By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Even with a revamped CCC South Blue division, it’s hard to envision the Bristol Central boys track team not winning the division again.
And with the likes of Class L 100 hurdles champion Jevon Smith leading the way, the Rams are in great shape.
Bristol Eastern has a couple good athletes as well and don’t count out St. Paul Catholic just yet in Naugatuck Valley League action.
Here’s a quick look at each program:
BRISTOL CENTRAL BOYS TRACK
Head Coach: Tamara Stafford-Kirk
Last season: 11-0 overall (7-0 CCC South Champs)
Subtractions: Tavon Royster (sprints); D’Andre Conway (sprints); Andrew Damon-Smith (distance); Josh Signore (distance); Eddie Rodriguez (hurdles); Jaavon Gordon (hurdles, long jump); Drew Lee (relays); Solomon Baldeo (relays); Will Tolliver (high jump, pole vault, long jump); Hector Ortiz (high jump); Drew Lee (long jump, triple jump); Tyshaun Rodriguez (sr., pole vault)
Athletes to Watch: Jevon Smith (sr., hurdles, triple jump); Luis Medina (jr., sprints); Kayan Conrod (jr., sprints, relays); Tamir Hornseby (sr., sprints); Kareem Davis (sr., sprints); Andrew Marcantonio (sr., distance); Matt Varnum (sr., relays); Matt Pittman (sr., pole vault); Hiram Aponte-Rivera (sr.); Denzel Davis (sr.); Deion Francis (sr.); Michael Baudoin (sr.); Jorge Hernandez (sr, field); William Jabs (sr.); Tyler L’Heureux (sr.); Adam Lamonaco (sr.); Michael Lauretti (sr.); Robert Luis-Fuentes (sr.); George Pittman (sr.); Sean Suiter (sr.); Matt Viarengo (sr.); Simon Andrews (jr.); Jeremy Baldeo (jr.); Steve Behmke (jr.); Johnny Chea (jr.); Hunter Damon-Smith (jr.); Sean Fitzgerald (jr.); Ben Funk (jr., distance); Garrett Gottschall (jr.); Alrick Grant (jr.); Marco Guzman (jr.); Jordan Lopez (jr.); Nick Marcantonio (jr.); Max Naranjo (jr.); Steve Pelletier (jr.); Kaman Richards (jr.); Steven Suon (jr.); Brendan Varnum (jr.); Zackery Bunker (so.); Emmanuel Diaz-Rodriguez (so.); Mason Graff (so.); Eric Knox (so.); Pat Kjornrattanawanich (so.); Eli Ortiz (so.); John Otte (so.); Matt Roy (so.); Jaekwon Spencer (so., jumps); Jake Therrien (so.); Gabriel Updegraff (so.).
Outlook: This program is once again loaded and with a superior group of athletes running, jumping and throwing their ways into first place, it’s tough to see who can top the Rams.
The Rams finished third in the Class L championships as several athletes – returning to the program once again – are looking for big things in 2016.
Senior Jevon Smith is a state champion in the 110 meter hurdles (15.85 seconds) and nabbed fifth in the 300 hurdles (41.36 seconds) and expect more of the same this year from the standout.
He re-established his own school record in the 110 last season and it should be exciting to see if he can top that mark.
Senior Tamir Hornesby just missed out on qualifying for the State Open in the 400 meters (50.74 seconds) while the grouping in the 4×100 relay could included studs such as junior Luis Medina, senior Kareem Davis, and sophomore Kaynan Conrod and the 4×400 and 4×800 relays that included Hornesby and senior Andrew Marcantonio.
Marcantonio was also a solid 400 meter sprinter for the program as well last year.
Senior Matt Varnum will also make up some of the relay teams as while Smith should be a standout again in the triple jump.
In the pole vault event, senior Matt Pitman and sophomore Eli Ortiz made good gains over the course of the season.
This team will be formidable once again and the CCC South Blue Championship is certainly within reach.
BRISTOL EASTERN BOYS TRACK
Head Coach: Kyle Fuller
Last season: 2-4
Subtractions: Max Girouard (relays); Ken Tenan (relays); Ramiro Sanchez (high jump, long jump); Justin Protinick (long jump)
Athletes to Watch: Dante Collins (sr., sprints); Chris Lebeau (jr., distance); Michael Centoni (sr., relays); Harrison Dayton (jr., relays); Quentin Bensavage (sr.); Chadd Bernier (sr.); Justin Caez (sr.); Noel Concepcion (sr.); Jahzael Effend (sr.); Joe Franklin (sr.); Reese McGowan (sr.); John Murray (sr.); Kerion Rogers (sr.); Titus Wright (sr.); John Doyon (jr.); Jacob Hooks (jr.); Ian Mace (jr.); Ryan Palzere (jr.); Felipe Rodriguez (jr.); Diego Sanmartin (jr.); Donovan Soucy (jr.); Alex Bartucca (so.); Peter Jeski-Robinson (so.); Austin O’Meara (so.); Juan Calderon (fr.); Jarrod Doucette (fr.); Joshua Doucette (fr.); Naimir Heyliger (fr.); Kevin Leech (fr.); Zach Martin (fr.).
Outlook: There are plenty of seniors to go around on Kyle Fuller’s squad and this team will win more than its share of meets along the way.
Senior Dante Collins is as quick as a whip and should be the Lancers featured sprinter.
Seniors Chris Lebeau is a quality distance runner while senior Michael Centoni and junior Harrison Daley should be a part of a few of the relay teams.
It’s a new division with new opponents to take on but as long as the Lancers can stay competitive, Eastern should have a good season.
- PAUL CATHOLIC BOYS TRACK
Head Coach: Jim Husbands
Subtractions: Kyle Lipka, Eli Parks (sprints, long jump); Ryan Mills (sprints, relays), Doug Nessing (shot put), Jose Silva (relays); Austin Kulig (relays); Pat Etter (relays, javelin)
Athletes to Watch: Tom Melvin (sr.); Alejandro Cervantes Segura (sr.); Tyler Greene (sr.); Rob Eagan (sr.); Wilson Beresford III (so.); Jeremy Adams (jr.); Robert Matthew Gray (jr.); David Lyder (jr.); Tyler Posten (jr.); Joe Schigas (jr.); Dan Spatafore Jr. (jr.); Jordan Silva (jr.); Justin Rigsby (so.); Jake Sanzone (so.); Tony DiPietro (so.); Christian Sturm (so); Aakash Terra (so.); Vincent Penisse (fr.); Andrew Shanahan (fr.); Bonifacius Sidharta (fr.); Chris Warner (fr.).
Outlook: This could be a rebuilding season for the program but several seniors and juniors will take centerstage for the Naugatuck Valley League group.
The squad netted a 62-58 win over Wilby last season and the team hopes for a little additional success in meets like that in 2016.
Rob Eagan, a senior for the Falcons, made up part of the team’s successful relay 4×400 squad but will have to find a few more athletes to join the unit.
As the season goes on, roles will be a bit more defined and hopefully, success follows quickly.
The Falcons will be facing bigger schools all campaign long and, unfortunately, it becomes a numbers games in the end during those NVL meets.
St. Paul doesn’t have a huge roster but will still compete to the end.