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2021 Upper Valley high school track preview: New coaches fill multiple vacancies

  • Woodstock's Faye Stevens, center, leads the pack in the 100 meter hurdles during the VPA Division III track and field championship in Windsor, Vt., on June 1, 2019. Thetford's Kiran Black, left, Grace Davis, Samara Spelman, and Woodstock's Nova Conway are just behind her. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Thetford's Mason LeFevre competes in the boys javelin event at the Windsor Invitational track meet in Windsor, Vt., on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Thetford Academy runners Eloise Silver-Van Meter, left, Layla Hanissian, and Madison Powers start off during a track practice on Tuesday, April 3, 2019 in Thetford, Vt. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 4/24/2021 10:38:35 PM
Modified: 4/24/2021 10:38:32 PM

Outdoor track and field season has returned to the Upper Valley after no competitions in 2020.

Six schools — Mid Vermont Christian, Oxbow, Sharon Academy, Stevens, Windsor and Woodstock — have all hired new head coaches. The track program at MVCS is being reinstated after nearly 15 years of dormancy. With the early arrival of spring, it’s ready, set, go!

Here’s a brief glance at the local high school teams:

Hanover

Coach: Steve McConnell (8).

Last time: Girls tied for eighth, boys 14th at states.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Roster: Seniors — Daniel Frost, Maurice Kado, Derek Lacy, Ella MacLean, Linus Mayo, Riley Roach. Juniors — Ayaan Ahmad, Taj Bagnato, Amelia Berthold, Emma Kleber, Jessica Lichtenstein, Olivia Trummel, Joseph Richter, Sebastian Sangha, Pierce Seigne. Sophomores — Hannah Boone, Finn Duncan, Casey Havrda, Patrick Elder, Maxim Kiley, Aidan Peterson, Wyatt Sklarin, Ian Solberg, Siren Stettenheim, Luke Welder. Freshmen — Anna Aaron, Mia Bagnato, Aidan Bradley, Patrick Donegal, Lucian Gleiser, Emma Letendre, Joaquin Martin, Jack Olmstead, Eva Simpson, Savannah Walczak, Joshua Warner, Sophie Wise, Hyunseo Yi, Jinseo Yi.

Analysis: “After losing last year to COVID, it will be great to get back on the track,” coach Steve McConnell said. “We have quite a young team, but there are some good athletes who could make some noise. The boys have the depth to compete this year, with distance runners like Pierce Seigne and Dan Frost, jumpers like Ian Solberg and Derek Lacy, and sprinters like Mo Kado. The girls will be led by Ella MacLean in the sprints, and Riley Roach in the distance events.”

Hartford

Coach: Mike Perry (23).

Last time: Boys and girls third at states.

League: VPA Division II.

Roster: Seniors — Tanner Bessette, James Boulanger, Eleanor Hinckley, Eddie Jean, Gretchen Josselyn, Parker Kehoe, Jaen Labonte, Calvin McCrory, Jaida Mucheke, Clementine Philip (injured, will serve as manager), Benjamin Ruston, Finnian Sunde. Juniors — Kayla Burnham, Madisyn D’Amico, Bethany Davis, Issabella Trombley. Sophomores — Liam Blush, Rocco Clough, Megan Lang, Nolan McMahon, Sophie Trombley. Freshmen — Jordan Davis, Nathaniel Krum, River Maddox, Maple Offensend, Connor Rice, Benjamin Shepard.

■Analysis: “With our returning athletes and some real good young people coming on board, we should be above average (in) both boys and girls,” veteran coach Mike Perry said.

Lebanon

Coach: Kevin Lozeau (8).

Last time: Boys 10th, girls 17th at states.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Roster: Seniors — Ayla Pearson, Avery Kantor, Chenji Yuan, Logan Sanchez. Juniors — Zoe Chinn, Brianna DeBanico, Alyssa Graber, Sally Tretter, Connor Brown, Griffin Gamache, Logan Johns, Ryan Oliveira, Nyeoti Punni, Sam Shipman. Sophomores — Alena Demidova, Claire Falcone, Ella Gessner, Isabelle Hastings, Morgan Kantor, Mikka Scholtz, Isaac Ager, Tanner Ames, Joshua Ball, Duncan Green, Birhanu Harriman, Carson Jones, Noah Lamontagne, Nicholas Lamontagne, John-Paul Martin, Gerad Thornton, Thomas Wolfe, Samuel Nichols. Freshmen — Phoebe Ballard, Norah Falcone, Isabel Vasquez, Quinlan Beach, Conner Chinn, Ryle Isuga, Jacob Morrell, Bradlee Smith, Zachary Thornton.

