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2021 H.S. boys' track and field preview capsules

ECC Division I

East Lyme

Coach: Steve Hargis (10th season)

Key returnees: Jr. Luke Anthony (distance, middle distance), Sr. Fisher Macklin (distance, middle distance), Sr. Magnum Brandt (distance, middle distance), Sr. Ben Rukundo (distance, middle distance), So. Lucas DeNucci (sprints, jumps), Jr. Blake Harris (hurdles, jumps), Jr. Will Anglin (sprints, throws, jumps), Sr. Chris Carpenteri (sprints, throws, jumps), Sr. Ben Gandenberger (sprints, throws), Nick Vogel (hurdles, jumps).

Top newcomers: Fr. Kai Ritz (distance, middle distance), Fr. Nathan Bergman (distance, middle distance), So. Brendan Fant (distance, middle distance, jumps), Fr. Jeremiah Jean (sprints, jumps), Fr. Mathew Leone (sprints, jumps), Fr. Noam Sokolovsky (sprints, middle distance, jumps), Jr. David Semnoski (throws).

Outlook: The Vikings have talent and depth in the distance and middle-distance events and plenty of versatility despite fielding a relatively young team. More than anything else, however, Hargis said, "We're looking forward to some normalcy."

Fitch

Coach: Rich Kosta (32nd year)

Key returnees: Jr. Thomas Williams (sprints), Jr. Thomas Forde (distance), Jr. Carson Riley (distance), Sr. Fernando Coreas (sprints), Sr. Om Patel (hurdles), Jr. Raj Bokhiria (distance), Sr. Noah Brown (throws), Sr. Simon Chidley (distance).

Top newcomers: Jr. Gavin Asciolla (sprints, jumps), Sr. Cornell Jones (jumps), Jr. Ben Chidley (distance), So. Nimyai Gamboa (sprints). Jr. Kyrol Kershaw (sprints, jumps).

Outlook: Kosta has some concerns about the jumping and throwing events after a year off. "You just don't do a lot of triple jumping and javelin throwing in your backyard," he said. But the Falcons did take advantage of the indoor season to work on their running events and the shot put, which he expects to pay off this spring. Several athletes "took full advantage of that time and are ready to lead us into a successful outdoor season."

Ledyard

Coach: Tim Strong (1st season)

Key returnees: Sr. Mitchel Ahlborn (jumps), Sr. Mason Bickham (throws), Sr. Christopher Evans (pole vault, distance), Sr. Ryan Kinney (pole vault), Sr. Blake McLeod (middle distance), Sr. Damen Rivera (throws), Sr. Luke Wiers (jumps), Sr. Jonathan Regondola (sprints), Jr. Nick Washington (sprints), Jr. Connor Doran (middle distance), Jr. Christopher Houdeshell (pole vault, distance), Jr. Emren Victorino (hurdles), So. Jackson Poulton (sprints, jumps, throws).

Top newcomers: Sr. Owen Lessing (distance), Sr. Jonathan Malave (throws), Jr. Albert Franck (distance), Jr. Braedyn Caouette, Jr. Tucker Carly, So. James Green (sprints, jumps), So. Auguste Estriplet (distance, sprints, hurdles), So. Lebron Maurice (sprints), So. Roman Streckfuss (sprints), So. Dylan Makuchowski (throws), So. Jonas Regondola (hurdles), So. Chris Washington (sprints).

Outlook: Strong, who was ready to take over the program a year ago before COVID-19 canceled the 2020 season, can't wait to get started, especially with a roster of 55 athletes that includes a tremendous blend of youth, experience and talent. "We look to score points in all events," Strong said. "We will rely on our depth this season."

NFA

Coach: Tom Teixeira (5th season)

Key returnees: Jr. Dangelo Aristilde (sprints), Jr. Jordan Ribeiro (throws), Sr. Max Davidson (pole vault, javelin), Sr. Peyton Ramsey (distance), Jr. Maxson Pierre Louis (jumps), Jr. Michaelly Luc (middle distance, jumps).

