New Canaan High School's boys outdoor track and field team is loaded with individual standouts, including some defending champions, and the Rams are looking for continuation of that personal success, as well as a strong team showing this spring.

"We're coming off a very successful year," said captain Henson Orser, who runs the 400 meters, 800, 300 hurdles, and pair of relays -- the 4x800 and 4x400. Orser was one of the team's spring champions last year, as a member of the first-place 4x800 relay group. He expects the team to make some noise this campaign.

"We'll definitely do well. Winning will be difficult," Orser said of the chances for a team title, noting that the Rams always lose some of their team members to other sports teams, such as lacrosse, and they have tough competition in the FCIAC as well as in the state.

Darien and Danbury, along with Ridgefield and Staples, have been among the toughest boys' teams in the conference in recent years. Last year, Darien won the FCIAC East Division title after the Rams had claimed the crown three years in a row.

Captain Rami Hamdan, who won the indoor track state title in the shot-put event this past winter, with a throw of 49-03.75 -- more than a foot better than any of the other 25 competitors, could be in contention for an outdoor title.

Hamdan was seventh in last year's outdoor shot-put state championships with a throw of 44-01.50. He's improved and only two of the six throwers to finish better than him were underclassmen last spring. Hamdan is also a strong discus thrower.

The Rams were 11th in last year's outdoor track state championships.

That state champion 4x800 relay team included Alex Spinu, also a senior captain this year, along with the now-departed Taylor Parsons and Patrick Daly, both of whom graduated.

Orser and Spinu were on the 4x400 relay team which was fourth overall. The team included fellow junior Isaiah Maisonette, another captain this spring, along with Daly.

Dylan Kavookjian, a distance runner, is New Canaan's other captain.

Coach Steve Bedard said that other key contributors include Kallin Killinger in the throwing events, Kallin Lysenko in the distance events, Devaun Bovell in the hurdles and Cameron Haines in the pole vault competition.

"We will look to cover all the events and develop young athletes which will strengthen our team," Bedard said.

For some team members, this campaign marks a last chance to shine and do the best they can -- whether it's going for a title or simply trying to improve on personal times and distances.

"I'm looking forward to it because it's my last year. I want to try to do the best I can," said Stephan Walker, who competes in multiple events, including the 200, jumps and hurdles.

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