2019 H.S. boys' outdoor track and field preview capsules

ECC DIVISION I

East Lyme

Coach: Steve Hargis (10th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Sam Whittaker (mid-distance, distance), Jr. Chris Abbey (mid-distance, distance), Sr. Noah Barnhart (distance), Sr. Matt Kung (distance), Sr. Rob Avena (mid-distance), So. Fred Rukundo (mid-distance, distance), Sr. Akhil Chilamkurthi (pole vault, hurdles, sprints), Sr. Makaih Olawale (jumps), Sr. Chris Gregor (jumps), Sr. Spencer Duthrie (throws, sprints), Jr. Josh Morton (throws).

Top newcomers: Fr. Johnny Zavaleta (sprints), So. Magnum Brandt (mid-distance).

Outlook: The Vikings look to build on their indoor success when they won the ECC Division I title and finished third in Class L. Whittaker and Abbey are two of the ECC's best distance runners. They finished second to NFA during the 2018 outdoor season and will need to develop their depth to challenge the Wildcats again this spring. Whittaker, Abbey and Kung comprised three-quarters of The Day's All-Area 4x800-meter relay last season. The ECC's revamped Division I includes the Vikings, Fitch, NFA and Woodstock.

Fitch

Coach: Rich Kosta (16th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Ian Poe (distance), Sr. Ryan Poe (distance), Sr. Chris Holmes (hurdles, throws), Jr. Tom Joyner (throws), Jr. Will Dentch (throws), Sr. Gideon McElroy (throws), Sr. Dan Gaiewski (distance), Jr. Ethan Alves (sprints, hurdles), Jr. Orlando Galarza (jumps), Jr. Keshav Garcia-Patel (sprints), Sr. Shea Kenney (mid-distance), Sr. Andrew Kerst (mid-distance), So. Fernando Coreas (sprints), So. Om Patel (hurdles), Jr. Nick Luther (pole vault, javelin).

Top newcomers: Jr. Johnny Cruz (hurdles, jumps), Jr. Ajia Brown (mid-distance, jumps), Fr. Thomas Forde (distance), Fr. Carson Riley (distance).

Outlook: The Falcons expect to be a factor in Division I with improved talent and depth in all areas. Joyner, The Day's All-Area pick in the discus, is the reigning ECC champion while Dentch placed fourth. The Poe twins and Kenney will score points in the distance events, and Kosta said Fitch has a young but talented group of jumpers and hurdlers.

Norwich Free Academy

Coach: Tom Teixeira (3rd season)

Key returnees: Sr. Cameron Belton (sprints, throws), Sr. Adelino DaVeiga (throws), Jr. Jack Bazinet (pole vault), Sr. Jahiem Spruill (jumps), Jr. Osaretin Osagie (hurdles), Jr. Justin Costick (jumps), Jr. Nazaiah Paul (sprints), Jr. Nathan Cote (distance), So. Aidan Croteau (distance), Jr. Dylan McGuire (distance).

Top newcomers: Jr. Andrew Cote (distance), Sr. Neville Tawdeen (sprints), Fr. Daneglo Aristlde (sprints), So. Max Davidson (pole vault), Fr. Marc Josephat (sprints), Jr. Austin Richards (sprints, jumps), Jr. Stephen Hyde (throws), Jr. Tyler DeVega (distance).

Outlook: The reigning Division I champs are loaded in the field events. Belton and DaVeiga both threw over 50 feet in the shot put during the indoor season while Spruill (long jump) and Osagie (110 hurdles) were All-Area picks last season and Bazinet won the ECC indoor pole vault title. Teixeira could be a threat in the conference and in Class LL if they develop track athletes to complement their proven field events performers.

