FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Prep’s Christian Alvarado won the 3200 meters and Fairfield Warde’s Cate Allen took second in the girls 1600 meters to highlight performances by Fairfield athletes at Tuesday’s State Open indoor track and field meet.
Alvarado won the 3200 meters in 9:24:58, while Allen took second in the 1600 in 4:58.74. It was the first time under five minutes in the distance for Allen, and 10 seconds faster than her winning time at the Class L championship meet Feb. 15.
Alvarado, who finished second in the 1600 to Staples’ Henry Wynne on Saturday, focused on the 3200 for the Open. He was among the leaders for the entire race, and battled Newtown’s Jake Feinstein over the final 300 meters.
Feinstein made several attempts to overtake Alvarado, who held off the challenges each time. Alvarado pulled away in the final 50 meters while defending champion Feinstein settled for second in 9:26.23.
Alvarado said the quick turnaround after competing in the Class LL championships on Saturday was hard. “Running two hard races on Saturday took a lot out of me,’’ he said. “It was harder than I expected.”
Allen had her own battle in the 1600. She went into the final 200 meters running in the lead pack with Sarah Gillespie of Northwest Catholic and Westhill’s Claire Howlett. Gillespie maintained the lead, but Allen and Howlett waged a terrific battle.
The Westhill runner came up on Allen’s right shoulder several times and looked poised to pass her. Allen rebuffed each attempt, reaching the finish just .34 ahead of Howlett. Gillespie won in 4:56.8.
“It’s such a relief to get under five minutes,’’ said Allen, whose time is ranked 37th in the nation by the website MileSplit.com. “I’ve been trying to get under five minutes, and the competition really helped. It was great competition.”
Allen’s winter season got off to a strong start when she ran 5:07.71 for the mile at the Rhode Island Classic in December. But after running 5:03.98 for the mile at the Yale Track Classic in January, Allen’s times flattened out. She ran 5:08.81 in winning the 1600 at the Class L championships and 5:06.23 at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference meet.
“I was also doing the 4 x 800 relay, so I wasn’t sure where I was or what was going on,’’ Allen said. “This is a big drop. I’m really happy to get under five.”