Last season ended with a second place finish in both the Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) Division I meet, as well as in the Class LL State meet for the Norwich Free Academy Boys Indoor Track and Field Team.
For the girls team, however, a second place finish in the ECC did not come with a second place finish in the state.
Key injuries at the ECC meet last season were a killer for the boys team. The boys fell short despite exceptional performances by seniors, Adelino Daveiga and Jaheim Spruill. The girls outperformed their expectations with valiant efforts from senior Allyson Lewis and sophomore Kayla Park.
Coming off an outdoor track championship in the Spring, both the boys and girls teams are looking to stay on a roll. Both teams will be suffering from some big losses due to graduation. The boys lost key throwers, Adelino Daveiga and Cameron Belton. They also lost sprinter and ECC champion long jumper, Jaheim Spruill. The girls team lost a multi-event senior and Pennsylvania State University Track and Field Commit, Allyson Lewis, who held school and ECC records in the high jump.
Looking back on last season, Head Coach Thomas Teixeira stated, “We were not as well rounded and balanced as I would’ve liked us to be last season. We would have winners in some events and then score no points in others.”
With a new season starting, the right mindset needs to be in place. When asked about the upcoming season, senior thrower Cooper Larkin responded, “We’re ready for a championship run.”
Being mentally prepared is difficult especially when you’re a multiple event participant such as Paige Martin.
“We’re prepared for the season. I’m mentally prepared for the season. It’s my last year so it pushes me to be better,” said Martin.
With every great team, there are still weaknesses.
“We’re looking to be a more well rounded team this season. We are going to be looking up to our seniors and keep driving people to get the best out of them,” Teixeira added.
With the ECC Division I title in their sights, the combined teams which total over 100 athletes, are battling not only opposing schools, but also staying focused. On many athletic teams, seniors are seen as leaders. This is important because the Wildcats take on the season with a large amount of seniors this season and the largest number of participants in recent years.
Most of the duty to keep everybody focused and working falls on the head coach.
“We try to keep everybody focused on their events and keep them occupied,” said Teixeira.
“The seniors and some of the juniors are the best leaders on the team because they know what’s expected of them and have been through this before. We’re trying to reach our goals this season,” added Martin.
After a strong finish to the outdoor track season and a run for the ECC championship last indoor season, the 2019-2020 boys and girls track teams look to make some noise in the ECC, as well as in the state of Connecticut.