Berlin High School junior Catherine Voelpel placed third overall in New England in the 400 meters. In the process she lowered her school record time to an amazing 56.52.
Her time qualifies her to compete in the National Championships held in North Carolina this week. She will be competing on Friday afternoon.
"I was seeded sixth and I was hoping to beat my seed and finish higher than sixth," Voelpel said. "I have been around 57 seconds all year but I knew there was going to be really good competition and wanted to get down to 56 seconds."
She was the top finisher from Connecticut in the 400 meters and will be named All-New England.
It is believed that she is the first National Qualifier from the Girl's Track program in Berlin High School history.
My strategy was to get off to a good start but I thought I was slower than usual," Voelpel said. "At the 200 mark I start to pick it up and with 100 meters left I try to catch as many people as possible and drop my time."
The Nationals are in Greensboro, N.C. and Voelpel said she wouldn't miss it.
"I have worked since the beginning of the season, even the indoor season, so I can run the 400 meters my best in the big meets," Voelpel said. "Coach Soucy is awesome. He makes us all want to work so hard without even knowing it. He picks apart every part of every race for all the girls and does the math to help us lower our times.
"I was definitely happy with the season. We did pretty well indoors but we were all looking forward to outdoor season. We were so close and such good friends that it made for a great season. We worked hard on the 4x400 relay team and the 4x800 relay team and the 4x400 team made it to the State Open, which was great. We all surprised ourselves."
Piotrowicz Shines In Hammer Throw
Senior Kate Piotrowicz capped her career with a runner-up finish at the CT Hammer Throw competition on Tuesday. She improved her school record throw to 117-8 to tie for first place. When two throwers tie, the competition is decided by each competitor's second best throw.
"It was Kate's best finish and a great way to finish her career at BHS," Coach Steve Soucy said. "Kate finishes as the record holder in the discus and hammer throw."