Shepaug’s Sean Parker shines at CIAC indoor championships
Parker outclassed the field by nearly eight seconds and turned in a winning time of 9:43.76.
“The Class S race was a good win,” Parker said. “I focused on going out at the pace for a 9:00 3,200 to see how it felt since one of my main goals by the end of high school is to run under 9:00.”
Parker now has state titles in the fall and winter seasons after capturing the Class S cross country title in October.
“Sean is continuing to improve this season with a strong performance at the Class S meet running away from the field for the win,” Shepaug indoor track coach Tara Flaherty said.
The win at the Class S meet qualified Parker for the State Open where he finished sixth in 9:31.54.
“I would say that the Open wasn't the result I was hoping for but it was definitely a good learning experience moving forward,” Parker said. “I've never raced in a track event that had so much talent, so I got out of position early and had to work my way up.
“It gave me an idea of the type of competition I'll be facing at New Englands and Nationals later this year. Even though I was hoping to be in the top three and run under 9:20, I'm proud of the 6th place finish.”
Parker’s sixth place finish at the Open qualified him for the New England Championships. He has also qualified for the 5000 at Nationals and will be trying to qualify for the 3,200 at New Englands. The 5,000 at Nationals is Friday, March 10, and 3,200 is Sunday, March 12.
“I'm aiming for top 6 in 5000, which would be all-American,” Parker said.
Parker, who is looking at going to either UConn or Columbia next fall, will be running for Shepaug this spring, mainly focusing on 3,200. He says the Spartans are also trying to put together a fast 4x800 team to defend last year's Class S championship.
“Sean followed up his Class S performance with a battle at the State Open,” Flaherty said. “There was a tight pack of seven athletes for much of the race with a fair amount of josteling throughout the race. With his 6th place finish Sean qualified for New Englands.
“Sean has also qualified for New Balance Indoor Nationals in the 5K with his performace at the Yale Invitational earlier in this season. Sean's grit and determination are key factors in his success as a distance athlete.”