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ECC Championship: Centaurs finish 4th at Coast Guard

It was a surprise to many when the Eastern Connecticut Conference announced recently that the league’s indoor track championship meets were going to be held at their traditional site, the Coast Guard Academy in New London.

The site was scheduled to be undergoing refurbishment but the ECC, which had originally planned to journey to the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven for the championships, was allowed to utilize the Coast Guard facility on Saturday for both the league’s Division I and II championships.

“I was surprised and there are pros and cons to the venue,” said Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch. “The odd length track often means odd length relays so no chance to qualify (for state competition).”

For example, the 4x800m relay is a 4x720m at Coast Guard and the 4x200m is a 4x180m.

A good thing did happen Saturday as the league did figure out a way to run a normal 4x400m and that was good for the Centaurs quartet of Owen Tracy, Joel Koleszar, Carter Saracina and Charles Caggiano who qualified for States in 3 minutes, 54 seconds in the Division I competition.

Woodstock Academy sophomore Christian Menounos had another fine day.

He finished second in the 1000m in 2:41.20 which put him just 3 ½ seconds off the school record.

He also finished second in the 3200m and ran a strong 800m leg in the sprint medley relay.

“He had a great day and showed he’s ready to do big things at States,” Welch said.

Jared Eaton also had a good performance as he finished second in the shotput with a personal best 47-feet, 3 ½ inches.

“He’s edging closer to qualifying for Nationals for the shot and he’s been getting big throws with a lot of consistency now,” Welch said.

Eaton is just 8 ½ feet away from qualifying for Nationals.

Senior Liam Wilcox also had a strong day as he finished fourth in the high jump, clearing the bar in a personal best 5-6. He also placed fourth in the 55m hurdles.

The performances helped the Centaurs finish in fourth place overall in the ECC Division I competition with 48 points.

East Lyme was far and away the best team in the field as the Vikings amassed 149 points to take home a first-place finish.

The state championship meet is next on the agenda for the Centaurs.

The boys compete on Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. in the Class M state championship at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

Twenty boys will make the trek to New Haven for that competition.