Top newcomers: Sr. Joe Klick (throws), Jr. Wens Ducael (sprints), Jr. DeAndre Sewer-Chesseboro (throws), So. Ethan Manfredi (distance), Sr. Zach Cotner (pole vault), So. Jeremiah Paul (sprints), Jr. Grover Boone (sprints, jumps), Sr. Anthony Harris (jumps), Sr. Nick Koniecko (sprints), Jr. Dante Gigliotti (throws), Jr. Jeff Delphin (sprints, jumps).

Outlook: Graduation cost the Wildcats four athletes who set school records – Osaretin Osagie (hurdles), Jacob Bazinet (pole vault), Andrew Cote (middle distance) and Nazaiah Paul (sprints) – so there will be some growing pains, although Teixeira has strong leadership and an infusion of talented multi-sport athletes to keep the Wildcats an elite ECC program. "NFA's diversity looks to be its great strength," said Teixeira, noting athletes from seven different fall and winter sports teams will compete this spring.

Stonington

Coach: Ben Bowne

Top newcomers: Sr. Ethan Allen-Fernandez (sprints), So. Josiah Blackman (sprints), Fr. Eamonn Brady (throws), Jr. John Cannella (distance), So. Oliver Cooke (middle distance), Fr. Burton Corley (throws), Sr. Luke Costanzo (throws), Sr. Elias Dahl (distance), So. Anders Dahl (distance), Jr. William deCastro (middle distance), So. Sergio de Oliveira (distance), Sr. Dante DiMartino (distance), Sr. James Furtado (sprints), Jr. Phoenix Glaza (sprints), So. Jackson Gothie (distance), So. Ryan Gruczka (distance), Fr. Ethan King (sprints), Jr. Anthony Marchigiano (throws), Jr. Sam Montalto (sprints), So. Joshua Mooney (sprints), Jr. Chris Mooney (sprints), Jr. Jason Morse (middle distance), Jr. Chris O'Dell (distance), Jr. Ryan Orr (distance), Sr. Luke Panciera (throws), Sr. Cameron Rose (throws), Jr. Gavin Rudzinsky (sprints), Sr. Anthony Sanquedolce (throws), Jr. Will Sawin (middle distance), Fr. Henry Sawin (distance), Jr. Benjamin Stamm (pole vault), Jr. Lucian Tedeschi (sprints), Fr. Ryan Turner (sprints), Sr. Roland Van Duine (throws), Jr. Steven Wilk (sprints), Sr. David Wing (throws), Sr. Brian Worth (throws).

Outlook: The Bears have great depth in virtually every event, which will come in handy after missing an entire season and moving to a new division in the ECC that includes East Lyme, Fitch and NFA. Gruczka had a strong cross country season and is one of the conference's best distance runners and Stonington features several multi-sport athletes to keep them competitive in the ECC and at the state level.

Waterford

Coach: Jay Criscuolo

Key returnees: Sr. Sam Menders (jumps), Sr. Sean Corman (distance), Sr. Christian Hightower (jumps).

Top newcomers: Jr. Evan Childs (throws), So. Evan Piotrowski (jumps).

Outlook: The Lancers lack depth and must develop some sprinters to balance out the relay teams, but they do return some quality, most notably Menders, who won the 2019 Class MM state championship in the triple jump and is the school record holder. Corman, an accomplished cross country runner, also ran in the states.

ECC Division II

Bacon Academy

Coach: Steve Browning

Key returnees: Connor Wilcox (distance), Justin Kelsey (sprints), Ryan Moores (distance), Peyton Adams (jumps), Scott Kardys (hurdles).

Top newcomers: Peter Walsh (throws), Jake Martino (throws), Dan Blanda (distance).

Outlook: The Bobcats return some talent in the distance events, jumps and throws but are still in the process of adding depth throughout the lineup. "The team is still fairly young," Browning said, "and we will need to develop in order to make an impact in the ECC."

New London

Coach: Kysim Thompson (1st season)

Key returnees: Marquise White (hurdles, middle distance), Jahryn Harkness (hurdles, sprints), Daniel Duperval (throws), Jack Britt (middle distance), Roodley Merillo (middle distance), Jamal Theodore (jumps, sprints), George Senat (throws), Jaylen Callender (jumps, sprints), Carlos Silva (jumps, middle distance).

