The New Canaan High School's boys track and field team, which placed 10th in the Class L state championships and 25th in the State Open in 2009, returns to competition with somewhat of a new look. That tends to be the track and field way, what with the size of the teams each year and the normally expected mass exodus of seniors.

"Last year we had a pretty successful season. We also graduated some key people in the field events," New Canaan head coach Steve Bedard recently told the New Canaan News.

As the preseason winds down and the Rams prepare for regular-season meets, Bedard isn't making predictions about whether or not the Rams will be able to have an equally successful season, or do even better for that matter.

"It's really going to depend on how well they develop throughout this season," said Bedard, adding that among the notable graduates are Kyle Rohrs and Nate Quinn, who leave big shoes to fill. Quinn won the Class L javelin throw competition and Rohrs was among the top long-jumpers in the state last year. Senior sprinter Kurt Ondash was another of the key team members who graduated. All were multi-sport athletes who were key components to Bedard's crew in 2009.

Despite losing significant point-producers, New Canaan does retain some strong runners and field event participants from a year ago.

Sophomore Alex Spinu and junior Pat Daly (middle-distance runners), senior Blake Garrity (shot put and discus) and senior cousins and pole-vaulters Eric and Taylor Lysenko are among the key team members whom Bedard will look to for points come postseason.

"I think this year [the strengths] will be our depth in the distance events and our pole vaulters," Bedard said.

Lysenko was fifth in the pole vault competition in last year's Class L championships. Daly was part of the team's 4 x 800 meter relay team, which was fifth in the class championships. Daly and Spinu were 10th and 12th, respectively, in the 800 in the class championships.

The coach liked what he saw out of his team during preseason preparations during the past couple of weeks and is looking forward to seeing how the runners, throwers, jumpers and hurdlers do against their FCIAC foes. Of all the spring sports, boys track and field could be the most overlooked in terms of talent at the top.

"It's always interesting to see how the kids perform in a competitive situation," said Bedard, adding that Darien, Danbury, Staples and Trumbull are the toughest teams in the FCIAC.

The goals for this year are for the veteran team members to continue to improve and for the younger team members to develop their skills, Bedard said.

The schedule: somewhat unforgiving. Following the season-opening meet with Staples and St. Joseph on April 13, the Rams will host Fairfield Ludlowe, Harding and Greenwich on April 22. The Rams will face Westhill of Trumbull, Bassick and Danbury on April 27 before returning home for their second and final home meet of 2010.

The remainder of the schedule plays unfolds quickly, as New Canaan will host Ridgefield, Stamford and Trumbull on May 4.

On May 11, the Rams will visit Fairfield Warde for a meet with the host Mustangs and Bridgeport Central. The regular season ends with a meet at Darien against the Blue Wave, Wilton, Norwalk and Brien McMahon.