By Emily Bulczynski
The boys’ indoor track and field season has officially come to a close, with a fourth place team finish in the Dual County League Championship, ten athletes continuing onto the Division 1 State Championship, and one athlete competing in the All-State Championship.
With a pattern of dominance in the Dual County League, the fourth place finish was not the outcome that the team was hoping for, but it was still impressive given that this year has largely been a rebuilding year after the loss of last year’s many talented seniors.
Although shortcoming in terms of depth, the team had many athletes who stepped up and competed in two, or even three events, despite the difficulty of competing in three events in close succession.
Senior captain Gal Fudim, who set a new school record in the 600m before going on to compete in the 1000m and the 4 x 800m relay, notes that tripling has become a norm for the top runners.
“There is an expectation that top-level varsity guys will be ready to do whatever it takes to help out the team, which usually involves tripling,” he said, “It seems unconventional, but at DCL’s it’s really all about the team, and usually our tripling helps the team solidify points.”
While tripling seems in theory like a great way for the top competitors to rake in as many points as possible, junior Noah Whiting also acknowledged that running three races close together is a risk. Whiting, who raced the mile, two mile, and the 4 x 800m relay at the league championship, pointed out that running three events is not only a physical strain, but it is also a very tough mental one.
“Your mental state is really precarious at a meet when all your nerves and other emotions build up,” Whiting said, “When you have a bad race and do not have enough time to get refocused before your next race, it can lead to a domino effect of bad races.”
Despite being a tough meet, many individuals still earned personal bests in their races to contribute to the team score. Notably, senior Adam DiTullio recorded a personal best in the 55m hurdles to finish in fourth place with a personal best of 8.23 seconds.
Returning from a season-long injury, senior Pete Wise was able to qualify for states and secure some major points for the boys by coming seventh in the 600m in his first race back.
As for field events and relays, senior Aidan O’Flaherty placed second in the shotput and senior Jeremiah Miller came in fifth place for the high jump. The 4 x 800m relay of Whiting, Fudim, Wise, and Kiritsy also brought home points with their close second place finish to Lincoln-Sudbury.
Underclassmen also contributed a lot to the team during this rebuilding season. Sophomore Ben Kiritsy even scored a point when he placed eighth in the 1000m in a time of 2:45.31.
Freshman Ethan Jacunski also recorded a personal best of 4:46.31 in the mile. While his time did not place, it was the fastest freshman time in the event. Whiting, a veteran miler on the team, recognized the potential shown by Jacunski.
“He has shown incredible promise as a freshman,” said Whiting. “His hard work and dedication has been evident as he has consistently improved throughout the season. He ran a very impressive time for a freshman and I am excited to see him continue to improve in outdoor and run some fast times.”
Of those who qualified for the Division 1 State Championship, Whiting was the sole boy to move on as he earned a personal best of 9:50.00 to qualify for the All-State meet with his seventh place finish in the two mile.
Fudim and Wise placed ninth and eleventh in the 600m, respectively, Miller placed eighth in the high jump, and O’Flaherty finished in eleventh place in the shot put.
Now that the indoor season is over, many members of the team have already begun training for the outdoor season and setting goals both individually and team-wise. One of Whiting’s goals is for the team to continue to develop its depth. On such a underclassmen-heavy team, he sees the potential for the entire team to improve significantly with more training and workouts.
“I think that we will continue to build up the bottom half of our program which will show a lot of promise for next year,” Whiting said.
Senior Captain Dan Epstein is also hopeful for improvements for the entire team this outdoor season.
“Outdoor is a new season,” Epstein said, “and a new opportunity for us to get stronger and better as a team.”
Although the boys’ track and field team did not end the indoor season as high in the Dual County League as they were hoping for, they look forward to their hard work paying off in the outdoor season, which begins in two weeks.