Reigning Herget Champions for the past six years in a row, Boys Spring Track has their sights on the seventh Herget title. Last year, the boys ended their season with a 4-2-1 dual meet record to tie Natick as Herget Champs. In terms of top performances, it will be difficult to replicate the top performances of last spring. Connor McCarthy — a freshman athlete now at Northeastern — took 5th place in the 110 Hurdles at New Englands and won the MSTCA South Decathlon. Meanwhile, P.J. Hayes — now running at UCONN — won the State Title for the 200m. Led by senior Captains Mike St. Germain (sprints and hurdles), Jon Rockwood (throws), Jon Kelland (mid distance), and Pat Connell (distance), the Rebels hope to qualify at least 15 individuals and three relays to the Division II Championships and score as many points possible as a team.
“My expectations from these guys,” said Head Coach Kevin Butera,”is to instill the love and passion they have got from their four years in the program and to pass on their legacy to the next crew of upcoming classes.”
The strengths within the track team lie with the senior class — specifically the throwers and senior sprinter Myles Cofield. To offset the losses of McCarthy and Hayes, St. Germain and Cofield will need step up as the team’s top hurdler and sprinter. Both individuals have experience from competing at the Division II Championships last spring and Division III Championships this past winter. The only other All-State qualifier from last spring (besides McCarthy and Hayes), Cofield will look to improve on his 11.36 personal record from the All-State Meet last spring. Cofield also competed in the All State Championships this past winter in the 55 meter dash.
With his personal records of 36’11” in shot and 144’4.00 for javelin, Rockwood leads a group of returners in javelin: senior Ryan Brown (135′) and junior Ben Sacco (141’4″) in Javelin; senior Michael Greulich (99’2″) in Discus. The other two throwing events have also gained added depth from senior newcomers Robbie Lederman in Shot Put and Mike Williams in Discus.
As for the distance events, the boys come into this season with 7 athletes running sub 5:00 in the mile and 7 individuals running under 11:00 in the 2 mile. With Sean Herlihy now at UMass Dartmouth, it is up to seniors Anthony DiVirgilio and Connell to fill in his place. In addition, junior Brendan Wohler is the team’s top returning 1 miler (4:36), and 2 miler (10:10).
St. Germain and sophomore sprinter Lovevindjy Salvant are the top triple jumper and long jumper returning this spring. St. Germain jumped a personal record of 37’5.00 in the Triple Jump, and Salvant has a jump of 19’3.oo in Long Jump.
The teams weaknesses however lie within the lack of depth in the sophomore class and inexperience with newcomers. From the winter, the team wants to focus on consistent improvement. “We need to be consistent in our practice and meet preparation in order to perform at a level we did not achieve in the winter season,” said Coach Butera.
This upcoming season, Walpole’s toughest opponents include Natick and Wellesley. These meets as well as other tough meets against Norwood and Milton will determine whether they can extend the streak to seven years. While they face non-Herget Braintree on April 2, Walpole will face Wellesley on April 9.