H.S. indoor track / 2017-18 boys' and girls' preview capsules

Montville's Lauren Ross, left, and Waterford's Sophia Podeszwa are among the top hurdlers returning for the indoor track and field season. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Montville's Lauren Ross, left, and Waterford's Sophia Podeszwa are among the top hurdlers returning for the indoor track and field season. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

BOYS

ECC Division I

East Lyme

Coach: Steve Hargis (8th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Sam Highman (shot), Sr. Dylan Hatajik (sprints, jumps), Sr. Patrick Dowd (sprints, jumps), Sr. Joe Andrews (hurdles, pole vault), Jr. Akil Chilamkurthi (hurdles, pole vault), Sr. Ryan McCauley (middle distances), Sr. Riley Carr (middle distances), Sr. Nick Tricarico (prings), Jr. Dalton Franco (sprints), Sr. Ryan Taylor (hurdles, sprints), Jr. Sam Whittaker (distance).

Newcomer: Chris Abbey (distance).

Outlook: Highman and Hatajik (long jump) are reigning ECC Division I champions, plus Whittaker captured the ECC cross country title during the fall. The Vikings have the talent and depth to defend their ECC Division I title and make a run at the Class M state title.

Fitch

Coach: Rich Kosta (28th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Tom Readett (distance), Sr. Alex Schwindt (jumps), Sr. Adrian Albo (sprints), Sr. Julius Brown (sprints), Jr. Dan Gaiewski (distance), Jr. Ian Poe (distance), Jr. Ryan Powe (distance), Jr. Chris Holmes (hurdles, sprints), Jr. Marcus Cole (throws), Sr. Adrian Atad (shot), Sr. Dean Faulise (shot), Jr. Tyler Nelli (jumps, sprints).

Top newcomers: Sr. Tony Figueroa (sprints, middle distance), So. Ethan Alves (hurdles, jumps), Jr. Raymond Valentin (jumps), Jr. Cole Aristi (middle distance), So. Caleb Robbins (middle distance).

Outlook: Kosta loves the depth of this team, saying the Falcons have "a great combination of veterans and newcomers in all the disciplines on the track and in the field." That depth, along with a talented group of returnees, will make Fitch a threat in the conference and state meets.

Ledyard

Coach: Dave Tetlow (43rd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Will Burns (pole vault), Sr. Sammy Campbell (pole vault), Sr. Zak King (distance), Sr. Kyle Krupansky (hurdles, long jump), Sr. Nathan McCracken (middle distance), Sr. Ryan Morales (sprints), Sr. Preston Poulton (sprints), Sr. Nuriel Preciado (shot), Sr. Berkely Wachtmann (sprints), Sr. Collin Wiltshire (hurdles, jumps), Sr. Nick Whipple (shot), Jr. Travon Brown (sprints), Jr. Tyson Chrzanowski (middle distance), Jr. Ian Kamperschroer (middle distance), Jr. Leo Kowalski (shot), Jr. James Smith (sprints, jumps), So. Wesley Hughes (pole vault), So. Robbie Petriel (sprints), So. Harold Phillips (hurdles, jumps).

Top newcomers: Jr. Jahmik Devone (sprints), So. Ben Askew (sprints), So. Juan Garcia (distance).

Outlook: The Colonels must replace Herman Winston, The Day's All-Area Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, but there is plenty of talent returning. King is one of the ECC's top distance runners while Wiltshire is the reigning Division I 55-meter hurdles and high jump champion and Brown and Smith give Ledyard quality sprinters in relay and individual events. The Colonels should be competitive in the ECC Division I meet and hopefully makes some noise at the Class M state meet.

New London

Coach: Bob Castronova (7th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Steven Turner (sprints), Sr. Khalil Ramcharit (sprints), Sr. Jason Rivera (sprints), Sr. Derek Viets (distance), Sr. John Burnett (distance), Jr. John Mateo (distance), Jr. Luke Waterman (distance), Jr. Zach Skrabacz (sprints, jumps), So. Rashawn Wright (distance).

Newcomers: Jr. Jahri Marcus (sprints), Jr. Jahyde Marcus (sprints), Jr. Justin Martinez (distance).

Outlook: Casanova is thrilled with the numbers this winter, including the addition of the Marcus brothers, transfers from Florida. "We have to have greater depth and will be more competitive than last year," Casanova said.