 

ECC DIVISION II

Ledyard

Coach: Jose Sanabria (8th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Travon Brown (sprints), Sr. Tyson Chrzanowski (mid-distance), Sr. Adam Crawford (javelin), Sr. Jahmik Davone (sprints), Sr. Cole Dirico (hurdles, jumps), Sr. Ian Kamperschroer (mid-distance), Sr. James Smith (sprints, jumps), Sr. Patrick Templeton (sprints), Jr. Ben Askew (sprints), Jr. Ben Berlin (throws), Jr. Jaiden Bickham (sprints), Jr. Solaiman Chowdhury (sprints), Jr. Caden Foote (jumps), Jr. Juan Garcia (distance), Jr. Wesley Hughes (pole vault), Jr. Xander Hutchins (throws), Jr. Harold Phillips (hurdles, jumps), Jr. Simon Reichert (mid-distance), Jr. Jacob Roediger (distance), Jr. Alexander Warmus (mid-distance), Jr. Hunter Williams (throws).

Top newcomers: Sr. Andrew Bourguignon (throws), Sr. Eduardo Frias (sprints), Jr. Brayden Grim (sprints, jumps), Jr. Elliot Smith (jumps), So. Mitchell Ahlborn (jumps), So. Mason Bickham (throws), So. Christopher Evans (pole vault), So. Elijah McFerren (throws), So. Luke Weirs (jumps), Fr. Connor Doran (mid-distance), Fr. Andrew Harris (sprints), Fr. Christopher Houdeshall (pole vault), Fr. John-Emren Victorino (hurdles, jumps).

Outlook: Ledyard's only two losses last season were to Division I heavyweights NFA and East Lyme. The Colonels join New London, Waterford, Bacon Academy and Killingly in the new Division II and have the talent and depth to compete for a title. Sanabria said Ledyard returns 13 athletes who were state qualifiers in 2018 led by Brown and Smith who have been dominant in multiple events.

New London

Coach: Samantha Wasilefsky (2nd season)

Key returnees: Sr. John Mateo (distance), Sr. Luke Waterman (distance), Jr. Rashawn Wright (distance), So. Marquis Whyte (mid-distance), Jr. Clayton Smith (sprints), So. Jaylen Callender (sprints), Jr. Ralph Romulus (sprints, high jump), Sr. Jonathan Mondesir (sprints, mid-distance), Sr. Zehki Burgis (long jump, javelin), So. Daniel Duperval (throws), So. Jamal Theodore (sprints).

Top newcomers: Jr. Langston Paige (jumps, sprints), So. Rahtrel Perry (throws), So. Jack Britt (mid-distance), So. Jahryn Harkness (mid-distance), So. Jacob Joseph (mid-distance), So. Cristian Quinones (mid-distance).

Outlook: The Whalers also move into Division II this spring with high hopes. New London has more depth in the distance events while Whyte is coming off a strong indoor season (he qualified for the State Open in the 600). Romulus, Smith, Callender and Monedesir will score points in the sprints (Romulus will also be a factor in the high jump) while newcomer Paige has been a pleasant surprise in the jumps and Burgis looks strong in the long jump and javelin.

Waterford

Coach: Jay Criscuolo (7th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Kavyon Neghaban (jumps, sprints), Jr. Jared Lovell (hurdles), Jr. Jaylen Chappelle (hurdles), Jr. Michael Vincent (hurdles, sprints), Sr. Kumar Sharma (throws), Jr. Wilmar Diaz (throws), Sr. Sam Lenes (distance).

Top newcomer: So. Aidan Pepin (distance).

Outlook: Criscuolo was thrilled to see such a large turnout this spring and expects it to translate into improved success in the conference and at the state level. They have proven athletes in the sprints, jumps and hurdles and a couple of solid distance runners in Lenes and newcomer Pepin. Developing in the throwing events will be a focus this season.

 

ECC DIVISION III

Montville

Coach: Tim Egan (25th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Derek Strickland (hurdles), Sr. Tyrone Mack (throws), Sr. Rishi Lyer (distance), Sr. Julian Valdes (jumps), Sr. Marcus Velez (sprints), Sr. Zack Navarette (throws), Sr. Naseem MacIntosh (throws), Jr. Jerrell Fitch (jumps), Sr. Darrick Deveau (throws).

Top newcomers: Jr. Colin Nickerson (sprints), Jr. Alarcon Junior (throws), Jr. Tucker Doyle (sprints), So. Jacob Rose (sprints), Sr. Ashwin Kuruchi (jumps).

