Boys Track and Field Begins Season with Rout of Natick


Juniors Chris Conley and Ryan Morris, with senior Dave Wians, sprint to the finish in their victory. (Photo/Casey Ganshirt)

James Cullinane

Juniors Chris Conley and Ryan Morris, with senior Dave Wians, sprint to the finish in their victory. (Photo/Casey Ganshirt)

Coming off of a strong 2010 winter season, the future of the Walpole Boys Track and Field Team seemed to depend on the development of promising underclassmen.  After graduating a strong senior core, which included throwing standout Chris Tetreault and Captain Joey Rockwood – who has since taken his speed to Providence College – major gaps were left to be filled in the 2011 event schedule.  A new strong senior class looked to continue the recent success of Walpole Indoor Track and Field on December 16, in a Bay State League showdown with perennial rival Natick.  In a decisive victory, Walpole rolled over the Red and Blue by a score of 59-21, a far wider margin then seen in previous years.

The Rebels are led by strong leadership from head coach Kevin Butera and the aforementioned senior class.  This leadership has led to an ability to overcome adversary, such as losing key sprinter Alex Lee.  Filling the void in Rebel sprinting department was senior Captain Nick Foley, who finished first in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.87 seconds.  Natick’s Matt Powers took second in the 55 while Walpole newcomer Shane Blass finished third, earning his first varsity points.  The Rebels also earned first and second place in the 55 meter hurdles as Jackson Paslaski finished with a time of 8.50 seconds.  Junior Conor Murtagh followed Paslaski with a time of 8.65 seconds.  In the 300 meter dash, Walpole seniors Cam McDonough and Billy Heanue took home second and third place respectively.  Rebel senior Dave Connors finished first in the 6oo meter dash with a time of 1:32.00 and was trailed by second place finisher junior Matt Zampi (1:33.91).

Walpole’s long distance runners showed endurance which Natick was incapable of replicating.   Led by junior Justin Connolly (4:52.26), senior Zach Bannon (4:59.37), and up-and-coming sophomore Andrew Single (5:19.27), the Rebels swept the Red and Blue in the mile, adding a cushion to their lead.  Walpole’s distance runners also proved to be strong in a sweep of the two mile, won by senior Dave Wians (10:30.27).  Junior Zach Ganshirt also came in first for the Rebels in the 1000 meter with a time of 2:51.28.  The Rebels were dominant in the distance category, setting themselves apart from Natick.

The Rebels also reigned superior over Natick off of the track.  Walpole’s throwing squad swept Natick in dominating fashion behind throws from senior Captain Doug McMillian (38′ 6″), junior Chris Rockwell (38′ 3″), and senior Ryland Stevens (36′ 9″).  This strong throwing performance is undoubtedly a reflection of first year shot put coach Nick Rockwell, who brings experience and technique to his throwers.  The strong performance in the field was not limited to the shot put circle as Paslaski led a sweep of the long jump with a mark of 19′ 4″, followed by senior Cam McDonough (18″ 1.75″” and sophomore Connor McCarthy (17′ 6.50″).

Dominance across the board in Walpole’s opening meet was brought about by great coaching, blended with the desire to continue the newly founded winning tradition in Walpole Track and Field.