NEW BRITAIN - When Raven Jarrett runs her 100-meter hurdles races, she knows her strength typically lies in her final kick.
At Monday’s State Open meet at Veterans Stadium, the New Britain junior, seeded fifth in the race, once again relied on her finishing skills. In the last 50 meters, Jarrett was in a dead heat with Seymour’s Patricia Jurkowski and St. Joseph’s Kayla Clark, but her final push allowed her to surge past both to capture a second-place finish in 14.89 seconds over Jurkowski (15.14) and Clark (15.23) as Tess Stapleton of Fairfield-Ludlowe (14.10) won the event.
“I knew that in the finals I was gonna have to run against [Stapleton],” Jarrett said. “I was like ‘She’s my competition. I’m not worried about everybody else. They’re not my concern. I’m not worried about them.’ I said, ‘Even if I don’t come in first, I have to come in second.’ Everybody was together in the middle, and I was like, ‘They can’t stay with me.’ And I just pushed, and I kept going.”
When she was about 10 meters past the finish line, Jarrett happily twirled around, bouncing up and down with a smile on her face, later saying the second-place finish felt like she had won a first-place medal. Jarrett also finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.92 seconds.
“I have a bright future, and I’m only a junior,” Jarrett said. “Senior year I’m coming back even harder.”
Jarrett was also joined by fellow Hurricane Chaz Williams, who sprinted his way to a fourth-place finish in the boys 110-meter hurdles after a 15.04 finish in preliminaries. Williams also finished 18th in the 300-meter hurdles in 43.53 seconds.
“Chaz did a good job,” Jarrett said. “We’re both going to New Englands so that’s what matters.”
The Hurricanes also sent Rozaylnn Smith to the Open, and she finished 13th in the triple jump (34 feet, 10.25 inches).
Leading the well-represented Southington boys and girls teams were Trinity Cardillo and Sydney Garrison.
The duo once again helped the Blue Knights girls team to a top 10-finish. Last season, Southington won the girls State Open team title. This year, the program took seventh with 27 points, the highest of the local schools competing.
Cardillo tied Bacon Academy’s Natalie Rolon-Issa in the girls shot put with a best throw of 41 feet, 5.50 inches, but the Blue Knight lost the tiebreaker for a second-place finish. Cardillo scratched on one of her five throws while Rolon-Issa’s five throws were all clean. Cardillo also captured a fourth-place medal in the discus with a throw of 125 feet.
Garrison, meanwhile, finished third in the high jump after topping out at 5 feet, 4 inches on her second attempt of the day.
The Blue Knights’ 4x800 girls relay team (Jacqueline Izzo, Anny Moquete Volquez, Megan Wadman, Lauren Verrilli) finished with a fifth-place medal as it beat its season-best time (9:55.54) by nearly 20 seconds in the Open (9:36.18).
In individual events, Kate Kemnitz finished her season with an 18th-place spot in the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 28.87 seconds.
In the javelin throw, teammates Alexah Zaczynski and Alija Vega finished in the top eight, as Zaczynski had a throw of 111 feet, 9 inches for a sixth-place medal, and Vega finished eighth with a throw of 107 feet, 8 inches.
Leading Southington’s boys teams were Ryan Slesinski (800 meters), Elijah Rodriguez (110 hurdles) and Casey Selinske (pole vault).
Slesinski ran the 800 in 1 minute, 59.87 seconds for a 12th-place finish, and Rodriguez finished just outside the top eight in the hurdles, coming in ninth with a time of 15.28 seconds. In the pole vault, Selinske took 14th after clearing 12 feet, 6 inches, but came up short in his attempt at 13 feet.
Berlin was also strongly represented at the Open by Patricia Mroczkowski, whose second-place medal in the high jump was the Redcoats’ best performance of the day. The senior cleared 5 feet, 4 inches on her first attempt to take a tiebreaker over Garrison.
Also competing for the Redcoat girls’ teams were Noelle Konior (100 meters, 200 meters), Megan Perrotta (800 meters) and the 4x100 and 4x800 relay teams.
In the 100, Konior finished 23rd overall with a time of 13.09 seconds, and in the 200 she finished 16th with a time of 27.20 seconds. Perrotta ran a time of 2 minutes, 18.50 seconds in the 800 to come in eighth.
The Redcoats’ 4x100 team of Konior, Maxine Muscatello, Jessica Ingenito and Bailey Baclaski raced its way to a 13th-place finish in 50.59 seconds, while the 4x800 team of Madison Monroe, Alexa Monroe, Gabrielle Foster and Taylor Desmarais wrapped its season with a 16th-place finish in 10 minutes, 8.30 seconds.
Alexander Halkias (200 meters, long jump) represented the Berlin boys, racing to a 14th-place finish in the 200 with a time of 22.82 seconds, and he finished 10th in the long jump finals with a leap of 20 feet, 9 inches.
Sydni Spencer was Plainville’s lone athlete at the Open, and the senior finished with a fifth-place medal in the long jump with a top leap of 17 feet, 9.50 inches. In the triple jump, Spencer was at the top of Flight 1 and finished 12th overall (34 feet, 11.25 inches).
Newington’s Aslan Tate finished 14th in the long jump with his best jump of 20 feet, 2.50 inches.
Innovation had four individual participants and one relay team at the Open. On the boys side, the Ravens were led by Quentin Askew (800 meters), Anthony Corso (1,600 meters) and the 4x100 relay team (Malachi Bolden, Elijah Pouncey, Colby Gray, Lester Emanuel), while the girls were represented by Katerina Rodriguez (high jump) and Aaliyah Walker (triple jump).
Walker led the Raven athletes, capturing a third-place medal with a triple jump of 36 feet, 6.25 inches, and Rodriguez placed 19th in the high jump after getting 4 feet, 10 inches on her second attempt.
Askew ran the 800 in 2 minutes, 1.23 seconds to finish 13th, Corso finished the 1,600 race in 4 minutes, 34.39 seconds for 17th, and the relay finished 16th after a run of 44.48 seconds.
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org