By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol Central boys track teams have been busy over the last couple weeks but all that competition has turned the Rams into a better squad.
On Tuesday, April 23, Central defeated CCC South foe Berlin 93-57 while two short days later, the Rams fell to Southington 84-66 in a CCC Interdivisional meet from Bristol.
Overall, Central ended the week at 5-1 but maintain a perfect 4-0 ledger in CCC South action.
“This was our second week in a row with Tuesday/Thursday meets so it’s been a long couple of weeks,” said Central coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk. “I told the boys that with a big meet coming up against Middletown on April 30, that these meets would show us exactly where we stand and help prepare us for a battle against rival Middletown. To win our ninth consecutive CCC South Championship in a row we really need to get a win against Middletown on Tuesday.”
Last year, the Blue Dragons pulled off the victory over the Rams by only two points but that would be the only CCC South loss of the season for Central.
In fact, it was Central’s only CCC South loss in eight seasons for the Rams but the campaign was not lost due to the setback.
Central ended up winning the South Championship meet to tie Middletown for the overall championship and were crowned co-champs with the Blue Dragons.
“This year we’d like to go into the championship meet as the team to beat,” said Stafford-Kirk.
The loss to the Knights last Thursday might have been a small set-back for the Rams but Central battled Southington to the very end.
“The Southington meet was a lot closer than the results show and now the boys know that we are a strong team that can challenge any team we meet,” said Stafford-Kirk.
The one thing you have to admire is the challenging schedule the Rams have every season.
A team like Southington, for instance, is only scheduled for eight meets this season while Central has all its regular showdowns plus a few invites and other excursions to challenge some of the very best athletes in the state.
The Rams have a strong team top to bottom and that includes several grizzled senior veterans plus a large group of talented youngsters who have been productive right from the start this season.
“Captains Cy McIntosh (throws) and Spencer Johnson (distance) continue to dominate, while a large group of sophomores and juniors are really stepping it up now that we are midway through the dual meet season,” said Stafford-Kirk. “Veterans Jon Jankoski and John Ouellette are starting to come around while Kevin Ouellette is keeping us in it in the 400 meters.”
A coupleof athletes even broke some school records over last week and that includes seniors Matt Tabak and Johnson.
The record Tabak broke, in fact, was a 36 year old standard.
Tabak snapped the oldest standing school record in the pole vault against Southington.
He cleared 12 feet for the first time in a meet and raised the bar to even greater heights later on in the fray.
Tabak rose the bar all the way to 12’4” and cleared it on his final attempt to take down the 1977 record held by Curt Lombardi.
For the Rams, the two oldest school records fell in one week with Tabak’s clearance and Spencer Johnson’s 16:03 in the 5000 meters on April 20 in the Berkshire Distance Festival to also put himseff in the record books.
“What a week for Bristol Central boys track and field,” said Stafford-Kirk.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE