Mix of veterans and younger talent to lead Patriots
Sure, the boys team finished sixth out of seven teams and the girls finished last in a meet which included some top New York schools, but it gave a glimpse of what's ahead for MAU and another chance to further develop in competition.
The boys team accumulated 29 points in the meet, while the girls racked up 27.
Despite the end result, Patriots coach Amanda Mullen was happy with the effort the team showed in competition and she's excited to see what her squad brings to the table.
With any start of a new season, getting into shape quickly is imperative to find success and that's especially the case in sports like track. Mullen feels like her team has came in ready to go and credits fall sports as a major factor to the seamless transition.
"Our cross-country kids are in really good shape coming in, just ending cross-country on a high note," Mullen said. "We also have some girls from soccer, so a lot of our kids play fall sports and that's been helping."
Both the boys and girls team have experienced athletes coming back for the 2017-18 season. Senior Skyler Hoyt, senior Shawn Tobin and junior Evan Page are the captains on the boys side, while senior Paige Greenawalt and junior Aditi Patel are the captains for the girls.
Mullen has been impressed with how this group has led in their early stages of captaining. She has relied on them a lot to lead the more experienced athletes, while she figures out the positions to put the younger athletes in.
"As the kids voted for captains this year, they had to explain why they voted for that person, whether they support them or whether they bring the team together," Mullen said. "I expect them to be a leader. Sometimes they have to lead a group, which really only strengthens themselves as well as an athlete. I have to put a lot of trust in them because sometimes when a kid is leading a group, they just goof off, but I've been impressed so far."
Hoyt figures to be a major piece of the team once again this year, coming off what has been a great career with the Patriots thus far. The senior won the state title in the long jump during his sophomore indoor track season and came second in the competition last year with a leap of better than 20 feet.
Hoyt is excited to be back on the track for this season and being with the group that has become family to him over the past four years.
"It's one of the things I love the most about school," Hoyt said. "The community, the people, it's just very welcoming to be back out here."
Hoyt has major expectations for himself for the season and his teammates.
"I've got a mark in long jump, I'm trying to reach. I've been in contact with some college coaches," Hoyt said. "For the team, it's definitely a building year. We've got a lot of new athletes and we lost a bunch from last year. With this being Coach Amanda's second year, I think this team is going to be a lot better in the future."
In terms of early results, Mullen has been impressed with what she's seen so far.
The usual suspects of Hoyt, Tobin, Greenawalt, among others, have impressed her early on, but she also pointed to a few younger pieces she expects to be major building blocks moving forward.
Sophomore sprinter Jack Haynes was one of those athletes she expects to take on a large role. Haynes finished in seventh in the 55-meter dash over the weekend, just one place out of picking up a point for MAU.
Sophomore Emma Salem, who was an outdoor high jumper last spring, joined the team this winter. As a freshman during the spring, she qualified for regionals with her high jump, so Mullen expects her talent to shine this winter, even saying Salem probably would have won the competition this past weekend if she had competed.
Classmate Rebecca Crosier was impressive as well, picking up points in two competitions over the weekend. Crosier finished second in the 300-meter dash and sixth in the long jump.
The Patriots' next meet will be this Saturday at HVCC, starting at 1:45 p.m. They'll have three more meets in December and a pair of meets after winter break, before finishing the season with the Division I state meet at the University of Vermont Field House on February 10.
Roster: Boys: Skyler Hoyt, Mattheu Longtin, Mickey Marchetti, Andrew Rockwell, Shawn Tobin, Cooper Mason, Evan Page, Tristen Shays, Isaac Sibley, Robert Cunningham, Jack Haynes, Tyler Hurley, Emmanuel Suberu, Alexander Thompson, Matthew Whitman, Josiah Durfee, Oliver Edwards, Aneesh Kamath, Rowan Thompson.
Girls: Paige Greenawalt, Chloe Gore, Gabriela Griffin-Leon, Carli Kipp, Aditi Patel, Alison Simmons, Shelby Atkins, Zoey Amoroso, Rebecca Crosier, Dominique Dease, Kyla Garcia, Savannah Jones, Hailey Loftus, Emma Salem, Nina Foster.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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