Analysis: “While the girls have a young team with many new faces, there is a good balance of talent across the event groups and (they) should be competitive at the end of the season,” coach Kevin Lozeau said. “There is a large group of young athletes who have joined (the boys team), which is great for the future of the program, although lack of experience could be a factor this season.”

Mascoma

Coaches: Tom Warner (15) and Elizabeth Warner (4).

Last time: Girls 18th at states. Boys fielded one competitor, Gabe Rock, in 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Dirk Andrew, Gavin Giovagnoli, Caleb Hobbs, Gaige Hollis, Gabe Rock, Cam Stebbins, Bryan Lowell, Duncan Tuttle, Sophia Guziewicz, Natalie Poitras, Isabelle Schneider, Alayna Miller. Juniors — Josh Williams, Ethan Gelinas, Ian Moulton, Michael Loynds, Meghan Clough, Cardigan Loupis, Peyton Morley, Opal Shinnlinger, Ella Barrett, Allison Goulette, Danielle Vivan. Sophomores — Garrett Giovagnoli, Jack Buffington, Asa Michetti, Rosina Bennett, Alanna Cilbrith, Rhiannon Stone, Elena Trempe. Freshmen — Cameron Jespersen-Pecor, Isabelle Adams, Zoe Barrett, Sierra Gianini, Leah Larocque, Kara Miller, Kylie Rogers.

Analysis: “We have some excellent prospects for qualifying not only for the D-III divisional championship, but for the Meet of Champions as well,” co-coach Tom Warner said.

Mid Vermont Christian

Coach: Stan Nelson (1).

Last time: Did not compete at states.

League: VPA Division IV.

Roster: Senior — Ben Pedi. Sophomores — Audrey Berman, Joel Roberts. Freshmen — Sarah Pedi, Cosette Meloon, Alyssa Roberts.

Analysis: “This is the first year in 15 or so years that MVCS has had a track team,” coach Stan Nelson noted. “We are looking forward to having athletes compete and hope to keep the trend going as we build our junior high and elementary school track programs.”

Newport

Coach: P.J. Lovely (6).

Last time: Boys sixth, girls 14th at states.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Jagger Lovely, Ryder Lovely, Eliza Bates, Madison Miller, Marius Edwards, Morgan Roberts, Adriano Urista, Chase Hamilton. Juniors — Zeta Morris, Jackson Dame. Sophomores — Tim Fratzel, Ryan Nelson, Victor Calumbri, Eric Wilkinson. Freshmen — Kyle Ashley, Dominic Johnson, Logan Ash, Gabby Bagley. Eighth grade — Maddox Lovely, Taylor Fellows, Aaron Fellows, Nora Plante.

■Analysis: “We have a small team with a very talented group of seniors, who have been running since they were 9 years old in the Granite State program,” coach P.J. Lovely said. “I expect some noise from them. Our younger group is small but also has shown great potential in early season training. We hope to qualify some kids to the Division III meet. New standards for this COVID year will make qualifying much more difficult. We look forward to the local competition.”

Oxbow

Coach: Leslie Lamoureux (1).

Last time: Boys third, girls seventh at states.

League: VPA Division III.

Roster: Juniors — Darcy O’Connell, Alaina Jarrett, Sam Corti. Sophomores — Hayden Palmer, Mackenzie Clogston, Noell Koslowsky, Michael Aldrich, Aidan Warner, Aidan Morse, Will Ilsley, Calvin Carbee. Freshman — Dakota Goodspeed.

Analysis: “It will be a building year, but with time and commitment, this season will be full of positives and personal wins,” first-year coach Leslie Lamoureux said.

Sharon

Coach: Mitch Wenz (1).

Last time: Girls third, boys tied for ninth at states.

League: VPA Division IV.

Roster: Seniors — Xia Gillespie, Finley Lord, Emme Jenisch, Calliope Goodling, Mayci LeDuc, Erik Younce. Juniors — Eve Huntington, Caitlyn Ryan, Charlotte Reimanis. Sophomore — Freya Abbey. Freshman — Zabrien McGee.

Analysis: “We have a strong group of runners in both the long- and short-distance events,” said coach Mitch Wenz, who takes over for longtime boss Chris Gish. “Everyone on the team is looking into trying new events and branching out.”

Stevens

Coach: Matt Steele (1).

