New Canaan wins first meet, sets its sights on postseason
The New Canaan girls' outdoor track and field team is looking to build off of the successes of last year's team, as well as the strong performances of the indoor winter track and field team.
The Rams have a relatively youthful lineup which consists of mostly sophomores and freshmen, but the young team doesn't seem to be much of a concern to first year head coach Art Brown.
"As a team hopefully, we'll be over .500," Brown said. "The main objective is to improve as the season goes along. If they do that they'll have a successful year, but it's quite a young team."
New Canaan won its first meet of the season by upending St. Joseph on April 7.
"I thought we looked OK," Brown said. "We had some surprising performances and overall I think things went pretty well."
New Canaan's first place finishes in the meet against St. Joseph included senior captain Melanie Escalante in the 400, junior captain Stephanie Benko in the 1,600, junior Cristina Konstantinovic in the 300 hurdles, freshman Elizabeth Gordon in the 800 and junior Kelly Saiz in the 3,200.
"Everyone ran well and we have a lot of talent on this team," Benko said. "I think this team is about the same as the indoor team, but we've got a few more freshman and we didn't lose many runners."
"I think we're still getting our lineup set as far as who's competing in sprints and who's competing in distance," senior captain Maureen Dinney said.
New Canaan's other first place finishers against St. Joseph included junior Alexis Najarian in the high jump, junior Abigail Wasden and sophomore Bianca Schulz in the pole vault, Konstantinovic in the long jump and triple jump, sophomore Sydney Czech in shot put, junior Rebecca Evensen in discus and senior Ellen Trinklein in javelin.
The team also competed against Fairfield Warde and Norwalk on April 12, but the results were not available at press time.
Brown said that he's still in the process of figuring out his lineup.
"Most of our top girls are returning. The new girls we're going to work in," Brown said "Track is the kind of sport that's objective to some extent based on times. By the third or fourth meet, we'll be pretty well set with the lineups. We're doing a little experimenting in the first two meets."
The Rams will face other stiff competition from the ever-competitive FCIAC in six regular season matches. Other quality teams include Greenwich, Wilton and crosstown rival Darien.
The postseason begins on June 2 with the Class L CIAC Championship at Middletown High School.
Although track is an individual sport for the most part, Escalante indicated that she's hoping to have a tight-knit team, despite having more than 70 members.
"As seniors, we want to be approachable for the younger girls to come up and talk to us if they have any questions," Escalante said. "We want to send as many girls to States as possible."