Dirigo track teams preview
DIXFIELD -- There will be higher expectations for the boys' and girls' track teams at Dirigo because a solid stable of veterans and newcomers has enhanced the competitiveness.
“My goal for both the boys' and the girls' teams is a top three finish in the conference,” said head coach Dave Buck, who had worked with longtime retired coach Donna Gilbert. “The girls have a lot of depth and we should be able to cover a lot of the events and have some top performers. Our boys have the strongest numbers we’ve had in years, with some promising newcomers, some guys who have been at the top of the MVC for a few years now, and some who are ready to step up and use what they’ve been learning.”
The returning boys are Brian Blackman, Jason Baldinelli, Torey Barnett, Michael Chow, Nick Davenport, Joey Pelote, Gavin Sanders and Nick Young.
Buck said Blackman (state medalist) should continue to be in the top tier of the MVC in sprints, while Young will continue to improve and move into the top level of middle distance. Chow made some big strides in javelin and is working on consistency. Jason Baldinelli, Torey Barnett, Nick Davenport, Joey Pelote and Gavin Sanders will all be building on last year, and looking to break into the scoring at the MVC meet.
Veteran girls are Lindsy Crutchfield, Casey Dumond, Dominique Flagg, Kayla Gaudin, Silvia Lutick, Samantha Morse, Lexi Noyes, Angela Ronan, Salena Sawtelle, Miranda Shurtleff, Misty Steward, Kelsey Wilson.
“We’ve benefited from some of the athletes recruiting among their teammates from other sports,” said Buck, regarding wrestlers and cross-country ski team. “The newly revitalized cross-country program is also starting to pay some dividends,
and our middle school program is building the love of track and field in these kids early on.”
Asst. Coach Gunnar Bradbury has worked with runners in the cross country program, and will strengthen the distance aspect.
New girls are Krystal Blood, Jessica Conant, Stormi Henderson, Rachel Knight, Vanessa L’Italien, Ashley Mackin, Devin Mills, Megan Morrison, Marissa Sauer, Montana Sawtelle, Tamyra Steward, Samantha Strout and Natalie Bolduc.
A point of emphasis, working on getting kids, especially the younger ones, into events that suit their abilities best. The Cougars want to build the program, so they are in the discussion every year for the conference championship.
Boys' newcomers are Julian Baldinelli, Justin Bissell, Nathan Could, Kyle Lyon, Ming-Feng Schnorr, Thomas Severance and Sawyer Smith.