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Newtown High School’s boys indoor track team has depth in its group of distance runners, highlighted by crossover athletes who helped the Nighthawks win this past fall’s South-West Conference cross country championship.
Just as big as what the those endurance runners bring to the track will be the success in field events. Despite the loss of standout shot-put thrower Jack Godfrey (second in the Class LL championships and third in the State Open), one of 14 graduates from a year ago, Newtown returns some strong performers in the shot-put, pole vault, and jumping events.
“Points in field events are key,” Newtown Coach Becky Osborne said.
After all, there are more opportunities to earn points in those competitions than in the running events, which have a higher number of competitors.
In addition to having multiple athletes with potential to score points in field events, the Nighthawks have standouts, led by Aiden Jasinski, whom Osborne believes has a chance to break the school pole vault record of 14-foot-3, held by Reid Warner since 1998.
Osborne, a former standout thrower and classmate of Warner, holds the school’s shot-put record and says she would also be in favor of one of the girls’ team members breaking it. “I’ve had it for too long,” she said.
Captains are Ryan Williams (throws), Brett Deri (hurdles and sprints), Christian Lestik (distance), Zach Crebbin (jumps), and Rori Edwards (multiple events, including pole vault and sprints).
“I’m really looking for the freshmen and new runners to step up and fill in some of the cracks that were left by the great seniors last year,” said Osborne, adding that she is striving for a top-four finish in the conference.
Newtown was fifth in the South-West Conference last year. Immaculate of Danbury and Weston were co-champions. New Milford, which won the spring season outdoor SWC title, was only two points behind last year’s indoor winners. The Hawks were 15th in the Class LL state meet.
The season got going with the Hillhouse Invitational at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven this past weekend. Jasinski took second in the pole vault with a jump of 13 feet, Crebbin placed third in the high jump with a leap of six feet, and Lestik took second in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:44.30.
Newtown’s first postseason qualifying meet is during the final weekend of December. The SWC championships are set for February 3, with the Class LL and State Open competitions to take place February 10 and 17.