at Middletown when he jumped 6-7. Luddy, however, did more than just rewrite the record books, he also won. Luddy took first place in Class MM in the high jump, second in the conference meet and placed ninth at the State Open, all in just his second year in the event.
Those results not only earned him an all-conference nod, but he became the first Berlin boys track athlete to make All-State in the last 20 years. A Scholastic Award winner and a member of the All-CCC Academic team, Luddy is off to UConn in the fall where he is undecided on if he will do track.
Teammate Dan Labbadia was impressive in his own right. The senior was all-conference in not one, but two events, the discus and javelin. When it came time for the big meets, Labbadia was at his best. He placed fourth in the MM state meet in the discus and javelin, while also qualifying for shot put. A sixth-place finish in javelin at the State Open moved him on to the New England meet where he finished in the top six at the open qualify. A trip to Nationals followed for Labbadia, which is no small feat. His performance on the season earned him the team MVP and led the team in points in both the regular and postseason. He will be attending Southern Connecticut State University in the fall.
The third member of the Redcoats on this list is Mitch Maslowski. A jack of all trades on the football field, the senior did a little bit of everything for Berlin on the track as well, from sprints, to the relays, to jumping. Over the course of the season, Maslowski set school records in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. An honor roll student, Maslowski will be attending Westfield State where he will be competing in both football and track.
Shamar Murray was an impact distance runner for Newington this spring. The senior made the All-CCC team after also doing so in cross country. Murray showed well at the Class L meet, finishing eighth in the 1,600, an event loaded with talent, with a 4:38. That place also secured the Indians their lone point of the meet. Some of his personal bests are also impressive. He ran a 2:05 in the 800 and a 10:32 in the two-mile.
Southington, like Berlin, also places three on our list after a strong season. First is Zach Burleigh. The junior pole vaulter proved to be one of the best in both Class LL and the state, earning all-conference recognition. Burleigh placed fourth in the state meet thanks to a personal best of 13 feet. He later tied the mark at the State Open for a 10th-place finish. Although he still has another year to go, Burleigh has caught the attention of college programs such as Springfield College and Lafayette.
Dave Pastor was terrific for the Blue Knights in both the shot put and javelin. The senior placed second at the CCC meet in the shot put and took ninth place for both events at the Class LL meet, earning him an all-conference selection.
Anthony Mondo is the final athlete from Southington to make our All-Herald Team. One of the Blue Knightsâ€™ top jumpers, the senior showed well at the Class LL meet where he finished in the top 10 in the long jump and 14th in the triple jump. Such high placements helped him become an All-CCC selection.
No list of boys track athletes would be complete without some stars from New Britain, and our team has three Hurricanes to round out the list.
Aaron Lugo just completed a stellar senior season which saw him finish fifth in Class LL in the 110-meter hurdles and 10th in the 300-meter hurdles in an incredibly tough field. He then moved on to the State Open, the only Hurricane to do so. His season ended with an all-conference honor.
He is joined by teammate Donovan Dorce, who was a versatile member of the New Britain track team. The senior showed well at the Class LL state meet, placing 12th in the pole vault and in the top 25 in the 800. Dorce earned his first All-CCC selection as well.
Kevon Davis is the final Hurricane. The senior showed out his senior year, placing seventh in the shot put in Class LL to earn an all-conference honor.
With so many different athletes, this yearâ€™s All-Herald Team demonstrates the regionâ€™s ability to compete successfully in a variety of events.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach