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Centaurs shine far from home

Several members of the Woodstock Academy boys indoor track program put together some fine performances this past weekend.

They just did so hundreds of miles apart.

On Sunday morning, senior Jared Eaton competed in the shotput at the Nike Indoor Track Emerging Elite Nationals at the Armory in New York City.

Eaton put together a personal best 51-feet, 11 ¾-inches to medal in the event as he brought home a fifth-place finish out of 32 competitors in the division.

“That was awesome, I had no idea that he would get that far up there.” Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch said. “The improvement since the New England’s is really pretty impressive.”

Welch said Eaton fell about six inches shy of a school record.

“Just a little while ago, we were hoping he would just get near the 50-feet mark, qualifying for Nationals was a big leap, and he’s added a distance of four-to-five feet in the past couple of weeks alone. He’s had some throws in practice that, we didn’t measure, but we were sure were over 50 feet. To be able to deliver that, under pressure, at the Armory, with all those people and the competition that was there- he responded very well,” Welch said.

Earlier in the weekend, the sprint medley quartet of Braedon Emerson, Jeff Phongsa, Vince Bastura and Christian Menounos competed in Boston at the New Balance Indoor Nationals Rising Star competition.

The Centaurs bettered their own school record by over four seconds on Friday, finishing the 1600m event in 3 minutes, 42.06 seconds, to place second in their heat and 25th out of the 55 teams who competed in the event.

They were less than five seconds off the first-place finisher.

“All around the team was composed and focused and didn’t let the crowd and pressure get to them,” Welch said.

The Woodstock Academy coach said it was a standing-room only crowd with people standing in the hallways and any area they could find but it didn’t faze his team.

Emerson started the Centaurs off on the right foot and Menounos put together an equally impressive finishing performance.

He flew through the first 200 meters in 22.8 seconds, well below the Woodstock Academy outdoor track school record, something Welch feels will be Emerson’s before the end of the spring season.

Menounos is likely to do the same in the 800-meter.

He finished the anchor leg in 1 minute, 59 seconds, which would also be an outdoor track record for the school.