Last Hurdle
Ksenija Martinovic clears the last hurdle enroute to a win in the 300-meter event for Woodstock Academy in a track meet against Killingly.  

The Woodstock Academy girls’ track team likes to keep things interesting. The Centaurs just escaped with possibly their first win ever over NFA the week before with a three-point victory.
They stretched out that win margin April 24 against Killingly — by one point.
Woodstock Academy just eked out a 77-73 victory over Killingly.
“This was a tough one and I didn’t expect it, initially, to be as tight as it was,” said Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch. “Killingly brought out a much better team than I anticipated it would have. It’s been such a long gap since we’ve seen them. They happened to be strong in areas where we were weak (Saturday) which made it really tight.”
The Centaurs boys didn’t have the same problem as they easily posted a 106-40 win.
Welch was not only dealing with a better than expected Killingly team, he also had to cope with the loss of about eight athletes due to spring break family commitments.
It meant he had to shift his lineup and try to fill the gaps.
It worked although it was a white-knuckle event when the final scores were being tallied.
Once again, as it was at NFA, Jillian Edwards performance in the high jump was a key to the win as she finished first late in the meet, clearing the bar at 4 feet, 8 inches.
Ksenija Martinovic was a multiple event winner for the Centaurs as she took first-place finishes in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.
Martinovic is from Montenegro where track and field doesn’t necessarily take place on a track.
“We practice on turf. We have nothing. We don’t have a track; we don’t have hurdles. We were the best team in Montenegro, but we practiced on turf. It’s so different here. It’s amazing to see new things. To see the track, to see (starting) blocks. I’m so grateful because I can run everything on the track and meet new people, get a score and everything. People from my country wish they could this. I’m so glad I’m here,” Martinovic said.
Leah Castle won the 800m for the Centaurs while Linsey Arends took first in the 1600m and Carah Bruce won the 3200m. Bruce was also second in the 1600m and was a member of the winning 4x800m relay team.
“The distance crew did a fantastic job,” Welch said. “We were missing some so it was great to see a great effort from them all around. Lynsey, Leah, Iris (Bazinet), Carah, all had to pile up events in the 4x800m, 1600m and 3200m and they took care of business.”
Bella Sorrentino also helped as she helped break up the multitude of points that Killingly stockpiled in the throwing and jumping events. Sorrentino finished second in the shotput and third in the high jump.
Killingly’s Abby Burgess was tough as she had first-place finishes in the 100m, long jump and triple jump. Sydney Rosen captured wins in the discus and javelin for Killingly.
The boys had it much easier winning by 66 points.
“I kind of expected it,” said Woodstock Academy boys’ coach Pete Lusa. “It’s very nice. The kids are doing what they need to do. The weather was good so everyone had a positive day.”
The win followed a tough loss to NFA in the Centaurs season opener where numbers didn’t work out in their favor.
“It’s great. The first meet against NFA was kind of rough, it was raining, and it was kind of a meet to prepare ourselves for the future. We showed up (Saturday) against Killingly,” senior Eric Phongsa said.
Phongsa was first in both the 100m (12.1 seconds) and 200m (24.6) and was also a member of the winning 4x100m relay team.
 “I ran one second over my usual time in the 100 because it was against the wind. I had some problems with my start, too, but overall it was pretty good,” Phongsa said.
Lusa said the wind didn’t only affect runners but also throwers especially the javelin.
“It seemed like the wind was always changing direction and they were always throwing into it,” Lusa said.
 “I had kids come up to me and say, ‘My time in the 200 was a second slower and I’m so much better.’ I just said, ‘the wind’ and they went, ‘Oh.’ I just told them to give themselves a break, the conditions are the conditions.”
Adam Schimmelpfennig won both hurdle events for the Centaurs while Ian Hoffman captured the 800m and the pole vault. Keenan LaMontagne was first in the discus, second in the shotput and third in the javelin.
Other first-place finishers included Silas Strandson (javelin); Liam Wilcox (triple jump); Scout Favreau (400m); Owen Tracy (1600m) and Ethan Aspiras (3200m).
“We have a very strong kid in each event which I like. There is a leader in each event which the younger kids can look up to,” Phongsa said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores. The future is bright for this team.”
Noah Colangelo won the high jump, Jack Sharp took the long jump and Devin Exarhoulias was first in the shotput for Killingly (0-2, 0-1 ECC Division 2).
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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