Postseason roundup: Whalen leads bevy of Bears honored after outstanding track season

Postseason roundup: Whalen leads bevy of Bears honored after outstanding track season



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STONINGTON — Cam Whalen finished his stellar Stonington High athletic career with his third All-New England honor of the high school season.

Whalen’s fifth-place finish in the 110 hurdles at the New England championships at the University of New Hampshire assured him of the honor.

During the indoor track season, he was All-New England in the 55 hurdles with a second-place finish at the New England championships. In the fall, he was named All-New England for the Bears soccer team as a defender. Stonington finished the season 19-1-1.

“He had a great season. Over the course of the year he broke the school record in the 110 [hurdles], the 300 [hurdles] and the 4x400. He was really close in the 100,” said Ben Bowne, who coaches the Stonington boys and girls teams with Jeff Parkinson. “He was willing to make the sacrifices to be great and he made some tough decision concerning things outside of school.”

Bowne said Whalen was a great finisher.

“He was exceptional after hurdle two or three. At the State Open, he hit hurdle six and lost his balance. He was still able to recover and get back into position to tie for second, and was .03 seconds out of first,” Bowne said.

Whalen was first-team Class M All-State after winning the 110 and 300 hurdles at the state meet. He was also on the winning 4x400 relay team with Rhys Hammond, Joey Hinckley and Blake Edwards.

Whalen, who run for Central Connecticut State University next season, was first-team All-ECC Division II in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and the 100. He won both the hurdles races at the ECC championships.

Shane Smith was Open All-State after winning the decathlon. Smith, a senior who will compete for Southern Connecticut State University next season, was All-ECC Division II after winning the pole vault at the league championship meet.

“In my 15 years of coaching, I am most proud of what Cam and Shane did this season,” Bowne said. “Riding back from the decathlon as a sophomore, Shane talked about how he wanted to win it as a senior. He put in the effort. He worked hours after practice when everyone else went home.

“The effort that Shane, Cam, Blake Edwards and others put in this season set such an example for our team.”

Hammond, a sophomore, was first-team ECC Division II in the 800. Hammond was second at the ECC championships behind Windham’s Alex Korczynski. His time of 1:53.96 at the State Open is the school record. He finished sixth in that race, and joined teammate Chase Flynn as the only sophomores competing.

He was second in the 800 at the Class M meet, once again trailing only Korczynski.

Connecticut was loaded in the event this year. The Open champion, Ken Little of Derby, also won the New England title. Three of the top four finishers at New Englands were from Connecticut.

“Rhys was 10th in the nation for 10th grade,” Bowne said. “Our state is very, very good in mid-distance events with lots of elite performances.”

Hinckley, Hammond, Chase Flynn and Edwards were first-team ECC Division II in the 4x400 after winning the event in a meet-record time (3:27.28) at the league championship meet.

Sophomore Greyson DelGrosso was first-team ECC Division II in both the discus and javelin. DelGrosso was third in both events at the ECC championships, but was the top Division II performer.

Flynn, Hammond, Max Wojtas and Blake Edwards were first-team ECC Division II in the 4x800 after placing second at the league championship meet.

Justin McKenna was first-team ECC Division II after placing fourth in the long jump at the ECC championship meet.

Stonington finished 3-2 during the dual-meet season and was second at the ECC championships. The Bears were second at the Class M meet and seventh at the State Open.

Five Stonington athletes competed in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, N.C.

Ben Abely won the sporsmanship award and Edwards the scholar-athlete award.


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