Defending State champion New Canaan boys track team primed to make another run at first
Published 12:55 pm, Tuesday, December 13, 2011
New Canaan High School's boys indoor track and field team may have lost some key team members to graduation, including a couple of school record-setters and some State Open qualifiers. But the Rams retain plenty of talent from last year's State champion squad as they gear up for another season of long runs, sprints, jumps, throws and pole vaults.
New Canaan, which was runner-up to always tough Danbury in the FCIAC Championships, won the Class L State title with 67 points to beat out runner-up Daniel Hand of Madison which scored 54.
Gone via graduation are Cameron Armstrong, school record holder in the 300 meter event; Patrick Daly, who holds the New Canaan High School record in the 1,000 and 800; Willie Gould, Joseph Costigan, Brant Hoffman and Taylor Parsons.
The Rams return with captains Alex Spinu, Henson Orser and Isaiah Maisonette leading way. Spinu runs the 400 meter, 800 meter, 1,600 and 3,200. Orser competes in the 400 meter and 800 meter, and Maisonete runs the 400 and 200.
"We're feeling pretty confident about the whole season," said Orser, noting that the Rams are expecting to experience success beginning with the regular season meets and continuing on into the postseason.
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Postseason success, including keeping a hold on the State crown, isn't likely to come easily.
"We lost a lot of depth this year with the seniors who graduated. We're just going to have to work hard," Maisonette said.
New Canaan is half tested and half rebuilding in the 4x800 relay event, with two graduates leaving shoes to fill. The team returns three of the four 4x400 relay competitors. Both of these relay teams qualified for the Class L State championship and State Open a year ago.
Orser, Maisonette and Spinu are back for the 400 relay contingent, and Daly is gone from the group which placed fifth in the State Open.
The 4x800 relay team, which came in ninth at the Open meet and lost Parsons and Hoffman, brings back junior Kalan Lysenko and Orser.
Armstrong was a State Open qualifier in the pole vault, and Alex Farina was a State Open qualifier in the shot put event and came in fifth at the event.
"We need a couple of kids to step up to the plate in the field events," Orser said.
The Rams get the season started with the Bishop Loughlin Games in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Dec. 17 before beginning their regular FCIAC competition. New Canaan will take on Darien, Danbury, Brien McMahon and Greenwich at Wilton High School on Dec. 29.
"I'm really excited," said Maisonette, adding that he emerged with his best performances as a junior a year ago and looks forward to continuing to improve in his final high school campaign.
The Rams beat out Darien for the FCIAC Eastern Division title a year ago and will look to keep a hold on the title in the Jan. 28 kickoff to the postseason.