2019-20 H.S. indoor track preview: Teams, individuals poised to break out

  • Kyle Doucette

  • Mason Martell

  • Eleanor Hinckley

  • Emma Herndon

  • Tobin Durham

  • Hartford's Eleanor Hinckley competes in the high jump at the indoor track state championships held at the University of Vermont in Burlington on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (Glenn Russell photograph) Glenn Russell photograph

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 1/8/2020 10:11:31 PM
Modified: 1/8/2020 10:10:55 PM

Unlike the spring, when Upper Valley outdoor track teams regularly rack up multiple honors, the winter indoor season hasn’t produced widespread success.

With one noteworthy exception.

Despite a tiny roster, the Oxbow boys won the school’s first Vermont Principals Association indoor track championship, edging neighboring Thetford at UVM’s Gardner-Collins Indoor Track last winter. Now that the O’s have shown the way, other schools may follow suit this time around.

The Hanover boys and Hartford girls both came within one place of team championships at their respective state meets last February. Both plan to pick up where they left off. The Marauders can count on points from senior sprinter Kyle Doucette, and the Hurricanes have enough talent to make a serious run at perennial champ Rice in the coming months.

Thetford and Sharon, meanwhile, have gained depth and ability from unexpectded sources.

Here’s a look at the area’s programs this season:


Coach: Steve McConnell (7).

Last year: Hanover’s boys finished second at states, thanks to a strong state meet from sprinter Kyle Doucette. Its girls placed eighth overall.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Daniel Bandler, Matthew Bonner, Kyle Doucette, Quincy McBride, Alec McDevitt, Blake Palmer, Aidan Ristino, Christine Aman, Grace Cottage, Macy Lawson, Anna Stafford, Peiper Thomas. Juniors — Ella Maclean, Zoe Onyango, Mary Hedrick. Sophomore — Oscar Miller.

Newcomers: Seniors — Ian Nolan, Trevor Siegel, Maya Holmes. Juniors — Nathan Subrahmanian, Torin Callnan, Katherine Blaisdell. Sophomores — Simeon Obomsawin, Seiji Peterson, Pierce Seigne, Olivia Trummel. Freshmen — Luke Szczepiorkowski, William Taylor, Ian Solberg, Timothy Ralph, Cameron Bonner, Annika Subrahmanian, Brynne Spaeth, Daisy Onyango.

Analysis: Hanover’s boys were six points away from a D-II title last season, eventually falling into second behind champion Portsmouth. But the groundwork was laid, situating the Marauders — once again with a deep corps of sprinters and a strong slate of relay teams — to compete once again. Kyle Doucette should lead the way, coming off of wins in the 55- and 300-meter dashes at last year’s state meet. Christine Aman and Ella Maclean are primed to lead the Hanover girls after strong campaigns last winter.


Coach: Mike Perry (27).

Last year: The Hurricanes placed second to juggernaut Rice at the state meet, led by Eleanor Hinckley and Gretchen Josselyn. Hartford’s boys took sixth, with Abayomi Lowe winning the 55 and 300.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Daisy Phelps, Tayler Simmons, Anne Marie Schneller, Kennedy Mullen, Maliya Sinclair, Aaron Mitchell. Juniors — Eleanor Hinckley, Gretchen Josselyn, Clementine Philip. Sophomores — Caroline Hamilton, Chloe Jenson, Bethany Davis, Madisyn D’Amico.

Newcomers: Seniors — Paige Blish, Ryan Reed. Juniors — Reilly Slusser, Pau Carol, Zach Schneider, Parker Kehoe. Sophomores — Drew Boyce, Sean Lyons, Chase Goodwin. Freshmen — Megan Lang, Laura Belmont, Bella Boeri, Sawyer Albrecht, Finn Walther, Jaden Swamp, Rocco Clough.

Analysis: If not now, when? Mike Perry and the Hurricane girls have been inching slowly closer to a state championship over the last three seasons, turning a team built around the now-graduated Ileana Sirois into a deep, experienced bunch. Kennedy Mullen, Eleanor Hinckley and Gretchen Josseyln should all make lots of noise at the state meet, giving the Canes a boost as they try to dethrone Rice, the six-time champs. Hartford’s boys will try to rebuild on from the loss of now-graduated Abayomi Lowe, one of the best sprinters in school history.


Coach: Kevin Lozeau (7).

Last year: Lebanon’s boys took 16th, girls did not place at states.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Benjamin Tichner, Michael Weeks, Ethan Sullivan-Dupuis, Abigail Snow, Claudia Simione, Jorgen Leuthauser, Emma Herndon, Cody Davis, Nathaniel Brown, Anna Bieszczad, Roneet Arora. Juniors — Thomas Belk, Kathryn Brennan, Alexander Felix, Theodore Spencer. Sophomores — Sofia Amaro, Zoe Chinn, Ethan Nicodemus, Sam Twarog.

Newcomers: Seniors — Peter Ogrinc, Emma Doyle. Sophomore — Claire Thibodeau. Freshmen — Isaac Ager, Finn Ericson, Birhanu Harriman, Isabella Hastings, Carson Jones, Morgan Kantor, Nichole Lamontagne, Sean Miller, Vickie Ni, Thomas Wolfe.

