Connor with Coaches

Camden High School senior Connor Dean has earned lots of athletic accolades during his high school career. On Saturday, June 10th, he added one title that has been long-awaited to close out his high school career: State Champion.

Dean captured his first state title in dramatic fashion in the pentathlon at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships held at Middletown High School’s Faller Field Complex on Friday, June 9th, and Saturday June 10th. With a total of 3,498 points, he was the New York State Division II Champion, as well as the New York Federation Champion as the top scorer in the field regardless of classification.

Connor’s total of 3,498 points is a school record.

The Pentathlon is a challenging and grueling test of endurance and all-around athleticism. It consists of five events: The 110 meter high hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, and 1,500 meter run. Points are awarded on a scale based on an athlete’s top mark in each event.

Dean had to rally on the second day of competition to secure the win. On the opening day of competition, he placed eighth in the hurdles scoring 688 points. He notched a third place finish in the high jump with 644 points off a 1.82 meter clearance, and rounded out the day with a solid fourth in the shot put, throwing his best attempt 11.86 meters for 598 points. 

That trio of events left him with some work to do to secure the title, as he sat in fourth place with two of his stronger events remaining. 

Connor led the field in both events to make up the deficit to the competitors in front of him and secure the state championship. He topped the board in the long jump at 6.55 meters to snag 709 points and sit just 41 points off the lead. He finished the job with an outstanding winning effort in the 1,500 meter run. His time of 4:13.20 was clear of Pentathlon runner-up Jaden Bisono of Goshen by almost 21 seconds, and his event total of 859 points locked up the state and federation titles. 

Impressively, his 4:13.20 meter 1,500 time converts to an approximate time of 4:31.86 at 1,600 meters. That time would have placed him 29th in the state in the Boys’ 1,600 meter championship. 

He caps off the season with three Section III Class B1 titles, and additional school records in the 400 meters, triple jump, and long jump. 

Coach Nate Donaleski says that while his achievements are impressive, his character stands even taller. 

“Athletic achievements speak for themselves,” Donaleski said. “Everybody knows Connor is a State and Federation Champion. Everyone can read his 5 school records on the recordboard. Connor's greatest achievement though? His ability to make those around him better, coaches included. The boys' track team was very close to 1st place this year at Sectionals and Connor is a significant reason why.  Connor is an excellent example of what a high school athlete should emulate. His leadership, mentorship and ability to motivate his teammates are unparalleled.  I'll of course miss Connor's ability to score 40 meets at an invite, but I can speak for all the coaches that we will miss Connor as a person the most.”

After graduation, Connor has his sights set on studying sports management and competing collegiately for head coach James Lemieux at Division III Utica University. Throughout that chapter of his career, Connor will have a familiar face working by his side. CHS graduate Zach Jones ‘08 is an assistant on their coaching staff.