Torrington stars, Dylan Myrie and Alexis Fox Look Forward to State Open Track and Field Meet
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
Two Torrington High School athletes look to write great endings to their indoor track and field seasons on Monday at the State Open.
The event will be held beginning at 4 p.m. at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
Junior Dylan Myrie hopes to repeat his scintillating performance at the state Class M meet, also held at the Little Center, where he won the long jump with a leap of 21-feet, 4-inches and finished fourth in the 55-meter dash. Junior Alexis Fox finished third in the shot put in the girls Class M meet with a personal best throw of 34-feet, 7-inches and will compete in the event at the Open.
Those performances came after superb showings at the Naugatuck Valley League indoor meet in New Haven, where Myrie was named the top field athlete after winning the long jump (21-feet, 4-inches), finishing fourth in the 55-meter dash, and being a member, along with fellow juniors Naseem Thompson and Will Wilson, and senior Dom Phengkaen, of the winning 4x200-meter relay team.
Fox also had a stellar NVL meet, capturing the shot put with a throw of 34-feet, 5-inches, almost four feet better than her closest rival, Mia Pinto of Seymour.
“I wish I had a team of kids like Dylan and Lexi,” said Torrington head coach Mike Tyler, as he helped prepare his two stars for the State Open this week. “They work hard and push themselves to be better. I can see both of them, if they continue to put the work in during the spring and indoor seasons, to be able to hopefully compete at the Division I level in college.”
Myrie’s long jump seeded him fourth in the competitive State Open, but only six inches behind the top seed.
“He’s hit 23 feet but he slightly fouled on the jump and it didn’t count,” said Tyler. “I think he has the potential to go farther. He is short by long jumper standards but he is so fast. He has speed and ups. You can’t even hear his feet when he runs. He has great explosion off the line and the ability to reach forward with his legs for extra distance on the landing.”
One of the 5-foot- 9-inch Myrie’s biggest goals is to top the Torrington record in the long jump, which is held by Adam Golembeski at 24-feet, 9-inches.
“I hit a personal best at the NVL’s and Class M meet and I think I can jump farther than that,” said Myrie. “I have the outdoor season coming up and anther year in high school to do both indoor and outdoor track and field to accomplish the goal.”
He’s also no slouch in the 55-meter dash where his personal best of 6.68 has him near the school record. He hit that time in the first meet of the indoor season at Southern Connecticut State University.
“The 55-meters really helps me with the speed and burst I need in the long jump,” Myrie said.
Fox also is chasing a school record. Her personal best of 34-feet, 7-inches trails the school mark of 37-feet, 11-inches set by Amy Weingart, and the junior will have to add more than three feet to catch the latter’s mark. But she is just starting to hit her stride as a shot putter after dedicating herself to indoor track for the first time this year (switching from basketball), and also has two seasons of outdoor track and field and one indoors to reach her goal.
“I went to a new technique this year and it took me a while to get it down,” she said “The shot put is all about the body’s torque and the timing of the throw. I’m working on getting stronger and more explosive.” She’s also thinking about adding the discus to her events.
“She has talent and dedication,” said assistant coach Mike Schieb of Fox. “With three more seasons to go she has a chance to hit the upper 30’s in distance.”
The fact that both Myrie and Fox have attained such heights is a testament to their dedication to indoor track, not the easiest sport in which to compete. Torrington has to train indoors unless the weather allows the team to get outside on the track (less than 10 times this winter). Team members have to run in hallways or share the gym with other sports.
But that didn’t stop the kids from coming out this winter. Tyler said 100 student-athletes signed up for the sport, 80 were on the team, and 60 finished the season by the time states rolled around.
“We don’t have the luxury of indoor facilities like a few schools do, such as Hillhouse, which uses the Floyd Little Athletic Center, and Glastonbury and Newtown, which have small indoor facilities but they help. That’s why those schools usually are at the top during the indoor season.”
Nonetheless, the Torrington boys finished fifth and the girls fourth at this year’s indoor NVL meet.
Some outstanding efforts beyond those of Fox at the girls NVL’s included a second place finish in the 1,600-meter sprint medley by the team of juniors Cara Baker, Aubrey Toribio and Ariana Santos, senior Gabby Vega, and sophomores Melissa Tran and Lili Palmer.
Toribio finished third in the 55-meter dash, Vega third and Santos fifth in the 1,000-meter run, and freshman Riley Silvia fifth in the 55-meter hurdles.
For the boys, joining Myrie as top performers for the Raiders were Naseem Thompson with a fifth place finish in the long jump and a sixth in the 300-meter dash, as well as the aforementioned 4x200-meter relay team.
Myrie, Thompson, Phengkaen and Wilson finished seventh in the 4x200-meter relay at the Class M meet,
“We have a lot of good young athletes,” said Tyler, “and I think they could really be something this spring and in 2018.”