New Milford relay team qualifies for New England championship
The quartet raced to a season-best time of 9:30.08 and won the State Open title on Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The stellar time not only made the team eligible for the New England Championships but it also qualified the group for the Elite Level of the Indoor National Championships to be held in New York City in March. The New England Championships will be held at Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on Sunday.
“The 4x800 embodies team to another level. All of these girls were on the SWC soccer championship team together this fall and have an incredibly competitive spirit,” New Milford coach Ryan Fitzsimmons said. “They are used to competing as a group. Their top competition in Opens was Glastonbury, the same team who knocked the soccer team out of the state tournament run. This was motivation the girls have had in the back of their head all season. We will be taking this team to nationals in March.”
Fitzsimmons expects the 4x800 team to be a factor in Boston this weekend.
“We will see how the girls seed ends up with the other states, but they definitely have a good chance to win New Englands with a great performance,” Fitzsimmons said. “Their time and performance currently would most likely be a top five, but an improvement will put them in the hunt.”
Nahom also had some individual success as she challenged a group of high-caliber runners in the 1,600-meter race where she finished third and qualified for New Englands. Danae Rivers, of Wilbur Cross, who is heading to Penn State, won the event and Stanford-bound Hannah DeBalsi, of Staples, was second.
“Mia did beat Danae Rivers in the Class L meet, but that was not a tremendous upset. Mia is on the radar of the Connecticut coaches, she finished right behind Danae last year in both the 1,000 and 1,600,” Fitzsimmons sad. “She always runs competitively and runs her style of race, hitting the splits she needs and then closing strong at the end of the race.”
The girls team finished seventh in the Open in team scoring. The scoring favors higher finishes over many entries.
On the boys side, Stosh Davis finished fifth in a talent-heavy 3,200-meter run to qualify for the New England Championships.