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North Branford Indoor Track Already Qualifies Athletes for States

The T-Birds' indoor track teams have seen strong performances in two early season meets.

The competed in the Shoreline Developmental Meet on Dec. 13th at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. The T-Birds saw success in the relays and beyond.

The boys’ 4x800 team B of Kevin Walker, Bernie Cermola, Chris Olsen and Ryan Proto took fifth (9:24.7) to edge North Branford’s A team of Zack Augur, Jason Conforte, Sean O’Connor and Alex Raffone, which was sixth (9:26.7). The 4x200 team of Rob Martino, Bobby Miller, Corey Onofrio and Andrew Sarmento placed third (1:40.1) and the SMR team of Proto, Cermola, Marc Fillion and Raffone came in fifth (9:24.7).

The 4x200 team of Miranda Jassil, Jordan Miket, Natalie Baughan and Katelyn Plantera placed third (1:56.8), while the 4x800 team of Sarah McDonald, Chelsea Meagher, Megan Rabuffo and Marissa Bale were seventh (11:59). The SMR team of Marissa Bale, McDonald, Sara Olsen, and Rachel Sokolff placed ninth (5:05.8).

In the individual events, Martino led the way with a first-place finish in the 55-meter dash (6.6), along with Rocco Morgan, who took top honors in the shot put (40-2) with Jordan Rippe in second (38-0 ½).

The girls’ team was led by Rachel Boyers, who won the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.4, took seventh in the long jump (13-7 ¾) and placed eighth in the pole vault (5-6). The T-Birds were strong in the 300 behind Jassil (3rd, 45.9), Miket (6th, 46.7) and Baughan (8th, 45.9). Bryana Saroka placed fourth in the high jump (4-4).

Other strong finishes for the boys’ team were turned in by Onofrio in the 55 (3rd, 6.8), Miller in the 300 (3rd, 38.9), Walker in the 1,600 (13th, 5:05.6) and Michael Cermola in the long jump (10th, 16-8) and high jump (11th, 5-0).

The girls’ team also saw contributions from Leah Martino in the 55 (12th, 8.4) and McDonald in the 1,600 (10th, 6:15); while finishers in the shot put were Alexis Johnson (6th, 23-8 ½), Jaimy Rippe (7th, 23-2 ½) and Stephanie Sileo (8th, 23-2 ½).

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The T-Birds then competed at the 10th New Haven Invitational Track and Field Meet on Dec. 16 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. Schools entered in the varsity meet were from many of the top programs in the state.

Both North Branford’s boys’ and girls’ teams qualified with the boys entering four relays and three individual events and the girls entering five individual events and two relays. 

Martino was the top competitor for North Branford, taking second place in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.62 seconds. Boyers placed ninth in the 55 hurdles at 9.73 seconds and 14th in long jump at 14-8 ½. Morgan placed 11th in the shot put (42-1 ½) followed by Jessica Wharton in 17th (28-2). These performances earned each of these athletes a spot in the Class S State Championship.

Two relays also qualified for states as the 4x200 team of Martino, Miller, Gary Falanga and Sarmento took 11th (1:41.18) and the 4x400 team of Matt Edwards, Ryan Proto, Bernie Cermola and Falanga was sixth (3:49.06). The girls’ 4x200 team also qualified as Miket, Baughan, Olsen, and Pantera finished 12th (1:59.11).

Other finishers on the boys’ side included the 4x800 team of Proto, Walker, Cermola and Sean O’Connor (14th, 9:12.04); the DMR team of Augur, Olsen, O’Connor and Raffone (13th, 12:47.83); and Conforte, who had a time of 11:18.25 in the 3,200.

For the girls’ team, competitors included the DMR team of McDonald, Meagher, Rabuffo, and Bale (13th, 15:11.4), Pantera with a personal record of 4-6 in the high jump and Jassil, who clocked 29.52 in the 200.  

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