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Davidson’s Successes Registering in Thetford — and Montpelier

  • Claremont’s Ally Nadolecka competes at the USASA National Championship in Colorado earlier this month, where she won a gold medal for overall results in her age group.  Courtesy photograph

  • Ally Nadolecka accepts the gold medal at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo.  ">Ally Nadolecka accepts the gold medal at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo.  ">

    Ally Nadolecka accepts the gold medal at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo. 

  • Thetford Academy's Caleb Davidson drew a different form of praise last week for his record-setting performance at this winter's Vermont Principals Association indoor track and field championship. Ben DeFlorio photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/18/2016 12:02:34 AM
Modified: 4/18/2016 12:12:30 AM

Once Caleb Davidson sets a goal for himself, he rises to the challenge. It’s turned Davidson into one of the most powerful shot putters in Vermont.

Davidson was honored for his dedication Wednesday morning at Thetford Academy. Vermont state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Vt., passed a resolution honoring Davidson for both winning the individual Vermont Division II state title and breaking a state record in the process at 42 feet, 3 inches. The resolution was read aloud by Briglin and was presented to the Thetford junior as an award.

“It’s pretty cool for me,” Davidson said by phone on Saturday.

Charlie Buttrey, the Panthers’ indoor track and field coach, still is impressed with how far Davidson has come in only a year, one in which Davidson admitted was his first focusing all his effort into training exclusively for shot put. Now, heading into his senior year, Davidson is looking toward a future in college track and field.

During the 2013-14 outdoor track season, “I reached 37 (feet) and I told my coaches I wanted to do better,” Davidson said. “I wanted to break 40 (feet). I never thought that was going to happen. I couldn’t even imagine it. But I started lifting and getting stronger.

“I put more work into it this year than the previous years. … It feels pretty good. (This past season) makes me want to work harder.”

For Buttrey, Davidson’s commitment to the shot has made others on the team more committed, a skill that has amplified Davidson’s leadership ability.

“He inspires the other kids,” Buttrey said. “Our sport is a club at Thetford. The kids can take it as seriously as they want to. Caleb chose to take it seriously.”

It’ll be hard to go back on the commitment Davidson already has made. Recognition and state records are one thing; transforming into college-recruit material is another. Davidson said he’s fully committed to making the college push next season, a training routine that includes extra workouts and a hard study of new stances and techniques that can improve his shot put throws. He hopes, after another year of improvement, that college coaches will start looking for him, instead of the other way around.

“I’m a very competitive person,” Davidson said. “It’s fun to push how hard I’m willing to work.”

A mix of raw talent and a hard-nosed work ethic just might be the ticket to Davidson reaching all of his goals.

“He’s on the cusp of doing great things,” Buttrey said.

The Best of the Best: Claremont’s Ally Nadolecka and her parents tried to stay calm as the list of overall finalists were read last week, after days of competition at the USASA National Championships. It wasn’t her first trip out west; she knew what to expect. What she didn’t expect was to finish first overall among her age group.

Nadolecka won the gold medal in the 14- to 15-year-old age group in last week’s snowboarding championship at Copper Mountain, Colo., after competing in five different events: boardercross, halfpipe, slopestyle, giant slalom and slalom. In the end, Nadolecka had enough points accumulated to earn the top spot on the podium.

“I was hoping to do well in racing but not so much overall,” Nadolecka said last week. “I was hoping to get on the podium for that. No. 1 overall is pretty cool.”

Accompanied by her stepfather, Bill Richards, Nadolecka placed sixth in boardercross, 10th in halfpipe and 13th in slopestyle and also earned bronze medals in both grand slalom and slalom, her strongest events. For Richards, the overall gold medal also came as a surprise.

“In the end, she basically had enough points for the overall championship,” Richards said, a tinge of shock still lingering in his voice. “It was a great time. We were all really excited.”

Nadolecka spends her winters training at Okemo Mountain School, where she is able to pursue her academic and snowboarding goals in one place.

Though she only started snowboarding four years ago, Nadolecka has since dedicated herself to training for a sport that, by now, she has fully adopted.

“I like everything about it,” she said. “I like being able to just ride and have fun with my friends. I think that’s what it’s really all about.”

Moving Up by Moving Down: One of the biggest problems in Vermont high school boys lacrosse over the last several seasons has been the large range of skill levels among the state’s most talented teams and the state’s least talented, given that still is getting off the ground at the high school level. The Vermont Principals Association’s Bob Johnson hopes three divisions will spread competition out more evenly.

Mount Abraham, Montpelier, Otter Valley, Randolph, Stratton Mountain and Vergennes join Hartford High in this season’s newly formed Vermont Division III league after the measure was proposed last spring and voted on last fall.

“There is a real concern that there’s a disparity in ability levels (in Vermont boys lacrosse),” Johnson said last week. The VPA was concerned that it might lose schools’ participation if it didn’t act, he added. 

Given lacrosse’s gaining popularity among high school athletics programs, a reorganization seemingly was inevitable. But although several high schools — including Windsor and Danville, which have hosted club lacrosse and junior varsity lacrosse teams — are on the docket to create varsity programs in the future, the option of further spreading ability levels by creating a fourth division is not on the table.

“It’s sort of a nonissue,” Johnson said. “We’d have to add up to 10 or 15 teams. I just don’t see that happening.”

Josh Weinreb can be reached at or at 603-727-3306.

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