Centaurs pg 1 6-3-21

captions, page 2: Members of the Woodstock Academy boys' track team proudly display the ECC championship banner following their first-place finish at Plainfield High School (Marc Allard photo)
Senior Adam Schimmelpfennig won both hurdle events at the ECC boys' track Division 2&3 track championship and was named Top Track Athlete of the championship meet. (Marc Allard photo)
Liam Blanchflower clears the high jump bar at the ECCchampionship. Blanchflower placed third in the event. (Marc Allard photo)


claim ECC
boys’ track
The Woodstock Academy boys’ track team didn’t win the ECC Div. 2 regular season title, but made up for it in the ECC Division 2 & 3 championship meet.
Woodstock just narrowly edged Griswold 121 ½ - 116 for the title last week.
“The regular season was what the regular season was,” said coach Pete Lusa said. “We had kids with injuries and other things. It was nice to have it all come together. This kind of meet favored a team in the position that we were in.”
It was also a bit of an eye opener especially for the freshmen and sophomores on the team.
It was the first large invitational for the team in two years thanks to the pandemic which cancelled last season and the team only participated in dual meets this year.
“They didn’t understand they had to stay away from the finish line because there was automatic timing. That’s the purpose of the ECC’s is to get kids ready for when we go to (Class) MM that the kids will have some awareness of what to do and what not do,” Lusa said.
But the Centaurs did have seniors who knew exactly what they had to do. Senior Ethan Aspiras was trying the 1600/3200 meter combination for a second time this season.
He went out with reckless abandon in the 1600 and led until the final lap. “I made my splits,” Aspiras said,” but I got a little stressed and my muscles tensed up. It was an unfortunate event.” He went from first-to-fourth on the last lap.
But Aspiras was able to put that out of his mind by the time the 3200-meter came around.
“It was a big difference from Windham when I did both the 1600 and 3200. I got a lot of rest (in the championship meet). My legs were almost back to normal,” Aspiras said.
The Centaurs needed Aspiras at full strength. They went into the 3200-meter, the next-to-last event of the day, with only a 5 ½ point lead over Griswold.
Aspiras’ first-place finish guaranteed Woodstock the victory in the championship meet.
“He ran a smart, tactical race (in the 3200). I think he ran with his heart in the 1600. I think he and (Windham’s) Victor (Cazabal) said ‘Let’s do something. Let’s challenge each other.’ I can’t be sure that was spoken but it seemed that way, and the tactical runners waited them out,” Lusa said.
Fellow senior Adam Schimmelpfennig finished first in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
That was expected, but he had another goal in mind. “I’m going for the school record right now (in the 110 hurdles) which is 14.9 (seconds). I’m getting close, but I think a little competition will help a lot,” Schimmelpfennig said.
The senior had a winning time of 15.5 seconds.
The senior also was a member of the winning 4x100-meter relay team and those points helped him receive the Top Track Athlete award for the event.
Junior Keenan LaMontagne took the only other first-place finish for the Centaurs as he won the discus with a throw of 138 feet, 6 inches.
LaMontagne also finished second in the shotput to New London’s George Senate. LaMontagne came in exactly 4 feet shy of the winner with a throw of 41-feet, 8 ½ inches.
Eric Phongsa placed third in the 200-meter and fourth in the 100-meter, Silas Strandson was second in the javelin and Liam Blanchflower was third in the high jump.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy



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