NFA

Coach: Tom Teixeira (4th season)

Key returnees: Jr. Jahiem Spruill (jumps), Sr. Chris Weir (pole vault), Sr. Armstrong Alcius (jumps), Sr. Joshua Achille (distance), Jr. Daniel Chong-Cuy (distance), Jr. Mason Larkin (distance), So. Cruz Quintana (sprints), So. Lavery Hill (shot).

Top newcomers: Jr. Adelino DaVeiga (shot), Sr. Chris Hebert (throws), Jr. Johnathan Pierre (shot), Sr. Nathan Lieske (distance), So. Digby Ludlow (distance), Jr. Cameron Belton (springts), So. David Osagie (hurdles).

Outlook: Unlike a year ago, when the Wildcats were led by an elite group of senior distance runners (Nick Fitch and Brandon Mehlinger were among the state's elite athletes), Teixeira's latest edition will turn to a veteran cast in the field events. Weir is the reigning ECC Division I pole vault champion while Hebert and DaVeiga are strong in the shot put and Spruill is solid in the jumping events. NFA must develop some of its younger athletes in the sprints and distance events to challenge for conference honors.

 

ECC Division II

Montville

Coach: Bridget Buckley (2nd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Greg Clark (sprints), Sr. Nick Donnell (middle distance), Jr. Derek Strickland (hurdles), So. Jerrell Fitch (jumps), Sr. Ethan Rose (sprints), Sr. Daltyn Butler (sprints).

Top newcomers: Jr. Tyrone Mack (shot), Jr. Tyler Velazquez (distance).

Outlook: Clark is one of the ECC's top returning sprinters, qualifying for the fast heat in the 300 meters at the State Open, while Clark and Donnell were half of two very successful relay teams (4x200 and 4x400). Buckley said the Indians also have more depth this season, which should make them competitive at the conference and state levels.

St. Bernard

Coach: Bill Schwarzenbach (3rd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Jack O'Leary (sprints, jumps), So. Sean Power (distance), Jr. Robbie Justice (sprints).

Top newcomers: So. Billy Niles (middle distance), So. James Babinski (middle distance), Jr. James Light (middle distance).

Outlook: The Saints have solid numbers (20 athletes), but only five experienced track and field athletes, so gaining experience during the early invitational and developmental meets will be key. Schwarzenbach is encouraged by his group of middle distance and distance runners, which includes three newcomers.

Stonington

Coach: Ben Bowne (6th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Cam Whalen (hurdles), Sr. Steve DeVoe (middle distance), Sr. Blake Edwards (middle distance), Sr. Adam Gibbs (shot), Sr. Jason Kilcoyne (distance), Sr. Max Mueller (shot), Sr. Jake Mueller (shot), Sr. Hayden Parrilla (jumps), Sr. Jared Rudzinsky (hurdles), Sr. Shane Smith (multiple events), Jr. Ben Abely (sprints), Jr. Joey Hinckley (pole vault, sprints), Jr. Graham Johnstone (sprints), Jr. Martin Vernet (sprints), Jr. Max Wojtas (middle distance), So. Greyson DelGrosso (shot), So. Chase Flynn (middle distance), So. Rhys Hammond (middle distance).

Top newcomers: Sr. Nick Benjamin (sprints), Sr. Scott Miano (shot), Sr. Wade Post (jumps), Jr. Kyle Remmert (distance), So. Josh Curtin (sprints), Fr. Elias Dahl (distance), Fr. Ethan Allen-Fernandez (distance).  

Outlook: The Bears are the defending ECC Division II champions, getting individual titles from Whalen (55, 300, 55 hurdles) and the 4x720 team, of which three members return in DeVoe, Flynn and Hammond. They went on to finish fifth as a team at the Class M state meet. This year should be more of the same or better, as Bowne's team is stacked with talent in all areas. "With some of the best athletes in their respective events in the state, they should score in many areas at championship meets," Bowne said. Kevin Velez, a Wheeler High School senior, will compete with the Bears as a one-man team.

Waterford

Coach: Jay Criscuolo (5th year)

Key returnee: Sr. Shayne Beckloff (sprints).

Top newcomers: Jr. Sam Lenes (distance), So. Jalen Chappelle (hurdles, pole vault), So. Jared Lovell (hurdles), Fr. Aidan Pepin (distance), Jr. Hunter Halford (shot).

Outlook: The Lancers must replace ECC high jump champion Devon Craig, and will be rebuilding behind a group of newcomers that include a number of solid freshman.