Outlook: The Indians must replace all four runners from its state championship 4x100 relay team and state runnerup 4x400 team, so Montville will be untested in those events and the individual sprints as it prepares for the new Division III setup that includes Stonington, Griswold, Plainfield and Windham. If Marcus Velez and newcomers Nickerson, Doyle and Rose step up to the challenge, Egan thinks the Indians can be a threat because they are solid in all other areas, particularly in the throwing events where Mack has surpassed 50 feet in the shot, MacIntosh was a state qualifier in the discus last year, Alarcon (shot) and Navarette (javelin) have experience and Deveau, fresh off the Class S heavyweight state championship in wrestling, will add depth in the shot.

Stonington

Coach: Ben Bowne (6th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Ben Abely (sprints), So. Ethan Allen-Fernandez (mid-distance), Sr. Mark Costanzo (sprints), So. Elias Dahl (distance), Jr. Greyson DelGrosso (throws), So. Nikhil Desai (distance), Sr. Luke Falcone (throws), Jr. Andrew Castagliolo (mid-distance), Jr. Chase Flynn (mid-distance), Jr. Rhys Hammond (mid-distance), Sr. Joey Hinckley (sprints, pole vault), Jr. Robert Lewis (hurdles), Jr. George Limberakis (sprints, pole vault), Jr. Sam Light (hurdles, pole vault), Jr. Justin McKenna (sprints), So. Chris Mooney (hurdles), So. JP Pereira (sprints), So. Cameron Rose (hurdles), Sr. Harrison Rose (jumps), Sr. Martin Vernet (sprints), Sr. Max Wojtas (mid-distance).

Top newcomers: Jr. Aidan Guilliani (throws), So. Sam Inthasit (sprints), Sr. Jeremy Lizotte (throws), Fr. Sam Montalto (sprints), Fr. Billy DeCastro (mid-distance), Fr. Jason Morse (mid-distance), Fr. Ryan Orr (distance), Jr. Robert Pont (throws).

Outlook: The Bears suffered some major graduation losses, most notably Cam Whalen — The Day's 2018 All-Area Athlete of the Year — but they remain one of the ECC's top programs after a dominant indoor season in Division II and will be the team to beat in in Division III this spring. Hinckley, Flynn and Hammond were part of the sprint medley relay team that competed in the nationals last June, Hammond remains one of the state's most accomplished distance runners and Stonington has talent and depth in virtually every event.

 

ECC DIVISION IV

St. Bernard

Coach: Bill Schwarzenbach (6th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Robbie Justice (hurdles, mid-distance), Sr. Dan Kelly (hurdles, mid-distance), Jr. James Babinski (distance), Jr. Sean Power (distance), Jr. Liam Power (mid-distance, throws), So. Jack Zachem (mid-distance).

Top newcomer: Jr. Nathaniel Avery (jumps).

Outlook: St. Bernard joins Lyman Memorial, Putnam and Tourtellotte in Division IV, where Schwarzenbach expects the Saints to be competitive. Avery has shown promise in the jumping events while Babinski and the Power twins are coming off solid indoor seasons and Zachem continues to improve. The team will be led by seniors Justice and Kelly, who will score in both hurdles and the middle distances.

 

OTHERS

Grasso Tech

Coach: Beth Wallace (2nd year)

Key returnees: Sr. James Burton (mid-distance, distance), Jr. Alex Potochniak (throws).

Top newcomer: Orin Dube (mid-distance, distance).

Outlook: The Eagles don't have great numbers and are rebuilding, but Wallace said the team is setting its sights on individual performances and performing well at the Connecticut Technical Conference championship meet.

Old Lyme

Coach: Steve Bushnell (25th year)

Key returnees: Jr. Trevor Wells (mid-distance), Sr. Thomas Pennie (mid-distance), Sr. Alexander William (distance), Sr. Casey Blue (mid-distance), Jr. Kyle Myers (jumps), Jr. Evan St. Louis (throws).

Outlook: The Wildcats' main strength is in the distance events as they get ready for the Shoreline Conference season. Bushnell said there are some promising freshmen who will get a chance to have an impact while Myers qualified for the Class S state meet indoors in the high jump and St. Louis gives Old Lyme an experience performer in the throwing events.

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