Gamble breaks open record, Barwise wins high jump
Annelies Gamble not only won the 600 meter run at last Saturday's CIAC State Open for girls' indoor track and field with a time of 1 minute, 35.06 seconds, she also set new open and Amity records.
Allison Barwise also copped a state championship (and All-State recognition), clearing 5-feet 4-inches in the high jump.
In addition, Barwise placed sixth in the 55 meter hurdles with a personal best time of 8.87. By placing among the top six in any event, both Lady Spartans qualified for the 21st Annual New England Indoor Track and Field Championship, which will be held on Feb. 29 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Mass.
By finishing first in the 600, Gamble will join with other boys and girls' first and second place winners in the 300 and 600 from the various divisions in the six New England states to compete in the New England All-Star 4x400 relays this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center in Massachusetts.
"We went into the open knowing that if we scored 21 points, we could be fifth, which would tie last year's finish, the best Amity had even done," Amity coach Sean Mahon said.
"We expected to win both the 600 and high jump, as we had done all year long. Doing that gave us 20 points. We hoped our 4x200 relay or Allie in the hurdles would place sixth and give us the extra point that we needed to end up fifth. We did what we had to do in the hurdles to get the job done."
Boys finish in 20th place
While the Amity boys' indoor track and field team finished back in 20th place at last week's State Open, which was held at the New Haven Athletic Center, it was about what Amity coach Thom Jacobs had expected from his team.
Amity was entered in only four events and ended up placing in two of them. Tom Zhang, Jay Binkowski, Phil Vitale and Cole Crotta came in third in the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1 minute, 33.76 seconds.
Adam Trofa added a sixth place 9:25.27 in the 3200 meter run. By finishing among the top six in their events, both Trofa and the relay team qualified to participate in the 21st annual New England Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet, which will be held on Feb. 29 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
"We did what I thought we'd do," Jacobs said. "Perhaps it was hoping beyond hope, but I was thinking that perhaps we could place among the top 10 teams.
"In order to do that we'd have had to dig down deep and find a way score about 15 points. Seymour won the 4x200 relay and Danbury was second.
"I had hoped we could catch one or both teams. Even though that didn't happen, I still thought we ran well."
Jacobs noted that the time his foursome ran at the State Open was not their best time of the season.
Earlier they had logged a 1:33.75, but he also pointed out that was done on a fast, banked surface.
"When we go to the New Englands I'd like to see us run a 1:32-plus, which would set a new school record," Jacobs said.
"Adam (Trofa) came in sixth, but he had been battling a bad cold all week prior to the brace. He was sick and feeling lousy, but he still ran hard and qualified for the New Englands.
"He came, stuck his face into it, and ran against the best distance competition in the state."
While Ryan Laemel did not qualify for New England, Jacobs had nothing but praise for his 11th place/personal best 4:32.71 in the 1600.
"The best 18 kids in the state were in that race," Jacobs said.
"Ryan was the only sophomore running in that race. He has a wonderful future as a distance runner. Ryan wasn't as sick as Adam, but still he wasn't 100%.
"It was great to see him run a personal best, while still feeling lousy. That's an accomplishment he can be really proud of.
"It would have been easy for him to say he was too sick to run and dropped out, but this kid is a real winner."
Amity's sprint medley relay team of Vitale (200; 23.8), Doron Schwartz (200; 24.4), Andrew Snyder-Spak (400; 53.9) and Joe Greenspun (800; 2:09.7) logged an 11th place 3:47.92, which Jacobs rated as a solid race.