Xavier boys track beats Windsor by half a point to win Class L title, Windsor girls win sixth straight

NEW BRITAIN – The possibility of winning was becoming more than a thought for the Xavier boys track team with about four events remaining in the Class L track championship at Willow Brook Park Thursday afternoon.

Xavier coach Chris Stonier knew the Falcons would do well in the 3,200 meters, the penultimate event, and they did, finishing in three of the top four places. It would come down to the last event, the 4×400 meter relay.

Windsor had led most of the meeting. Windsor had the top-seeded relay team. Xavier had to finish fifth. If the Falcons could do that, they would win by half a point.

“We picked up a few extra points in the discus, we got second and fourth, and the triple jump, all three guys were a surprise and the math started to add up,” Stonier said. “We have a lot of respect for Windsor. I knew if they got perfect results in the 200 and the 4×400, they would finish with 124 ½ (points). What they did. Even then they didn’t budge an inch.”

Windsor won the 4×400 in a meet record of 3:19.78. Xavier finished fifth. Xavier scored 125 points, half a point more than Windsor, to win its second straight Class L outdoor track title.

“It was our best performance of the year on our biggest day of the year,” Stonier said. “We knew we were the underdogs and we thought if we left today with second place, it would be a win against this great Windsor team.”

The Windsor girls won their sixth straight Class L title, which eased the pain a bit for Windsor coach Kelvan Kearse.

The Windsor track and field team won its sixth straight state championship in Class L on Thursday at Willow Brook Park.  (Photo by Lori Riley)
The Windsor track and field team won its sixth straight state championship in Class L on Thursday at Willow Brook Park. (Photo by Lori Riley)

“One (team) will get a big plaque and one will get a small plaque and hopefully the guys will get something to match that on Monday (at the State Open),” Kearse said. “They will definitely take action.

“That’s what it is. Just wait for the Open. Tell everyone to be ready. Buckle up. We’re coming. For real.”

Xavier senior Hunter Feitel, who won the pole vault on Thursday, led the 4×400 team.

“On paper they had us everywhere,” Feitel said. “Our coach always says that miracles happen. Sometimes crazy things happen at state meets. Some children excel under this pressure. I think we are one of those teams.

“It was incredible to see everything come together. We were halfway through the match and we looked at our triple jumper, he was sneaking in points, we looked at the discus – we said, ‘This is great.’

Senior Samuel Forte was a dual winner (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles) and was part of the 4×400 relay. Jack Ouellette won the 3,200 and his teammates, John Martin and Owen Martin, placed second and third, the event that tipped the race in Xavier’s favor. Oliver Guzy won the long jump and Xavier won the 4×800.

Meanwhile, Windsor broke meet records: Seniors Maxim Copeland (21.26) and Taeshawn Berry (21.38) both broke the Class L record in the 200 and did the same in the 400, with Copeland winning in 47.38 and Berry finishing second in 47.69. The 4×100 relay team broke the meet record, along with the 4×400 relay.

The Windsor girls also broke records en route to their victory over runner-up Hall, 129-84. Senior Kareema McKenzie, who will run at Brown next year, broke her own state record in the 300 hurdles (42.64), won the 100 hurdles (14.43) and helped the 4×100 team set a meet record (47.42 ).

“It feels good,” she said. “We all worked very, very hard.”

She felt sorry for the boys’ team. It would have been nice to go home with two titles.

“Half a point, only half a point,” she said sadly. “They did their best.”

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