The Joel Barlow High boys indoor track team learned a hard lesson at the South-West Conference finals.
When it comes to winning a conference team championship, size does indeed matter. Although several Barlow athletes produced strong performances at the meet, the squad’s small size severely restricted the team’s total scoring.
Barlow 11th out of 12 teams in the standings with a total of 19 points at Hillhouse High on Saturday, Feb. 2. Weston won the title with 102 points, largely thanks to its sizable, well-rounded roster. New Fairfield was runner-up with 80.
The highlight of the meet for Barlow was senior Logan Fulton’s triumphant run in the 3,200 meters. The strong field, which included 2012 SWC cross country champion Jake Feinstein (who was runner-up) ultimately failed to match Fulton’s unforgiving pace.
Fulton methodically broke down his competitors, running a five minute first mile and a 4:44 second mile. In the end, Fulton crossed the finish line in nine minutes, 44.83 seconds, his best time of the season thus far. The win was Fulton’s first-ever SWC title in the event.
Following the race, Fulton commented that his legs were still “feeling the miles” from the weeks of high-volume training he has put in until this point. He said that he suspects his times will drop in the coming weeks, as he will cut down on mileage and prioritize intensity in his training program.
While he did not win his own race, senior Colin Rooney nevertheless enjoyed a strong showing in the 600. Rooney took fifth place in that event, clocking a new personal-best time of 1:28.07 in the process.
The 4×800 relay squad outdid expectations going into the meet by taking third place. Fulton, Rooney, junior Stephen St. Raymond, and senior Colby Johnson worked together to finish in 8:40.09 seconds. Fulton clocked the fastest 800-meter split in 2:03.
Head coach James Murray was unperturbed by the Falcons low finish in the team standings, choosing instead to focus on his athletes’ worthy individual performances. He characterized the group as “small in numbers but committed to training,” and expressed eagerness to observe how the Falcons will develop in the spring outdoor track season.
Select members of Barlow’s team will next compete at the state Class M indoor championships, which will take place today (Thursday), also at Hillhouse.