Many dreams of a state title were dashed during the week.
In Somers, hopes for a Class S softball title ended in the semifinals against Terryville.
For East Catholic, those dreams died in a 1-0 loss to Seymour in the semifinals. The run was only the second allowed by East Catholic senior Allyson Fournier since April.
For Somers, which finished 19-5, it was the final game for JoJo Meunier, Shelby LaDue and Kayla Stetson. The Spartans can be encouraged that they went as far as they did with only three seniors but one of them was Meunier, who was a dominant presence on the mound all season.
For East Catholic, the semifinal loss was the final game for Fournier, Shannon Klock and Julie Maloney. The Eagles will be left to wonder what might have been all summer after squandering early opportunities to score before Fournier finally surrendered a run in extra innings.
But both teams should take comfort from looking back instead of what might have been.
Somers journey through the tournament could have ended in the first round, which was a 1-0 victory over Old Lyme. East Catholic (19-5) won close games throughout the tournament, including a 1-0 win over Griswold in the quarterfinals.
Tolland sophomore Katie Sprout was one of only three sophomores to win an event at the State Open earlier this week. Sprout won the 300 meter hurdles by the slimmest of margins over Manchester junior Arianna Rivera. Sprout finished the race in 45.37, which was .01 faster than Rivera. Rockville junior Kelly Walker was third.
The nice thing for track fans is that all three are coming back, which should set up a nice rivalry for next year. Rivera, it should be noted finished third in the heptathlon.
One of the other two sophomores to win individual events at the Open was Manchester native and Northwest Catholic-West Hartford student Sarah Gillespie who won the 800 and 1,600 meters.Gillespie set a new meet record in the 1,600, finishing in 4:49.89, which beat the time of 4:50 set by Glastonbury’s Lindsay Crevoiserat in 2010.
Windsor did not get the State Open track championship it hoped for but the Class L champs got first place finishes from its 4x400 relay team of Sydnee Over, Brianna Allen, Nastasya Rodriques and Ashley Graves.
Over is a sophomore but the others are seniors and were able to close their high school careers with a first place finish.
Windsor also won the 4x800 behind Keniece Walker, Rodriques, Medinah Nabadduka and Over. Rodriques is the only senior on this team, which offers evidence that the Warriors will be strong once again next year.
Those looking to the future will also do well to keep an eye on E.O. Smith freshman Amy Taintor, who finished 10th in the 400 meters at the Open. Taintor was one of a handful of freshmen to crack the top 10 in any event. The difference between a high school senior and a high school freshman is marked, which marks Taintor’s accomplishment as a positive sign for her and the Panthers.
The future is brighter in some towns that weren’t ready for the State Open this season. East Windsor has Melanie Byrne, a sophomore who competes in hurdles and triple jump, back for two more years and Windsor Locks can expect more from Amanda Kulas in the pole vault.
Out in Enfield, the Raiders can look forward to having Patience Bearse, Tiara Johnson, Rachel Kaliff and Jennifer Novak for another season.
Suffield can be excused for wonder what might have been had they avoided Granby until later in the Class S lacrosse tournament. The two teams played each other four times this season and each won two.
Unfortunately for Suffield, one of Granby’s wins came in the Class S quarterfinals.
One wonders if the matchups had been different whether Breanna Lowe, Molly Clark, Katie Shute, Grace Presnick, Emily Sweeney and company would be playing in the finals today instead of Granby.