Centaurs bb pg 1 6-10-21

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Taking a Shot
Kyle Brennan, who finished fourth overall, sends his second shot toward the green on the 10th hole of the ECC championship tournament. Photo by Marc Allard.

finish 4th
in Class MM
boys’ track
The Woodstock Academy boys’ track team continued its postseason success with a fourth-place finish in the Class MM state championship track meet.
The Centaurs got a pair of first-place finishes which helped them score 46 points, good enough for a fourth-place overall finish behind Weston (84), Daniel Hand (68) and Berlin (62 ½).
 “I am very pleased that we had so many athletes make a mark in the meet,” said coach Peter Lusa said. “Coming out of COVID, I had no idea what the strengths of the rest of the field would be. Seeing the performance list prior to the start of the meet, I saw that we had several athletes with exceptional marks. But on any given day athletes exceed or go below their best marks. I was happy that our athletes are peaking at the right time.”
Senior Adam Schimmelpfennig made good on his first seed in the 110-meter hurdles, winning by almost a second over Radames Figuroa of E. Haven. The 300-meter hurdles were a bit more of a challenge as Schimmelpfennig lost by five-tenths of a second to John Cassol of Weston.
 “Adam was not pleased with his effort in the 300. He went over the hurdles with his right foot instead of his left. We will be working on his start to try and rectify that situation before Wednesday,” Lusa said. Wednesday is when the CIAC State Open championship will be held.
Keenan Lamontagne added a first-place finish in the discus for the Centaurs throwing a personal best, 149-feet, 4-inches.
Ethan Aspiras finished third in the 3200-meter to also qualify for the State Open chamionship, but also accomplished something else. His time of 9:46.47 broke the school record in the event.
“Ethan was preparing for the race all day long, planning when to eat, how often to get up and move around, and being diligent to stay out of the sun,” Lusa said. “He ran a technically spectacular race for the first six laps. His last two laps were all heart. He was seeded nineteenth and finished in third place. He improved his personal best and broke the school record on a very warm afternoon.”
Eric Phongsa used the momentum from a fifth-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay to do equally well in the 100m as he qualified for the State Open championship in both.
Phongsa, Shimmelpfennig, Carter Saracina and Matt Marshall  comprise the 4x100-meter team.
Normally, a track athlete would be gearing up for the State Open to not only win a title there but to also qualify for the New England championships but that event is a victim of the pandemic.
“I would like to see our 4 x 100 relay team continue to lower their time. With three seniors on the squad, we will be looking for new members to pick up the baton next year. Eric wants to shoot for the school record in the 100. It is within his grasp. If he has a great start, I like his chances,” Lusa said. “Adam will have better competition in the 110 High hurdles, this will help him in his quest to break into the 14- second range. His effort in the 300 to switch his lead leg may allow him to further lower his stellar season. Ethan will continue to work on lowering the school record he set in the 3200-meter. He is a smart runner and I like his chances to improve his time.”
Girls’ Track
The girls’ track team had just one athlete qualify for the State Open. Magdalena Myslenski assured herself a spot with a fourth-place finish in the discus.
The 4x800-meter relay team of Lauren Brule, Iris Bazinet, Leila MacKinnon and Linsey Arends fell one place short of qualifying as they came home in sixth place at the Class MM meet. Arends was seventh in the 800-meter race and Carah Bruce was eighth in the 3200-meter event.
Boys’ Golf
The Centaurs place fourth in ECC Championship golf at the league’s championship tournament.
For a first time all season, they had to play 18 holes. Coach Rich Garceau said that made a difference. Normally, the local teams would have had one opportunity to play an 18-hole event at the Wildcat tournament but that event was canceled.
 “The Wildcat or at least one other 18-hole tournament is critical to playing these types of tournaments.  To non-golfers it may not seem like a big difference but it is like comparing a sprint to a marathon.  Both involve running but the mental endurance needed for an 18-hole tournament versus a 9-hole match is a different animal,” Garceau said. “Not having that for the past two years really puts kids who are not used to it at a disadvantage.  Golf is more mental than physical and the 18- hole events really tests that.  For a young golfer to be successful in these events, they need to play them on a regular basis to keep that mental edge.”
The Centaurs placed fourth as a team, touring the course in 347 strokes.
Killingly finished first on its home course with a 317 with E. Lyme (322) and Fitch (344) in second and third.
“Not completely,” Garceau said when asked if he was happy with the team’s finish. “That’s not to say I was disappointed but I believe we are probably a better team than that finish showed.  Honestly, if you asked me that question two months ago I would have been thrilled with that finish.  The boys have been working so hard on getting better and have improved so much since we began practicing in March, it really is exciting to see.  So was I happy with the finish?  No.  Am I really excited for how much this team has grown as a group and as individual players? Yes.  I can’t emphasize more how happy I am with our growth.  I really feel, however, that our growth potential is still tremendous.  I don’t think we are anywhere near where this group can be.  I think we have more to prove heading into the State Tournament and then, of course, next season.”
Kyle Brennan, who went into the ECC championship as the top player in the league based on state rankings, also finished fourth overall with a 79. East Lyme’s Dan Singer was the individual medalist with a 73 with Killingly’s Cam Seiffert (77) and Ethan Lackner (78) in second and third.
Davis Simpson shot an 84, Adam Thompson added an 89 and both Chris Thibault and Don Sousa finished with a 95 for the Centaurs.
“Rounding out our line-up are two relative newcomers to the game of golf, Adam Thompson and Don Sousa.  I have seen them grow from at times nearly fully missing the golf ball to consistently finding fairways and sinking lengthy putts.  Golf is not their primary sport, and I am fine with that.  I have had most of my success from kids who are multi-sport athletes.  The key, as we have done with Adam and Don is to harness the mental side of long-distance running in the case of Adam and the physical elements of the swing plane and balance with Don and of course Chris, and Kyle.  Davis has been skiing for most of his life and we can see much of his golf success is in getting a rhythm and tempo to his golf swing, along with the balance needed for alpine events and bringing them all together in golf.  It has been a challenge for all of us but it has been a challenge worth taking and it seems to be working,” Garceau said of his team.
Boys’ Lacrosse
The Centaurs fell four seconds short from pulling off the upset on the road.
But Watertown tied the Class M boys’ lacrosse state tournament first-round match with just those seconds to spare and then won it, 8-7, with 2 minutes, 44 seconds left in overtime.
Jonah Libby finished with the hat trick for the Centaurs who ended their season with a 10-8 record.
Senior Guerin Favreau scored two goals and had two assists, giving him 71 goals, 35 assists and 106 points this season. Favreau, who will play lacrosse at Endicott College next season, finished with 218 career points.
Everett Michalski and Zach Girard had the other goals for the Centaurs while Alex Wojciechowski added an assist.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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