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Newtown High School’s girls’ track and field coaches and athletes are hungry both to stay at the top and overcome the best in the South-West Conference this spring. The Nighthawks, after all, are defending conference spring outdoor season champions, but also the runners-up in this past winter’s indoor campaign, when the Nighthawks were edged out by rival Weston.
“Our goal is to win a conference championship. We’re the defending champs — we want to keep that going,” Coach Rich Marcello said. “I think we have enough at the top to do it, but at the same time we want to develop the younger kids.”
And while standouts will score big points that will carry the team, there should be many contributors who collectively can help push the Nighthawks to be in championship contention, Marcello anticipates.
“It really is going to be a team effort. We’re going to get a lot of points from a lot of different people,” the coach said.
Newtown is led by captains Camille Johnson, Cate Norton, and Maddie Findley (distance runners), as well as Sarah Dowling (sprints and jumps).
Key returnees include sprinter Carly Swierbut, who set SWC and school records during the indoor season, Sarah Tressler, who won the SWC high jump event and set a school mark in the process during indoor, and SWC indoor shot-put champ Marley Marston. The 4×100 relay team of Brianna Lovely,
Swierbut, Emma Curtis, and Katie Ryan is also back in the fold.
“We lost a lot,” said Marcello, noting that among the graduates were Makenna Cerney and LaurenRusso, both of whom are competing at Bucknell, along with Erin Tressler, who competes at Lehigh.
This year’s roster is loaded with freshmen, and Marcello looks forward to grooming them for the future while working toward success this spring.
Tough SWC competition stands to be provided by Weston, Pomperaug of Southbury, and New Milford, Marcello said.
Marcello and returning Assistant Coach Laura McLean are joined this year by Dr Brianne Hudak.
The regular season gets underway on Monday, April 9, when Pomperaug, Notre Dame-Fairfield, and New Fairfield visit Blue & Gold Stadium, beginning at 4 pm.