Shelton boys track and field team off to 5-0 start

The Shelton High boys track and field team improved to 5-0 on Tuesday after defeating host Hamden 96-56, North Haven 108-50 and Daniel Hand 97-66.

Coach Michael Gambardella's Gaels continued their winning ways after defeating Xavier (95-47) and Fairfield Prep (114-27) two weeks earlier. Michael Barone, Tony Branca and Kevin Block are assistant coaches.

The Gaels are led by their senior captains: Matt Bean, David Samedi, Ed Radzion.

Coming off an injury, top-flight 400 meter runner Bean has been building up to his usual race. Bean won the 200 sprint versus Prep and Xavier with a 23.2. He ran a 23.4 to win versus Hamden, North Haven and Hand.

Samedi has been a steady point producer as well, winning the triple jump and the 110 hurdles against Prep and Xavier, with a second place in the high jump. Samedi again won the triple jump in the quad meet with a jump of 38-09, with second-place finishes in the high jump and the 110.

Radzion, the defending State Open shot put champion, won the shot and discus against Prep and Xavier. He took second place against Hamden, North Haven and Hand as Mike Burchel, his arch nemesis from Daniel Hand edged Radzion out in both events. Those two will get several more chances to go toe to toe at the Sectional, SCC's and State Opens.

A new strength of this Shelton team is the sprinting group.

Bean and junior Sean Sirisouk lead a speedy group that have scored a ton points thus far.

The 4x100 squad of junior Camerin Gumbs, sophomore Michael Rodia, Sirisouk, and junior Nicholas Andrade won the event at both meets with times of 45.0 and 44.1.

Gumbs took a second with Rodia in third in the 100 versus Prep and Xavier, with freshman Rafael Gomez closely in fifth place with an 11.6. In the quad meet, it was Michael Rodia's turn to take the field as he won the 100 with a brisk time of 11.3. Gumbs was a tick behind with an 11.4.

In the long sprints, junior Zach Muller took a second place against Prep and Xavier with a 54.6. Gumbs took the silver in the quad meet with a 53.7. Senior Khaleed Dawkins took fourth and third place, respectively, in those meets with times of 55.6 and 55.8.

The Gael distance runners have also produced well in the first two meets.

Multi-school record holder and National qualifier Robert Dillon is back for his junior season, and he leads a talented group of underclassmen.

Dillon won the 1600 and anchored the Gaels winning 4x400 team versus Prep and Xavier, while winning the 3200 and anchoring the winning 4x800 team in the quad meet.

Junior Tyler Pineau won the 3200 versus Prep and Xavier. He started off that winning 4x800, as well as a third-place finish in the mile at the quad meet.

Junior Josh Sacoto won the 800 against Prep and Xavier. Another junior, John DeRosa, took a third at the quad meet in the 3200.

If the Gaels can vie for another division, sectional, or conference title, they'll need to find points in the field events, and their early season performances are promising, despite some lousy weather conditions.

Led by captains Samedi and Radzion, Shelton has racked up top three finishes in the field.

At their first meet, freshman Bhavik Badshah took a third in the 110 hurdles. Sophomore Stephen Ibekwe was second in the triple jump. Andrade was second in the long jump. Sophomore Giorgio Ghazal won the javelin with a 151-0. Senior Robert Wood was second with a 140-08.

Sophomore Zach Prindle won both the 300 hurdles and high jump. In the quad meet, Prindle took thirds in the high jump and 300 hurdles.

The Gaels take their undefeated record back home for another grudge match with longtime rival, the Amity Spartans, Tuesday at Finn Stadium They will host the Brendan Murray-led Cheshire Rams on Thursday, April 26.