Stephen Vento won the 1,600 and finished second in the 3,200 by a hair to lead Weston's boys track team to a fourth place finish at the South-West Conference track and field championships Tuesday night at Bethel High School.
Weston also won the 4 x 400 relay with Paul Philpott, Chris Piscatelli, David Stankiewicz and Jack Steinharter. Brookfield won the meet with 121 points, followed by Newtown with 89 and Oxford with 84.
"We didn't come in with expectations of winning the meet,'' coach Lloyd Weinstein said. "We wanted to have some good individual performances, and we did that. We're ready to go for the state meets. It was nice to finish up with a win in the 4 x 400, and Stephen really gutted it out in both races."
In the 1,600, Vento pulled over the final 200 meters to win in 4:20.52. Brookfield's Spencer Mannion took second in 4:22.54. Newtown's Jake Feinstein overtook Stankiewicz for third. Stankiewicz ran 4:23.48.
The 3,200 was even more spectacular. Vento again made his move on the final lap and took a lead heading into the final 100 meters. Feinstein charged ahead, and this time Vento answered. The runners were side by side for the final 50 meters, with Feinstein winning by a threadbare margin at the tape. The Newtown runner finished in 9:38.99, with Vento second in 9:39.00.
"I didn't know if I had it or not,'' said Vento, a senior bound for UConn. "I tried leaning at the end. I gave it everything I had."
Weston blitzed the field in the 4 x 400, winning in 3:29.71. Weinstein was also pleased with the 4 x 800 relay, which finished third with an all-underclassmen lineup of Brad DeMarco, Jensen Frost, Noah Krassin and Sam Rueben. They ran 8:15.02. Newtown won in 8:10.82, followed by New Fairfield in 8:13.34.
Weston's other highlights included a second in the 800 from Stankiewicz, a third in the 400 from Philpott, a fourth in the 3,200 from Krassin and Larry Cass, who finished fifth in the shot put. Complete results are available online at mysportsresults.com
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