 

Others

Old Lyme

Coach: Courtney Baklik (6th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Ethan Harris, Sr. Trevor Wells (distance), Sr. Sam Roth (distance), Sr. Ryan Tetreault (sprints), Sr. Kyle Myers (sprints), Sr. Evan St. Louis (shot).

Top newcomers: So. Will Bartlett (distance), So. Sammy Owen (sprints).

Outlook: The Wildcats are lacking depth, but have some qualify athletes that will be strong in individual events and team up for a some competitive relay teams in the Shoreline Conference.

 

GIRLS

ECC Division I

Fitch

Coach: Sean Berg (2nd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Madison Powe (sprints, jumps, relays), Sr. Lily Johnson (sprints, relays), So. Abby Rogers (sprints, distances), Jr. Julia Adrian (distance, relays).

Top newcomers: Jr. Janaya Burley (sprints, relays), Aiyana Carter (hurdles, relays).

Outlook: The Falcons return Powe, The Day's All-Area Indoor Track Athlete of the Year after winning her third straight ECC Division I 55-meter dash title and the long jump. They also return three members (Powe, Johnson, Rogers) from their Class M runnerup 4x200 relay team. To be competitive within the division Fitch must continue to develop its distance and throwing units.

Ledyard

Coach: Dave Tetlow (43rd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Brooke Berlin (long jump), Sr. Averie Greeley (distance), Sr. Sophie Keefe (shot), Jr. Abby Campbell (sprints), Jr. Cassidy Carroll (shot), Jr. Jade Dessaint (distance).

Top newcomers: Sr. Delaney Gagnon (shot), Sr. Isabelle Hammar (shot), Sr. Isabella Uttley-Rosado (pole vault), So. Olivia Crawford (hurdles, sprints), So. Abby Millbach (hurdles, sprints), Fr. Katelyn English (distance, relays), Fr. Teia Lee (sprints), Fr. Madison Leyko (sprints).

Outlook: The goal, as always, is for the Colonels to bring a group to the State Open and New England meets, and Tetlow likes his mixture of experienced athletes and newcomers as they prepare to compete at a high level in ECC Division I and Class M.

New London

Coach: Bob Castronova (7th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Bianca Irizarry (sprints, jumps), So. Carra McWilliams (sprints).

Top newcomers: Sr. Genesis Tejada (distance), Sr. Tajanay Piontowski (distance), Sr. Christelle Attis (sprints), Jr. Array Munoz (sprints), Jr. Marissa Parker (shot).

Outlook: The Whalers remain a work in progress, both Casanova is encouraged because the team has grown from three to 12 athletes this winter.

NFA

Coach: Tom Teixeira (4th year)

Key returnees: Jr. Allyson Lewis (jumps), Sr. Anna Lewis (shot), So. Paige Martin (pole vault), So. Madison Martin (pole vault, distance), Jr. Leah Mikkelson (pole vault), Sr. Angela Chong (pole vault), So. Emma Grace Ricketts (distance), Sr. Sydney Kupis (distance).

Top newcomers: Fr. Kayla Park (distance), Fr. Catie Shannon (distance).

Outlook: The Lewis sisters and Martin sisters return to give the Wildcats talent and experience in the jumps, shot put and pole vault, while Teixeira is really excited about his distrance runners led by Ricketts and freshman Park and Shannon. NFA, for one of the rare times, has a small senior class, so the Wildcats will be building for the future while staying to remain competitive in the conference.

 

ECC Small Division

Montville

Coach: Bridget Buckley (2nd year)

Key returnees: Jr. Mady Whittaker (distance), Jr. Lauren Ross (hurdles, jumps), So. Alexis DeLucia (middle distance), Sr. Katelin Price (sprints), So. Alexandria Peck (sprints), Sr. Sheyenne Gillis (jumps, hurdles).

Top newcomers: Jr. Haley Kerwin (shot), Fr. Elie Bowman (distance), Fr. Maddie Gould (distance).

Outlook: Whittaker is the reigning ECC indoor 600 champion and won the ECC cross country championship earlier this fall, so she will be a threat in all distance events. Ross brings experience to the hurdles and jumps, as does Price in the sprints, so the Indians will be a factor in the ECC Division II meet after finishing third last winter.

