Law's Beler believes what may have been on track can happen

Jonathan Law boys’ track and field coach Joe Beler was confident his squad could win Class M’s last spring.

“We came off a third-place finish indoors. But the teams that pushed us, Hillhouse and Daniel Hand, were out of our division. We had the returning 4x1 relay state champs and we were even faster,” he said.

COVID-19 took that opportunity away and the pandemic has clouded CIAC sports long enough to delay the winter indoor track season for Law’s boys’ and girls’ teams.

Law met Foran at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven in the first competition for either squad since last February.

“What was nice about that night was that we weren’t competing against Foran that night. The kids were just competing,” Beler said. “It wasn’t a Foran versus Law thing, it was Milford kids competing. (Foran coach) Pete (Jambor) was helping our pole vaulters. I was talking with their kids. It was good feeling meet.”

The meet with Foran was broken in half on March 8. The teams began at 5 and left around 6:30 with another two teams waiting to come in. Half the running events were held along with field events shot put. high jump, pole vault and long jump. The other running events, along with more field events, will take place when the meet concludes on Sunday in New Haven.

“Thank goodness for the Floyd Little Center in New Haven,” Beler said. “They have allowed us to give these kids two meets. The jumpers have a pit, the throwers and pole vaulters are inside. It was a well-run meet, even with all the craziness. One difference was kids running in masks, I felt for them especially the kids running the mile taking in a quarter of the air they would. The people at Floyd got everyone out quickly and safely.”

Beler broke down the difference between this year’s training and a usual indoor season.

“Typically, we run outside until it goes below 32 degrees and train outdoors as much as indoors. Part of routine is doing hallway runs, using fitness room, using the weight room. We have the old gymnasium to practice jumps and hurdles. This year with COVID we were in the parking lot.”

Beler said he was amazed at the 50 kids that turn out every day, even when competing in a meet wasn’t yet on the table.

“I tell these kids every day, that I give them credit and am proud of them for just showing up every day,” he said. They were doing virtual (training) and all showed up when we could get together.”

Beler said matching up with Foran lifted Law’s spirits.

“Now there is a skip in their step. They are competing. They are happy. Being out there in those few days where the weather was good, it felt normal. We are still a high-level team.”

Beler points to six boys running under 7.08 in the 55-meter dash as a sign his sprinters are among the best.

Law senior Keyshon Giles ran a 6.84 to win the 55 dash. Senior Naheim Washington was second at 6.88 followed by sophomore Shane Pritchard (6.92), senior Ethan Harrigan (6.97), junior Jackson Warters (7.06) and junior Tommy Bretthauer (7.08). Senior Chris Wooten finished in 7.14, junior Dimitri Barnes in 7.15 and junior Lucas Pincus-Doyle in 7.28.

“I have a special group of sprinters,” Beler said. “We have four great pieces in the 4x2 relay with Naheim Washington (Tufts), Ethan Harrigan, Chris Wooten and Keyshon Giles (Southern). Shane Pritchard is another piece and with Tommy Bretthauer we just have deep speed.

“Jackson Warters has the second fastest time in the SCC in 55 hurdles. Plus, we have Liam Fedigan who is my best distance guy. He set a school record in the two mile as a freshman.”

Law’s girls boast talent.

“The girls 4x8 team is back and broke the school indoor record by 10 seconds last year,” Beler said of Hannah Rascoll, Alexis Voytek, Emma Savoie and Eidra Rodriguez. Andrianna Bruno had fifth fastest time in the SCC. Hannah Rascoll is the leader of our distance crew. We have a great group of young runners. Elly Van Waveren is doing a good job getting the three-steps down for hurdles.”

A lost spring impacted the girls’ team as well.

Beler said: “We had our 4x2 returning last year and they were just off the school record with Kiki Smith and Olivia Kowalski. This group has shot to beat them this year with Brooke Dillman, Elly Van Waveren , Sydney Simpson and Demi Carrapico.”

The winter indoor season ends on March 26 and the spring outdoor season starts on March 27.

Beler said: “We will have one dual meet a week, one week we will have two because we picked up Foran. We’ll have a minimum of six meets in a five-week period. The way it flows is five weeks of competition, SCC Sectionals, SCC Championships and states.”

Boys roundup: Law junior Jackson Warters placed first in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.30. Senior Ethan Harrigan was second (9.28), and senior Spencer Deer was fourth (10.89).

Law junior Aidan King was second (8-0) in the pole vault.

Deer won the long jump at 17-11.25. Senior Naheim Washington was second (16-08), senior Nick McLean third (16-02), junior Tommy Bretthauer fourth (16-00,25), junior Amaan Akhtar seventh (13-01) and freshman Jack Bretthauer eighth (12-10).

Law senior Keyshon Giles ran a 6.84 to win the 55-meter dash. Washington was second at 6.88 followed by sophomore Shane Pritchard (6.92), Harrigan (6.97), Warters (7.06), Thomas Bretthauer (7.08), Wooten (7.14), junior Dimitri Barnes (7.15) and junior Lucas Pincus-Doyle (7.28).

Law senior Sam Bergami took first in the shot put at 30-02. Sophomore Dom DiFederico was second (28-10.50), freshman Tyson Boehm fourth (25-2) and freshman Max Lula was fifth (21-07.50).

Law senior Charles Wang took first in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:35.15. Senior Hunter Fonck was fourth (5:53.15), freshman Gavin Falcigno fifth (5:58.22) and freshman Aidan Hope seventh (6:30.67).

Law senior Justin Lazar was 11th in the 55-meter dash (7.96), Akhtar 12th (8.03), freshman Oliver Harrigan 15th (8.21), DiFederico 17th (8.93), Bergami 18th (9.18) and freshman Andrew Velasquez 19th (9.34).

Girls roundup: Law junior Sydney Simpson took first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.97. Sophomore Elly Van Waveren was second (8.23) and freshman Caden Simpson third (8.25). Senior Brooke Dillman took fifth (8.37), sophomore Demi Carrapico sixth (8.39), sophomore Elizabeth Roos eighth (8.51), junior Grace Kantor 11th (9.02), freshman Jessica Brocksom 13th (9.28) and senior Stephanie-Jo Mugford 14th (9.67).

Law senior Hannah Riscoll finished in 6:09.02 to win the 1600-meter run. Senior Alexis Voytek was third (6:39.48) and junior Emma Savoie fourth (6:48.99).

Law swept the long jump with Caden Simpson (13-09.50), Sydney Simpson (12-07.50) and senior Andriana Bruno (12-03.75).

Junior Emily Merenda won the shot put at 12-11. Sophomore Kalli Kinsman was second (21-07). Foran sophomore Mia Coppola placed third (20:07.25).

Law sophomore Eira Rodriguez took the top spot in the 600-meter run in 1:56.27. Junior Lauren Davis was second (1:57.08), senior Jordyn Konlian fourth (2:01.00), Roos sixth (2:10.11) and junior Allison Gacchi seventh (2:10.41).

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354