Shelton High’s track and field program won the Housatonic Division twice on Thursday night, as both the Gaelettes and Gaels completed undefeated regular seasons with victories over Lyman Hall.
This was coach Jason Kymer’s fourth Housy title in a row for the girls, and when coach Michael Gambardella’s boys took their meet 91-59, it meant back-to-back Housy titles for his Gaels.
For years, the Amity dynasty ran amok in the Housatonic Division, and a leg injury forced Gambardella away from his team during last season’s title runs to the division and sectional titles. So this was the first official championship win in Coach Gambardella’s outdoor coaching career.
“As coach took his walk over from the scorer’s table, all the players started chanting — Gamby, Gamby, Gamby — and then they emptied water jogs on his head,” assistant coach Michael Barone said. “Coach was the centerpiece of the team’s victory celebration from there. Singing, dancing, speeches, and a ton of team pictures. The team made sure they enjoyed this one.”
The wins didn’t come easy, especially for the boys.
Lyman Hall was also undefeated going into the contest and had bested the Gaels during the indoor season for the sectional title. The spread was tight on paper, and it looked as if the teams would duke it out until the end.
After Lyman Hall swept both the boys & girls 4×800 relays, the Shelton 4×100 sprinters knew they needed some points and fast.
Fortunately for the Gaelettes, Elizabeth Herlihy returned to the girls relay of Jaclyn Perna, Kelly Hurd and Emma Wadeka to anchor the group with a 12.6 split and a come-from-behind victory in the final leg.
As for the boys, the combination of Camerin Gumbs, Michael Rodia, Sean Sirisouk and Nick Andrade ran a season best 43.7 to win.
Shelton’s muscle proved strong for the rest of the meet.
The Gaelette throwers took serious points with Yasmeen Dabiran and Samantha Norris leading the way.
Eddie Radzion won both shot put and discus, as senior classmate Michael Casinelli took the javelin for the boys. The Gaels swept both the shot put and javelin, while only allowing a second place in the discus.
The sprinters also continued their dominance.
Kasidy Quiles and Herlihy finished 1-2 in the 100 hurdles with Emma Wadeka winning the 100 dash and Herlihy first in the 200.
Michael Rodia and Erik Lorent finished 1-2 in the boys dash and David Samedi came in second in the high hurdles.
Shelton would push its advantage in the sprints, as Matt Bean and Camerin Gumbs finished 1-2 in the 400.
Heather Garrett took the girls race in the 400.
Though the Shelton teams may have muscled their way to a lead, it was the distance groups that secured victories for both teams.
Robert Dillon continued an undefeated streak of his own this year, winning both the mile and the 3200. Matt Richard (third in the mile) and Tyler Pineau (second in the 3200) also took extra points.
Juniors Alexandra Kenealy and Amanda LoMonte took the top two spots in the mile for the girls, while LoMonte and classmate Anna Weissenberg were first and second in the 3200. Maeve Sheldon was first in the 800.
Lyman Hall may have had some advantages in the boys jumping events, but Shelton athletes also fought for some points on the runways.
David Samedi won the long jump and took second in the triple jump.
Sophomore Zach Prindle also earned points in three events, including second-place finishes in the pole vault and and 300 hurdles and a third in the high jump.
As for the girls, Lauren Pawlowski won the pole vault yet again, this time with a high of 10-03. Another senior captain, Kelly Hurd, who won the 300 hurdles, was second in high jump with a leap of 4-08.
Pawlowski won the pole vault yet again, this time with a high of 10-03.
Yasmeen Dabiran won the discus.
Taylor Greene won the triple jump with a leap of 30-09.
Shelton will compete in the East Sectional Championships at Amity High on Monday. The JV Novice Meet is Thursday.