Analysis: Lebanon track and field, despite strong interest from the student body and a hefty number of athletes competing, struggled mightily last season. There were bright spots, particularly Cody Davis’ third-place finish in the 1,500 meters, but Lebanon hasn’t been able to turn roster depth into results. The same problem exists this winter. Strong seasons from Davis, Claudia Simione, Emma Herndon and Anna Bieszczad could turn things around.


Coaches: Jeff Miller and P.J. Lovely (5).

Last year: Newport’s boys tied for 16th, led by hurdler Mason Martell. Girls did not place at the state meet.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Mason Martell, Mike Wilkinson, Zack Davis, Zenith Hall, Allison Howald, Anna Caron, Annika Randall. Juniors — Caleb Palmer, Jagger Lovely, Marius Edwards, Ryder Lovely, Sean Moody, Eliza Bates, Madison Miller, Morgan Robert. Sophomores — Riely Skarin, Samara Mace.

Newcomers: Sophomore — Darshawn Chesser. Freshmen — Darren Janicke, Ethan Lipincott, Hayden Palmer, Victor Calumbri, Isabelle Brown, Katrina Pickering.

Analysis: This could be the year for Newport’s boys, who’ve been hindered in the past by a limited supporting cast behind Mason Martell, one of the state’s best hurdles. That might be changing with the emergence of sprinters Ryder and Jagger Lovely, long jumper Darshawn Chesser and a strong 4x200 relay team, putting the Tigers in prime position to contend in Martell’s final season. Newport’s girls, meanwhile, will continue to rebuild their strength.


Coaches: Robert Murdza and John Fields (1).

Last year: Oxbow’s boys brought home their first state title in school history, edging out Thetford by eight points and recording nine top-three results at the state meet. The girls took eighth at states.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Sophomore — Samuel Corti.

Newcomers: Sophomores — Alaina Jarret, Sarah Ladd. Freshmen — Xavier Beaduin, Calvin Carbee, Ben Caron, Caide Covery, Tyler Craig, Will Ilsley, Alex McNulty, Aidan Warner, Jeffrey Young, Clara Bartlett, Isabelle Chen, Mackenzie Clogston, Nicole Farnham, Kyra Gilrain, Soraya Moreno, Mckenna Smith.

Analysis: What a difference a year makes. Oxbow, coming off of its first VPA Division II boys indoor title with the boys last winter, is in rebuild mode with one returnee — sophomore Samuel Corti — and a long list of sophomores and freshmen new to the team this year. Its big guns (Jarret Rock, Timothy Hodges) have since graduated and Tobin Durham, the up-and-coming distance runner, is now at rival Thetford. Oxbow will begin the rebuild under new co-head coaches Robert Murdza and John Fields, who take over for former O’s coach Emily Willems after eight seasons at the helm.


Coach: Kevin Gish (8).

Last year: The Phoenix did not participate in states last season.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Senior — Sophie Chesnut, Aili Johnstone, Cassidy Lewis. Juniors — Emme Jenisch, Finley Lord, Georgia Quackenbos, Mayci LeDuc, Xia Gillespie. Sophomores — Mary Gage Donohue, Caitlyn Ryan, Ever Tofel.

Newcomers: Junior — Peter North, Isabella Amodeo, Leland Pelletier, Novah Conway. Sophomores — Daniel Henderson, Ellie Jacobson-Goodhue, Hattie Byrne. Freshmen — Beatrice Raiken, Charlotte Reimanis, Maeve Miller, Phoebe Quackenbos.

Analysis: Novah Conway, a decathlete who transferred to Woodstock last year, returns for the indoor season to a Sharon team that has grown significantly. Senior Sophie Chesnut continues to lead the Phoneix girls, and freshman Charlotte Reimanis has shown some promise in distance races early on. Expect a strong showing from Sharon’s girls while the boys team works to grow numbers.


Coaches: Charlie Buttrey and Joel Breakstone (9).

Last year: The Panther boys gave Oxbow a run for its money at the state meet but ended up in second place overall. Thetford’s girls finished seventh.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Elle Dixon, Morgan Gaffney, Liam Curtis, Tad Darrah, Nate O’Donnell, Stephen Prunk, Jason Wolstenholme. Juniors — Kayla Busby, Layla Hannisian, Samara Spelman, Olivia White, Lucas Gilman, Knute Linehan. Sophomores — Kiran Black, Sophie Prescott, Liam Patterson, Dan Wolstenholme.

Newcomers: Seniors — Tyler Wojcik. Juniors — Lizzy Fisher, Carter Banks, Riley Burkins, Max Higgins. Sophomores — Madi Powers, Natilie Sanso, Ben Acker, Gus Byrne, Tobin Durham, Tucker Gaffney, Elliot Jones, Ethan Marshia. Freshmen — Ariana Cooney, Kathy Darrah, Alena Demidova, Abby Egner.

Analysis: What a year it was for Thetford track and field: a second place for the boys at indoor states followed by dual outdoor state championships in the spring. Gone is multi-race leader Owen Deffner to graduation, but the Panthers return a slew of experienced runners that should be enough to put them atop D-II at states. Oh, and distance runner Tobin Durham — who was critical in helping Oxbow edge Thetford at states — now wears Panther blue.

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