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Class L indoor track: Hall’s Siciliano wins shot put title; Windsor girls, Xavier boys win team titles

NEW HAVEN – Anna Siciliano played volleyball and basketball for most of her life. Until her sophomore year, when she tried out for a club volleyball team in the spring and got cut.

Her mother was a thrower in high school. Maybe Anna could try it, go out for the Hall outdoor track team?

“What’s throwing?” Siciliano asked her mom.

Siciliano, a Hall senior, knows all about throwing now. She won the shot put title Saturday at the Class L state championship indoor track meet at Floyd Little Athletic Center with a throw of 41 feet, 5 1/2 inches, breaking the meet record by almost 2 1/2 feet.

Siciliano has come a long way from last season, when she threw 34-9.5 to finish third in Class L and 38-7.5 to finish second in the State Open. She won the Class LL title as a sophomore but struggled last season, finishing second at the Class L outdoor meet (34-11.5) and 12th in the State Open (33-10).

“What changed the most for me was my mindset,” said Siciliano, who will throw at Yale next year. “Last year, I was so scared of throwing short, of not living up to my own expectations. I was scared of the other girls, of competition. The more I would throw and have these moments of failure, the more I realized I have to get a grip on this mentally.

“Coming into this year, I said, ‘This is my season. I want to win.’ Everybody in track is so scared of the ‘What if.’ ‘What if I throw short?’ ‘What if I fail?’ And the ‘What if?’ happened to me.”

Siciliano changed her throwing method so that was also a matter of adjustment. This season, it all came together. She threw a personal best of 42 feet at the CCC championships.

Now she’s glad she was cut from volleyball.

“The throwing bug bit me,” she said. “I wanted to keep working, keep throwing harder.

“I thought, ‘This is the best feeling in the world, and I want to keep chasing it.’”

Xavier wins third straight Class L title

Xavier’s school record board got shuffled around Saturday, but a familiar name would be back on the wall after the Class L meet.

Pole vaulter Hunter Feitel’s father Bryan held the school long jump record, which was broken Saturday by Oliver Guzy, who won the title with a jump of 23-3 3/4. Bryan set the record in 1986. One of his teammates set the pole vault record that year as well and Saturday, Hunter broke that, winning the event with a vault of 14-6 which also helped Xavier clinch its third straight Class L championship, 95-81 over Bethel.

“On one day, Feitel got removed from the list and added right back on,” Xavier coach Chris Stonier said.

“The last couple vaults were just incredible,” said Hunter, a senior who won the event for the third time. “Something clicked.

“We were looking a little iffy, but we pulled it out in the last couple events.”

Other winners for Xavier were Jack Larkin (3,200) and Jack Ouellette (1,600) and the 4×800 relay.

Windsor girls win ninth straight title

The Windsor girls won their ninth straight title, edging E.O. Smith, 75-66.

“We lost a lot of girls off last year’s team and we barely beat them last year, so it was going to be hard,” Windsor coach Kelvan Kearse said. “We had six seniors who scored high. The whole 4×400 (relay) graduated, the 300 and the 600 (runners) graduated. We’re sneaky young.

“But they really stepped up and it made all the difference in the world.”

Senior Kareema McKenzie won the 55 hurdles, breaking the meet record (8.31) with a time of 8.23 seconds and also won the 300 meter title in only her third 300 of the season. McKenzie was also part of the 4×200 relay team that broke the Class L record with a winning time of 1:44.46.