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Woodstock Academy junior Taylor Markley is ahead of schedule. Coach Kasey Tocchio didn’t expect the gymnast to be fully ready to compete until the middle of January due to injury and illness which kept her out of the gym for a bit.
Markley took first in the vault (9.55); bars (9.0) and floor (9.4) competitions at Thames Valley Gymnastics to lead the Centaurs (2-0, 2-0 ECC) to a 132.5-125.2 win over Norwich Free Academy last week.
Markley was also second in the beam (8.8) to finish as the best in the All-Around with a 36.75 total.
The meet came at a tough time of year, stuck between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, but Tocchio said there was a mitigating factor. The meet was held somewhere else other than Deary’s Gymnastics in Danielson.
Senior Lindsey Gillies had a second in the vault (9.2) and a third in bars (8.5) for Woodstock. Freshman Allie Boyd finished with a 29.65 total.
With the continued improvement and the expected return from injury of a couple of other gymnasts, Tocchio expects the team total will also continue to rise.
Indoor Track
Woodstock and most of the rest of the ECC finished up what could be considered the “regular season” for indoor track teams during the holiday break weeks.
The Centaurs competed in three developmental events.
“We have some kids who are getting up there for their events, a few with some top three performances,” said coach Josh Welch.
Senior Keenan LaMontagne finished first in the shotput last week with a throw of 45 feet, 10 ¾ inches and has qualified for Class L state competition come February.
“He’s trying to push to 50 feet and I think he has the potential to get there,” Welch said.
Senior Ian Hoffman also qualified for state competition as he finished in just over 2 minutes, 45 seconds in the 1000m, good for second place last week. Hoffman also currently possesses the second-best qualifying time in Class L in the event.
Hoffman is also getting better in the pole vault. Welch said a key to Hoffman’s continued improvement pole vault is an elevated indoor runway to practice.
 Jeff Phongsa also qualified for States in the 300m (39.52), good enough for a third-place finish. Vince Bastura was first in the 1600m in 4 minutes, 54 seconds.
Jared Eaton was 2nd in the high jump and 3rd in the shot for Woodstock. The senior has already qualified for States in the shotput.
On the girls’ side, only one Centaur has qualified for Class L competition thus far in the distance events.
Senior Linsey Arends has the third-best mark in Class L of those times posted in the 1000-meter and has also qualified in the 1600.
Welch thinks  Lauren Brule, Julia Coyle, and Leah Castle will join her.  Already qualified are: freshman Juliet Allard for Class L in both the 55-meter dash and hurdles; Junior Bella Sorrentino for state competition with a first-place finish in the shotput (31’3.5"). Her sister, freshman Mia finished first in the high jump while Bella scored a second in the event.
Mia Sorrentino, like her sister, competes in multiple events. Coach Welsh said she does it all but the high jump will be her strong suit.
The Centaurs will be competing in another ECC developmental Jan. 8.
They will then travel to Bethel High School over the next three weeks for an 8-team meet, a pentathlon and distance meet, and a last-chance qualifier.
Welch said the Bethel meets not only will provide good competition in a new multi-million dollar facility at Bethel High School but should also reduce health concerns.
“The good thing about those is that they will all be smaller meets for the most part. The last thing I wanted to do was go to Hillhouse (High School in New Haven) for a last chance qualifier for an 8-hour event with 30-something teams,” Welch said.
Girls’ Hockey
The Woodstock girls’ hockey team lost to Auburn, 3-1, in a Central Massachusetts League game.
Coach Eric Roy said, “We came around in the second and third periods, found our legs and were more equal to/better than them at moments.”
In addition to playing on the road, Woodstock also had four players missing due to injury and holiday travel.
Auburn scored two of its goals in the first seven minutes to own the early advantage.
Roy said the locker room talk between first and second period resonated with senior captain Sydney Haskins.
“Being the good leader she is, she responded from there out and was a bull in a china shop. In the second and third periods, she was everywhere. She led the team in shots; any scoring opportunity came at her hand because she was doing everything,” Roy said.
As a result, Haskins got the only goal of the game for the Centaurs (0-2-1, 0-1-1 Central Massachusetts League).
Roy said the senior outmuscled a pair of Auburn Rocket players to a puck with Woodstock playing shorthanded. “She took the puck, went to the net, took a shot and scored off her own rebound. It was an individual effort,” Roy said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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