Darien boys' track team boasts talent across the board
Published 3:20 pm, Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Some teams excel in sprinting, others in the distance or field events. Darien High School's boys' outdoor track and field team has talent across the board, although its strengths are in sprinting and distance events, coach Tyson Kaczmarek says.
"We can cover all of the events," Kaczmarek said. "I think we're going to surprise some people throwing-wise."
The captains are Kevin Keller, a jumper and sprinter; Stockton McMullin, a jumper and sprinter, John Conley, a distance runner, Peter McDonough, a sprinter and thrower and David Watson, a distance runner. Other key team members are Matt Pik, a sprinter, Graham Hotchkiss, a jumper, Will Lochtefld, a thrower, Charlie Baird, a distance runner and Michael Johnson, a distance runner.
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"We have a good team -- we have a lot of depth. We should be good," McMullin said. "A lot of people can improve individually and our team can improve as a whole."
McMullin's personal goals are to qualify for each the FCIAC, state class and State Open championships once again. He'd also like to set a couple of school records. McMullin entered the season tied with the school's fastest time in the 100 meter event, at 11 seconds, and 10 inches short of the long jump mark of 23-3.
The regular season is all about improvement and working toward being in tip-top shape for the postseason meets.
"We want to see improvement," the coach said. "Just get better every day. You can't get better if you're not here."
The Wave started things off on a high note with a 77-73 win over Wilton in the season opener on April 7.
The team will face tough competition throughout the regular season, which bodes well for the athletes stepping up their games and being better prepared for the postseason, the coach believes.
"You rise to the level of your competition. They always step up. No one says we're going to win every meet, but we're going to be competitive every meet," Kaczmarek said.
In the season-opening win over Wilton, Darien got first place finishes in the 4x100 and 4x400, Max Fanwick won the 110 hurdles event in a time of 18.2, McMullin captured the triple jump win with a combined effort of 40-2, and won the long jump with a leap of 20-2.5. McMullin also won the 200 as well as the 100, and Pik won the 400. Hotchkiss took first in the high jump with a jump of 5-10.
The season started on a somber note for the Blue Wave team, which was without freshman Andy Pena, who passed away suddenly on March 25. Darien is also battling through some injury woes in the early going. Keller, Conley and Watson are all sidelined to start the campaign.
Darien isn't so much looking for wins as it is looking to get healthy and simply compete with the tough teams of the FCIAC as the regular season unfolds.
"We want to hang tough and be ready to go come postseason," Kaczmarek said.