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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

Juliet Allard had a good day in Providence.

The Woodstock Academy sophomore finished first in the 300-meter in 45.15 seconds, good enough to qualify for state competition coming up in February.

“She really dominated that 300,” Welch said. “She may have won by only a half a second, but there was no real push on her for most of the race. She looked pretty casual. I think she will do great things in that event which is pretty awesome because her outdoor 300m hurdles is also a major focus for her and it will help her gear up for that.”

Allard also qualified for state competition in the 55-meter dash where she finished third in 7.88 seconds.

“I think her block starts would fix a third-place, I think she is quicker than the girls that got her, she just has to get back into getting out of the blocks hard,” Welch said.

Senior Magdalena Myslenski also qualified for the States in a pair of events.

She finished third in the shotput with a throw of 28-feet, 10-inches and also came up big in the pole vault where she cleared the bar at 8-6.

“Magda was a surprise in pole vault. We really just started to get kids in the air and that was the first time she cleared a height since last spring. She did a great job,” Welch said.

Myslenski did so largely without Welch being around as he was stuck at the high jump.

“Without coaches being around to help guide some of that stuff, it can be tricky but she is really developing some maturity there and helped some of our younger athletes, too. In addition to her performance, her leadership is fantastic,” Welch said.

Jillian Edwards finished fourth in the 55m hurdles to qualify for States in that event, she also placed third in the high jump by clearing the bar at 4-6.

The 4x800m relay team did compete and finished second in 11 minutes, 36.27 seconds.