St. Bernard

Coach: Raymond Forrester (4th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Christina McCaffrey (sprints, relays), Sr. Mia Londregan (sprints, jumps relays), Sr. Alicia Crespo (sprints, jumps, relays), Sr. Brooke Paradise (sprints, shot); Sr. Sarah Forrester (springs, jumps, relays), Jr. Bridget Feeley (sprints, relay), So. Allison Codner (sprints, jumps, relay), So. Hope Geise (sprints, jumps), So. Taina Quinones (sprints, relays), So. Sophia Duhig (distance, relays), So. Bridgid Kunka (distances, relays), So. Victoria Hannaford (sprints, relays), So. Bella McClure (sprints, relays).

Top newcomers: Sr. Alani Encarncion (sprints), Sr. Angela Abraham (sprints), Jr. Meghan Bergeron (sprints), Jr. Claudia Pascal (sprints), So. Addie Marcille (sprints, shot), So. Natalie Cruz (sprints, shot), So. Lauren O'Donnell (sprints, shot), So. Francesca Lupo (sprints), Fr. Rachel Kunka (distance, relays), Fr. Serena Britner (distance, relays), Fr. Emily Hart (sprints).

Outlook: The Saints will be led by a pair of seniors coming off ECC All-Star performances in fall sports — McCaffrey (cross country) and Londregan (soccer). They also hope strength in numbers allows them to be more competitive in the conference in Class S state meets.

Stonington

Coach: Ben Bowne (6th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Halle Anderson (hurdles), Sr. Lainnie Connor (sprints), Sr. Emma Diamanti (throws), Sr. Liz Gray (distance), Sr. Lexi Woviotis (sprints), Jr. Jess Detwiler (middle distance), Jr. Keegan Donahue (pole vault), Jr. Holly Foster (middle distance), Jr. Alex Jeffson (hurdles), Jr. Hannah Lamb (jumps), Jr. Caroline Morehouse (distance), Jr. Lindsey Orr (distance), Jr. Julia Rich (middle distance), Jr. Emma Sabadini (middle distance), Jr. Emma Small (middle distance), Jr. Lucy Sternberg (sprints), Jr. Daisy Williams (middle distance), So. Kate Reagan (sprints), So. Lily Anderson (distance).

Top newcomers: Sr. Trinity Lennon (sprints), So. Gwen Anderson (sprints), Fr. Vanessa Benjamin (sprints), Fr. Kaleigh Bolduc (sprints), Fr. Megan Detwiler (middle distance). 

Outlook: The Bears have a great deal of depth from the 300 all the way up to the 3,200 meters and should have no problem scoring points. Two years ago, Stonington won the Division II team title, but fell short last year, finishing second to Griswold. Bowne's team would like to reclaim the top spot, as well as aiming for a top-five finish in Class M.

Waterford

Coach: Jay Criscuolo (5th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Zora LaBonte (sprints, hurdles), Sr. Sophia Podeszwa (hurdles, sprints), Jr. Ellie Lokken (high jump, pole vault).

Top newcomers: Jr. Jenny Keth (sprints, long jump, pole vault), Jr. Julia Karlberg (hurdles), Sr. Bri Finnigan (sprints), Fr. Ella Dyjak (distance).

Outlook: LaBonte is the reigning ECC Division II champion in the 300 and Podeszwa is one of the elite ECC athletes in the hurdles and sprints. Criscuolo is really excited about a talented freshman class that they will begin developing for the future.

 

Others

Old Lyme

Coach: Courtney Baklik (6th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Julia Smith, Sr. Bianca Tinnerello, Sr. Maddie Ouellette, So. Faith Caulkins (distance), Sr. Casey Blue (distance), Jr. Danielle McCarthy (distance), Jr. Mackenzie Blue (distance), So. Chloe Cahill (sprints).

Outlook: The Wildcats will rely on a number of talented athletes from their state championship soccer team as they transition to track and field. Depth is an issue, but Baklik expects Old Lyme to have some strong performances within the Shoreline Conference.

Ledyard's Collin Wiltshire is the reigning Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I champion in the 55-meter hurdles and his back for his season season. (Tim Cook/The Day)
Ledyard's Collin Wiltshire is the reigning Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I champion in the 55-meter hurdles and his back for his season season. (Tim Cook/The Day)
Norwich Free Academy's Chris Weir, now a senior, was the Eastern Connecticut Conference indoor and outdoor champion in the pole vault as a junior. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Norwich Free Academy's Chris Weir, now a senior, was the Eastern Connecticut Conference indoor and outdoor champion in the pole vault as a junior. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

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