Indoor pg 9 1-9-20

High school athletics sometimes gets lost in the holiday hustle and bustle.
But the Woodstock Academy boys’ and girls’ indoor track programs were still competing over the holiday break.
The Centaurs took part in the final two ECC Developmental meets.
“We have 24 girls on the roster and 40 boys and have seen the bulk of them show up for meets,” said Woodstock Academy boys’ and girls’ indoor track coach Josh Welch. “Attendance at the meets over break has been roughly about 50 athletes. Given that seven of our athletes are international students and head home for break, we’ve had a really good turnout. Vacations, challenges in transportation and a wave of athletes with the flu slowed things down a little but, everything considered, we did pretty well during this break.  Some of that inconsistency in practice attendance sets some athletes back but overall we’ve continued to make progress and we’ve seen some excellent performances on both teams.”
The ECC holds all three of its regular season meets in the first three weeks of the season. The next time the league will come together will be in early February for the league championship meets.
Sophomore Linsey Arends took home the only first-place finish when she won the 1600m girls race in 5 minutes, 47 seconds.
“Linsey is now qualified in the 1000m and the 1600m and dominated Saturday’s meet where she ran the mile fresh for the first time, beating the next best runner by several seconds and lapping most of the competition,” Welch said.
Welch also has Arends working a little bit on her speed by running some middle distance events. She finished fourth in the 600m in 1:51 in the Dec. 28 meet.
Arends’ cross-country teammate, Meg Gohn, was second Saturday in the 1600m with a 6:10 time and also captured a fourth in 1000m in 3:29.87.
Morgan Bonin placed third in the high jump clearing 4-feet-4.
“Morgan Bonin is coming along really well as a freshman finishing in the top three in high jump and is very close to qualifying (for the state meet),” Welch said.
Julia Theriaque is the top high jumper for the Centaurs. The senior finished second in the Dec. 28 meet when she cleared 5-feet.
“Julia is getting back in the swing of things and is brushing up against 5’2" in the high jump which makes her one of the favorites for the ECC championship and also makes her a performer to watch at the state championship meets coming up,” Welch said.
Adam Schimmelpfennig took home a first-place finish in the 300m, crossing the line in 39.75 seconds. He was also second in the 55m hurdles where he finished in 9.4 seconds.
A junior, Schimmelpfennig has qualified for the state championship meet in the hurdles and is now just 1/100th of a second away from doing so in the 300m.
Classmate Ethan Aspiras was second in both the 1000m (2:50.25) and the 1600m (4:56) although those events are not his strength.
The Centaurs coaching staff is letting the ECC cross-country champion build up a bit.
“He is really focused on the 2-mile but hasn’t had the opportunity race it yet.  We have him doubling up in the 1000m and the 1600m in meets to get him ready for a 2-mile race in the future. He has been just outside of state qualifying in both events,” Welch said.
Greg Weber could also be a dual threat for the Centaurs.
The senior finished second in the high jump Saturday by clearing 5 feet, 6 inches. In the Dec. 28 meet, he cleared 5-8 and has qualified for States in the event. Welch also feels Weber will be a factor in both the high jump and long jump in the ECC championship.
Weber jumped 18 feet, 5 inches in the long jump two weeks ago and is just inches short of qualifying in that event as well for the state meet.
Welch is hoping the Centaurs will have some 15-to-20 qualifiers for the States in February.
Welch said the developmental meets serve a purpose even if there is no team scores kept for the events.
“On the up side, they offer a great deal of competition so that keeps the kids focused on their performance.  It is tough to get a level of excitement when the meets aren’t scored, but with the focus on personal growth and goals for the post season, the kids have done a great job producing solid performances,” Welch said.
While the league championship may still be a month away, the Centaurs will keep themselves busy with their Massachusetts-based league meets and some invitational events like this coming weekend at the University of Rhode Island.
Welch is just happy that the training schedule, at least, returns to normal now that the holiday break is over.
“Yes!  I think it is important to allow athletes to get in family time, and trips, but it certainly becomes a one step forward, two steps back situation when athletes aren’t training daily.  I’m really excited to see the outcome of this Wednesday’s meet at Tantasqua (Regional in Sturbridge, Mass.), and Saturday at URI once we get back in the swing of things,” Welch said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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