Last time: Girls tied for third, boys 26th at states.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Clayton Wadsworth, Brady Moote, JJ Tursky, Emily Hebert, Julia Tursky. Juniors — Liam Williams, Jenna Bonneau, Brynn Murphy, Zahna Rice. Sophomores — Catie Bliss, Tori Dalke, Stella Lavertue, Scott Campbell, Sam Dalke.

Analysis: Steele, a graduate of Windsor High School, was previously a middle school coach. He takes over a girls squad that made a serious run at state honors in 2019 and a boys team with some athletes with strong resumes in other sports.

Thetford

Coaches: Emily Silver (10) and Joel Breakstone (13).

Last time: Girls and boys swept state titles for first time in school history.

League: VPA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Kayla Busby, Layla Hanissian, Seraphyn Payne, Sam Spelman, Carter Banks, Riley Burkins, Max Higgins, Knute Linehan. Juniors — Kiran Black, Madison Powers, Ben Acker, Gus Byrne, Tobin Durham, Elliot Jones, Alex Kim, Mason LeFevre, Liam Patterson, Finn Linehan, Harland Ransom. Sophomores — Kathy Darrah, Madelyn Durkee, Abby Egner. Freshmen — Mary Bosco, Charlize Brown, Annie Hesser, Cecilia Luce, Shannon O’Donnell, Zurael Star, Maddy Thaxton, Espen Hutchins, Chase LeFevre, Ben Mattern, Cody Sullivan.

Analysis: “After last season was canceled, we have a large group of athletes who have never competed in outdoor track and field in high school,” co-coach Joel Breakstone said. “It will be exciting to see how they complement the strong group of returning athletes. Everyone is incredibly excited to be able to get back to competition.”

White River Valley

Coach: Shannon Palone (10).

Last time: Boys ninth, girls sixth at VPA Division III states.

League: VPA Division IV.

Roster: Seniors — Alex Madden, Cameron Gray, Jack Simack, Madeline McShinsky, Ryan Smith, Wyatt Slater. Juniors — Braden Martin, Hayden Howe, Taryn Nelson, Kaleb Thornton, Zachary Armstrong, Meredith Schumann. Sophomores — Colin LaFromboise, Daniel Smith, Grace Collins, Jillian Berry, Wynter Simack. Freshmen — Aliyah Nelson, Anita Miller, Anna Stratton, Claire Allen, Lillian Dumont.

Analysis: “I believe we have a great team this year and we will see great things from them,” coach Shannon Palone said. “We have a lot of returning athletes who want to make up for missing last year (and) therefore plan to give it everything they have.”

Windsor

Coach: Hannah Claire (1).

Last time: Boys fourth, girls 12th at states.

League: VPA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Owen Abrahamsen, Linda Ricard. Juniors — Ben Gilbert, Keegan Bachelder, Kaleb Swett, Janiah Young. Sophomores — Travis McAllister, Tydus Percy, Rodger Petermann, Logan Worrall, David Hall, Liam Attwood, Olivia Kelly, Estella Attwood. Freshmen — Brody Osgood, Lillyanna Beach, Miah McAllister, Gwen Ambrose, Olivia MacLeay, Kiera Wildgoose, Anna Preece.

Analysis: “I have already seen some serious potential in this year’s high school team,” first-year coach Hannah Claire said. “I believe we have strong, competitive athletes this year, with a large roster. Furthermore, we have all grades and events represented.”

Woodstock

Coach: Paul Bremel (1).

Last time: Girls second to Thetford, boys eighth at states.

League: VPA Division III.

Roster: Seniors — Wilbur Abrams III, Tyler Bean, Riley Chynoweth, Novah Conway, Calef Hepler, Alex Inglis, Caleb Palazzo, Joey Ranberg, Taylor Plourde. Juniors — June Dodson, Quinn Giordano, Hannah Lockhart, Lilly Kowalczyk, Jackson Martsolf-Tan, Bronwyn Morris, Morgan Myers, Adriana Perez. Sophomores — Jared Clark, Samuel Leggett, Aidan Reed, Zed McNaughton, Oliver Szott. Freshmen — Maxwell Abrams, Brexton Eckler, Django Farinas, Caleb Fitzpatrick, Anna Gnodde, Benjamin Johnsen, Logan Knox, Ezra Lockhart, Zach Martsolf-Tan, Ella Stainton, Farren Stainton, Quinn Stickney, Meg Henderson.

Analysis: “Currently, we have a great group of student-athletes looking to improve at the sport,” new coach Paul Bremel said. “My goal for them is to simply be a better athlete than you were yesterday. If we can do that, the results and performances will take care of themselves.”




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