New Canaan boys indoor track and field team coach Bill Martin enters his second season at the helm with the goal of getting as many team members as he can to experience as much meet competition as possible.
Martin said the team used to participate in about a half dozen regular season meets throughout the campaign and that he's scheduled about 20 this winter.
Martin arranged for some with the intent of allowing his top tier runners the chance to perform at multiple invitational meets as they work toward postseason qualification. The idea behind scheduling this many, in part, is to accommodate for individuals' scheduling conflicts and allow the team members some versatility.
The Rams will have their hands full competing against FCIAC foes, including defending champion Staples, as well as Danbury and Darien.
"We hope to repeat in the 4x8," said Martin, noting that he has a number of potential fill-ins who can plug the holes left by the two graduates from last season's squad.
"It's going to be really interesting -- I'm really optimistic though," Reynolds said of the situation the relay team is in with half of its foursome back. "I'm really excited. Winter track is probably my favorite season of the three."
Among the captains, in addition to Reynolds, is Austen Deery, who Martin refers to as the team's "big gun" in sprinting events.
Buck, who runs the 300 meter dash and also as part of the school's relay squads, broke the school's outdoor track record in the 400 meter dash last year.
Other captains are middle-distance runner Sam Reynolds, field events competitor Ish Faroqui, and shot-put standout Brendon Hill, who qualified for the state championships a year ago.
Standouts include Spencer Lyman, a distance runner who earned All FCIAC Second Team accolades, and Alex Ellsworth, a distance runner who provides athleticism having played basketball and baseball in addition to running cross country. Mid-distance runner Aiden Buck, also a cross country team member, adds depth to the lineup.
"The strength in our program lies mostly in our middle distance runners," said Martin, adding that he is hopeful of developing strong relay teams as the season unfolds.
Martin said the squad stands to pick up some additions once the football season ends. The runners, throwers and jumpers will benefit from that shot in the arm when the football players join the lineup. In the meantime, mild early December weather was a plus, the coach said.
"It allows the kids to get used to being out in the cold," said Martin, adding that the runners stand to have to train in increasingly chillier temperatures as the season gets underway.