Once again it looks as though the Bristol Central boys track team will be the best among those in the local area. They are returning from an unbeaten dual meet season, but with a revamping of the conference line-up the Rams will have to deal with Middletown, the state’s No. 1 Class L team last season, in the new CCC Patriot Division.
Bristol Eastern will hope to be in the middle of the pack if things go well, but it won’t be easy.
Terryville went over .500 last year and hopes to do so again, while St. Paul continues to work to raise itself up with a number of talented competitors.
Head coach: Tamara Stafford-Kirk (13th year)
Last year: 11-0, CCC South Blue champions
Key losses: Kaynan Conrod, Luis Medina and Sean Fitzgerald
Key returnees: Nigel West, Mike Guzman, Pat Kjornrattanawanich, Eric Knox, Elijah Ortiz, Matt Roy, Gabe Updegraff, Zack Bunker, Jamal Wynn, Adam Chawner, Jose Navedo, Hunter Peterson, David Bowes, Mark Petrosky and Ben Stafford
Outlook: “We have a quality group of athletes returning and a nice mix of newcomers,” Stafford-Kirk said. “With the CCC realigned again and Middletown back in our division, we look to battle them for the South Patriot title. They are defending Class L champions, so we need to hang with them.
“The return of Bowes, who qualified for the nationals on a relay and in the freshman 400, is huge. Peterson, West and Petrosky are coming off very strong indoor seasons and look to lead the team in sprints, jumps and distance. Elijah Ortiz is a strong contender in the hurdles, especially the 300 hurdles, where he placed fourth in Class L last season. Bowes, Roy, Ortiz, Kjornrattanawanich and Chawner were all-conference last season.
“Newcomers Dathan and Galen Hickey will make a huge contribution in jumps and sprints, as well as freshman Nate Deangelo in distance and Jalen Boxley, Jacob Salinas, Dom Ford and Orlando Baldwin in throws. Jose Ramirez and Devin and Pacifico Flores had strong cross country campaigns and I will be looking to them in the distance races.”
Head coach: Kyle Fuller
Last year: Finished ninth in the CCC meet
Key loss: Chris LeBeau
Key returnees: Harrison Dayton, Felipe Rodriguez, Joe Hardin, Ben Wadowski, Brendon Gale, Drew Daughinee and Andrew Consalvo
Head coach: Jim Husbands (9th season)
Last year: 1-11
Key losses: N/A
Key returnees: Anthony DiPietro, Eric Langland, Vinnie Penissa, Jake Sanzone, Christian Sturm and Jacob Thibodeau
Outlook: “A strong group of senior boys should help the team be competitive in many events, but the overall lack of depth will limit our success in conference dual meets,” Husbands said.
“Christian Sturm is the defending state champion in the hammer and should repeat. He will also be competing in the shot and discus, with the discus being a potentially good event for him in duals and invitationals. Vinnie Penisse already holds the school record in the pole vault and is shooting to top 12-0 this season, which will put him near the top of NVL vaulters.
“Eric Langland showed great potential last year in his first season throwing the javelin. With continued improvement he, too, could challenge for All-NVL status. Jake Sanzone has a goal of breaking 50 seconds in the 400 and if he is successful All-NVL and All-State honors could be a result.
“The rest of the team will be young, primarily freshmen and sophomores, which might bode well for the future.”
Head coaches: Jeff Foulds and Chris Perkins
Last year: 5-4
Key loss: Mike West
Key returnees: Adam Pelz, Corey Picard, Bailey McCann, Garrick Webster and Chris DeForest
Outlook: There will be the usual suspects like Northwestern and Nonnewaug fighting for the top spot in the league. It will come down to who brings their best when they meet during the season and at the Berkshire League championship in May.
Having gone over .500 last year, the Terryville boys have something to be proud of and will try to improve this season.