DUSTIN STEWART (left) is one of a number of seniors back for the Kennett track boys. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 09, 2012NORTH CONWAY — With three good weeks of practice outside, the Kennett track team is about as ready as possible for the new season.
"We've had three good weeks of practice," coach Bernie Livingston said. "We didn't miss a day."
The veteran coach notes that he has never seen a year quite like this, as this is the first time he remembers being able to get out on the field for throwing events in just the second week of practice.
"From that standpoint, it's very good," Livingston said. "We're more ready for it than we were last year."
The Eagles have 51 girls and 41 boys on the team, putting the Eagles past 90 members for the second year in a row. Livingston has a lot of new kids in the mix that should be part of the team moving forward.
On the boys' side, Darrien Vaughan and Peter Haine, the top two kids in this year's senior class, will be returning to the lineup as the team captains.
Vaughan will be the team's top shot put and discus thrower and will also be key in the buffalo relay for the Eagles.
Haine will once again be in the middle and long distances and will also be key in the 4X400-meter relay.
"It's nice to see quintessential student-athletes on the team," Livingston said. "They make an effort to do everything well."
On the girls' side, junior Katie Anderson and senior Emmaline Ashe will serve as the captains. Ashe runs middle distance and will also return to her roots to open the 4X100-meter relay.
Anderson is the team's top shot put thrower, which she also did in the indoor season.
The lady Eagles have a fairly young team, with only a couple of seniors on the roster.
Hannah Benson returns to the fold for her junior year after a very successful cross-country ski season and will be the top distance runner. Christine Fournier was key in the javelin and discus as a freshman and after a year off, she is back in the fold.
Junior Sarah Hernandez runs the long distance events and Maggie LaRoche should also be key in the middle and long distances. Hannah Kaslow and Jen Vizard will be on the track for the hurdle events.
Gigi Miller returns to the team as the top sprinter from last year and Livingston expects her to have a great season.
Gracie Ryan set the indoor long jump school record this winter and will be out to perform well in the spring as well. Sianna Streeter will run the middle distances and Maggie Perkins will be throwing the discus again this spring.
On the boys' side, Mike Albert is the team's top sprinter and will be key in the relays. Silas Berrier returns to the lineup to throw the javelin and after missing the season due to an injury last year, Seth Davison will be competing in the pole vault and the triple jump.
Henry Gotjen will be running the middle distances and will compete in the 4X400-meter relay.
Zack Hill and Dustin Stewart will be the team's hurdlers and junior Mike Mason returns after setting the school record in the long jump over the winter.
Sophomore Corey Crawford also set an indoor school record in the shot put and will be counted on to help out in the throwing events.
"We'll wait and see how the first meet goes," Livingston said. "But we should be able to cover all the events."
The veteran coach noted that his team was about as far along as it could be and if the weather cooperates, the Eagles would be more than ready to go when the first meet came around after deadline Tuesday.
The Eagles will be at the Corneliusen Relays on Saturday, April 14, at Newfound at 10 a.m. On Tuesday, April 17, they head to Kingswood for a 4 p.m. meet. The team will also host a meet on April 24 and May 3 and will once again play host to the Wilderness Championships on May 19.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126