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May 25—EAST LYME — With the scoring spread out among just six teams at Monday’s Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I track and field championship instead of divided among all 18 ECC teams the way the meet was organized before COVID-19, the points kept ping-ponging skyward.

The Stonington High School boys’ team finished a cool first, second and third in the 110-meter hurdles early in the meet to score 24 points and pull within four and a half points of eventual champion Norwich Free Academy. The next event, the 100 meter dash, yielded 28 points for NFA, springboarding the Wildcats back to a 31.5-point advantage.

“I’m so happy to be here,” said NFA coach Tom Teixeira, whose team won its fifth straight ECC title after a year off due to the pandemic. “(The meet) is moving along like crazy. I’m just grateful that we’re here. They’re pretty young. There are not a lot of seniors out here scoring.”

NFA finished with 196.5 points to second-place Stonington’s 132. East Lyme was third with 124.

The East Lyme girls’ team, meanwhile, eclipsed the 200-point mark and kept going, accumulating 224 points to break a three-year winning streak for rival NFA. NFA, under coach Kara Kochanski who was in her 19th and final ECC meet, having announced that she will step down after this season, was second with 144 points and Stonington was third with 125.

“It’s fun,” longtime East Lyme coach Carl Reichard said of the smaller meet. “A meet of this size, I think more kids are engaged. It’s been exciting. I really like it. NFA has had some elite performances today, elite performances. Stonington has had some strong performances and some surprises.”

Dangelo Aristilde, a junior, led the NFA boys with wins in the 100 (11.63 seconds), 200 (23.62) and as a member of the Wildcats’ 4×100 relay (44.11).

He won the same three events last week in NFA’s 85-65 dual meet victory over Stonington to decide the ECC Division I regular-season title, with the Wildcats finishing unbeaten in the league at 5-0, and predicted that win would give the team confidence headed into the ECC meet.

The NFA boys also got wins Monday from Jordan Ribeiro in the shot put (51-5) and discus (126-1), Max Davidson in the pole vault (13-0) and Max Pierre Louis in the high jump (6-4).

Stonington’s Josh Mooney won the 110 hurdles (15.31 seconds), 300 hurdles (40.57) and javelin (152-1), leading the 1-2-3 finish in the hurdles that included his brother Chris Mooney in second place and teammate Phoenix Glaza in third.

East Lyme’s Luke Anthony (1,600, 3,200) and Waterford’s Sam Menders (long jump, triple jump) each won two individual events, while East Lyme’s Noam Sokolovsky was first in the 400 and as a member of the Vikings’ 4×400 relay.

Josh Mooney was named the meet’s Best in Track and Menders honored as Best in Field.

“It’s been a lot of fun today,” Aristilde said. “I came in here with a really strong mindset to get three wins. I have a very strong and confident mindset because I know the work I put in every day. We came in here with a strong mindset and executed our game plan. In the ECCs, states, I would take everyone on my team. We had our whole 4×100 team in the final (of the 100).”

East Lyme’s girls’ team got wins in the 100 hurdles from Ashley Zelesky and from her sister Danielle in the 300 hurdles, as well as from Sophia Seguin (triple jump), Savannah Soleau (shot put) and Sjodin Fedikovich (javelin).

NFA’s Jasmyn Bransford (100, 200) and Eliana Duclos (1,600, 3,200) as well as Stonington’s Lila Rich (high jump, pole vault) each won two individual events. Duclos was named Best in Track and Rich took the Best in Field honor.

“Everyone has to try to do their best,” East Lyme’s Danielle Zelesky said. “(The opposing teams) keep coming, they keep winning. It made us do a lot better.”