Robert Dillon builds toward personal bests

Shelton High’s Robert Dillon needed rest after a stellar cross country season this fall.

Gaels boys indoor track and field head coach Jason Kymer didn’t use the distance runner in the first developmental meet, only running him in one event the next meet, and then building him back up through training and competition as the regular season came to a close.

One of these final tune-ups came with Robert’s 3000-meter race at the Yale Classic.

Dillon took full advantage of the great field and the banked track, as the junior paced himself faster than usual for what turned out to be a National qualifying time of 8:51.48.

The following week at the Coaches Invitational, Dillon anchored Shelton’s stacked 1600 sprint medley relay team of Camerin Gumbs, Sean Sirisouk and Matthew Bean to a third-place finish (3:41.53) at the state-wide invitational.

Ready for his first postseason meet, Dillon won the East Sectional Championships in both the 1000- and 1600-meter races and came in fourth in the 3200-meter run.

Dillon followed this epic triple at the SCC championships.

Dillon overcame cramping issues to place fourth in the 1000-meter run and second in the 3200 to earn 12 team points.

At Class LLs, Dillon anchored the team’s 4x800 relay, helping teammates Joshua Sacoto, Zach Muller and Tyler Pineau qualify for the State Open with a time of 8:31.86 and a fifth-place finish.

In the 3200, Dillon placed fourth with a 9:33.39, which he would best the following week at Opens. There, Dillon crushed his LL time with a 9:26.24, good for a personal best, a new school record and a sixth-place New England Championship-qualifying performance.

Dillon’s season will continue in Boston at the New England Championships and then at Nationals in New York City.