Gaels’ 4x200 relay qualifies for Nationals

The Shelton High boys indoor track 4x200-meter relay team competed at the New England Regional Championship held at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston on March 1.

The team, consisting of Tom Kane, Mike Ficano, Mike Pingree and anchor Kevin Block, was looking to again break the school record and to qualify for the National Indoor Track Championships in New York City on March 14 and 15.

The first goal was well within their reach, as they had already broken the school record twice this season. The school record was 1:36.87, set four years ago.

The relay team recorded a time of 1:35.98 at the Yale Invitational in January, following up a few weeks later with 1:35.62 at the state championship.

The second goal seemed much more difficult. The boys needed a time of 1:34.00 or better to qualify for the National Championships. An improvement of over 1.62 seconds seemed insurmountable.

The team was able to squeak out a nail-biting time of 1:33.99, shattering the school record and giving them a berth at the National Championships at the Armory Track in New York City on March 14. The relay squad placed 11th overall amongst the 36 best teams in New England, a tremendous improvement over its seed of 17th.

The National Championship will be the last race of the indoor track season, with outdoor track season starting in early April.