Track team hopes to keep momentum
Published 6:13 pm, Monday, April 9, 2012
The Staples boys outdoor track team hopes to carry its momentum from the indoor season.
Staples returns most of its athletes from the indoor team, which won the FCIAC Western Division, FCIAC, Class LL and State Open titles.
"Although we lost several top flight competitors to graduation, our success during the indoor season may serve as a springboard for the outdoor season, and we hope to be as successful as last year's team," Wreckers coach Laddie Lawrence said. "That may be a difficult task as the FCIAC and the State will have many quality teams contending for top honors. "
Working in Lawrence's favor is that he returns many top performers from last year's team. Staples was 10-1 last year, took second at the FCIAC championship and State Open and fourth at the Class LL championship.
The Wreckers lost 12 contributors from last year's team. They will especially miss distance runner Ben Aldrich, All-New England sprinters Raphael Ray, Jack Roche and Sean Gallagher and thrower Chris Coyne.
"Although we do have some pretty significant holes to fill in our line-up, there appears to be some noteworthy potential in many of the events," Lawrence said.
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Heil and Max Hoberman were All-American sprinters during the indoor season. Kyle Hoberman is a middle distance runner.
Hefnawy was an All-State pole vaulter during the indoor season. McConnell will compete in jumping events and the javelin.
"We have to keep our heads straight, be focused and do the right thing," Heil said. "I like the mindset going into the season. I'd like to see our team do well at FCIACs, Class LL and State Open and have personal bests all year."
Junior Henry Wynne is expected to be the team's top scorer. Wynne was an All-American during the indoor season and won all of his events during the champion season.
Marsh, Nolan, Payne, Russi and Cohen run in middle to long distance events. Bradeen, Mula, Caffrey and Lochoff are pole vaulters.
Davis Teran, Bradeen and Smith are jumpers. Teran is a middle distance runner and Rizzi is a sprinter and thrower.
Staples is bolstered by eight outdoor track newcomers. Seniors Zach Mitchell and Jack Gibson, juniors David Hoffman, Peter Rankowitz, Nick Kelly and Matt Wetmore and sophomores Peter Elkind and Bobby Jacowleff join the team.
"I believe some of these newcomers will have a major impact on our success," Lawrence said.
Mitchell was an All-American sprinter in indoor track and Gibson is expected to contribute in throwing events. Hoffman transferred to Staples this past fall and was an All-State sprinter during indoor track.
Rankowitz was a Second Team All-FCIAC selection in basketball and will be competing in jumping events. Kelly was an All-State football player and will be jumping and sprinting. Wetmore will be a thrower. Elkind is a middle distance runner and Jacowleff will compete in the hurdles.
"The overall season will be good, and we're training hard," Hefnawy said.
McConnell said, "We have to follow Laddie's lead. He knows how to train us and set up the right lineup. If we do it, we'll peak at the right time. Our depth is superb, and we're good at middle and long distances, led by Henry Wynne. Dean is one of the best pole vaulters in the state."
Following their experience this winter, most of the athletes know how to win, which will serve them well during the outdoor season. There are approximately 80 kids on the team.
"Outdoor track is not usually as good as indoor track because we lose a lot of runners, but this year, we gain," Max Hoberman said. "Winning titles during indoor track was huge because we now know we're one of the best teams in the state. When your confident, you think about being the best and that's what we do."
Kyle Hoberman said, "Winning states and State Open gave us motivation and momentum, but it's a new season with new events. We're focused on winning Class LL again, but we know it won't be easy."