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Meet 1: Long day yields positive results

Right now, the Woodstock Academy boys and girls indoor track teams are just trying to find out where their next gig is.

The indoor track season has been thrown up in the air due to the Coast Guard Academy facility being unavailable this season.

“It’s been a weird season without Coast Guard. Everybody is trying to figure out the schedule late and now things are changing and I’m trying to figure out what will mesh with our schedule and be best for the kids,” Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch said.

The Centaurs, currently, are looking to compete at the Bethel Invitational on Jan. 7.

“There is great competition there, Bethel has some great kids. They pull eight teams from all over Connecticut and upstate New York so we will see a bunch of people we don’t normally see. I think they are sticking with the teams that were there (last year) and it was a very competitive meet for a small meet. It’s our best bet,” Welch said.

They are then slated to have some of the athletes compete in a pentathlon event at Bethel on Jan. 21 and in an Eastern Connecticut Conference event in Providence on Jan. 22.

There is also the possibility of an ECC meet prior to the league championship which was originally scheduled for Feb. 4 but may change.

Stay tuned.

The Centaurs did open the season on the day after Christmas as they traveled to Providence Tech for an ECC developmental meet.

The timing wasn’t the best as only about half of the 50 athletes Woodstock Academy has out for indoor track made the trip.

There were also 17 schools competing which made for a long day.

“It’s a huge meet and it’s incredibly long,” Welch said.

The competition itself took about six hours with Welch spending half of that time judging the boys high jump as all coaches had to officiate an event.

“There were 130 boys and 130 girls signed up for the (55m) dash and it took about an hour and a half to two hours just to complete the dash,” Welch said.

For the meets held in Providence, teams are allowed to put an unlimited number of entries into an event, however, no singular athlete can do more than two events.

“What makes us a competitive team is like what we do at the ECC’s and State meets where kids triple (event), can handle it and are training for it. (In this format), They don’t get a chance to do all the events they normally do so we couldn’t run a 4x400m because of our attendance and limitations of athletes. We will be permitted to do, at least, three events at Bethel which means we will have a chance to qualify some relay teams,” Welch said. “There are a lot of pros to the Providence meets, it’s a great facility and it’s nice to have a lot of competition but, holy cow, they are long and the restrictions on the kids are not ideal."


Providence results


The Centaurs boys put together a first-place finish as the sprint medley team of Owen Tracy, Joel Koleszar, Charles Caggiano and Ethan Brierly took first in four minutes, 18 seconds in the season-opening Providence event.

Sophomore Christian Menounos picked up where he left off in the cross-country season.

Menounos qualified for state competition with a 2:50 finish, good enough for fifth overall in the meet, in the 1000-meter.

“Both he and Vince Bastura were hitting their personal bests from last season on Race 1 of this season which is great to see, Welch said. “Menounos’ goal this season was to be in the low 2:40’s and he starts at 2:50 so I think he’s got (his goal). He just has to get a few more races under his belt. He did a great job, powered through with just one slow lap in the middle, I think he can really improve on that.”

Menounos joined Bastura, Caggiano and Colton Sallum in the 4x800m and the team finished second overall in 8:50.83 to also qualify for state competition.

Bastura also qualified in an individual event as the senior placed third in the 1600m in 4:42.

“Vince ran a smooth mile and looked very good. I know he has a lot of time to drop, too, and that will come along in the next couple of weeks,” Welch said.

Senior Jared Eaton qualified for the States in the shotput with a 42-1 ½ throw, good for third place in Providence.

Liam Wilcox had two personal bests as he finished fourth in the 55m hurdles (9.99 seconds) and fourth in the high jump (5-4).  

“You can throw Liam in a ton of stuff. His pole vault is going really well, too, but because of the restrictions he could not compete in a third event so maybe next time,” Welch said.