Top newcomer: Fabian Vallate (jumps, middle distances).

Outlook: Thompson, assisted by Natalie Bowens, takes over the Whalers this season, and has an experienced group with plenty of depth except for the distance races. That depth will allow New London to put together solid relay teams and the ability to score points in several events.

ECC Division III

Griswold

Coach: Cory Tobler (1st season)

Key returnees: Sr. Devon Chykow (sprints), Jr. Tyler Farwell (throws)

Top newcomers: So. Jacob Strain (middle distance, high jump), So. Lucas Strain (middle distance), So. Michael Strain (middle distance).

Outlook: Tobler takes over at Griswold following a year off and expects some growing pains. Chykow and Farwell provide experience and the Strain triplets have competed at a high level in cross country and will be strong in the middle-distance events for the Wolverines, who hope to be competitive within the division and qualify several athletes for the state meet.

Lyman Memorial

Coach: Brandon Strout (1st season)

Key returnees: Sr. Shane Franson (distance), S. Eamonn McMahon (distance), Sr. Nick Barrett (middle distance, jumps), Jr. Justin Thuotte (sprints, jumps).

Top newcomers: Sr. Dylan Lucey (sprints, jumps), Sr. Andrew Archer (sprints, jumps, hurdles), So. Max Hussey (distance, javelin), Jr. Grayson LeMay (middle distance, distance), Fr. Kyle Franchi (middle distance, jumps).

Outlook: Strout begins his first season with a large roster, some solid experience and several newcomers who are multi-sport athletes for the Bulldogs. "With a larger roster than past years," he said, "and many motivated athletes, it looks to be a fun season with a lot of opportunity for team and individual success."

Montville

Coach: Tim Egan (26th season)

Outlook: Egan is still settling on his roster for the spring, but said, "After a year off it is next to impossible to make too much in the way of predictions about this upcoming season. Let's just say we are happy to be back out there and will take it very slow, look to improve and be thankful for the opportunity to be back at it."

St. Bernard

Coach: Bill Schwarzenbach (8th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Martin Arvidson (long jump, hurdles), Sr. Brendan Hird (middle distance), Jr. Aidan Jakubielski (sprints, high jump), Jr. Josh Porterfield (sprints, high jump).

Top newcomers: Jr. Nathan Belchik (sprints, high jump, shot put), Jr. Ian Gonzalez (distance), Fr. Colin Britner (distance), Fr. Jason O'Donnell (distance), Fr. Luke Brannegan (middle distance), Fr. Lucas Ranelli (sprints).

Outlook: The Saints will be forced to rebuild with only four returning experienced athletes in the program. Newcomers Gonzalez and Britner will be factors in the distance events in their first seasons while Belchik shows promise in the shot and high jump. Schwarzenbach also expects big contributions from veterans Porterfield, Jakubielski and Arvidson in multiple events.

Others

Grasso Tech

Coach: Beth Wallace (4th season)

Key returnee: Michael Richard (sprints, javelin).

Top newcomer: Nicholas Stavesky (distance).

Outlook: The Eagles, a member of the Connecticut Technical Conference, will have a rebuilding season, but Richard provides experience in the sprints and javelin and Wallace is excited about the addition of Stavesky, who had a strong cross country season in the fall and will run the distance events this spring.

Norwich Tech

Coach: Catherine Sikorski (3rd season)

Key returnee: Sr. Matt Surprenant (throws)

Outlook: The Warriors enter the Connecticut Technical Conference season in a rebuilding mode after missing out on the 2020 season, but the turnout is better, and Sikorski expects to improve as the season progresses.

Old Lyme

Coach: Steven Bushnell (28th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Aiden Powers (sprints, middle distance), Sr. Gabe Lavoie (sprints, jumps), Jr. Drew St. Louis (pole vault, triple jump, throws), Jr. Nevin Joshy (sprints, jumps).

Outlook: The Wildcats won an abbreviated Shoreline Conference indoor championship and return the bulk of that team, but Bushnell is particularly excited about large, promising freshman and sophomore classes. "With a solid and strong core of upperclassmen," Bushnell said, "and the potential of the large group of newcomers the team should continue to improve."

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