To the average onlooker, spring track may seem like the same thing as winter track. Like winter track, it is coached by the same veteran coaches, Cindy and Bill Tilden. Both feature some of ORR’s most talented athletes. And in both winter and spring track, ORR also has a legacy of success.
But despite the similarities between the two seasons, they also have drastic differences. “Spring track is actually really different and separate from winter track,” said senior girls’ captain Morgan DaSilva. “A lot of kids from winter track go and participate in other sports, and we also get a lot of new athletes that didn’t participate in winter. It’s a different group of kids, so the team sometimes has to be readjusted to fit all of the different events.”
DaSilva went on to explain the differences in events between the two seasons. “Winter track is really limited in field events: There is only high jump and shot put. In spring, you add long jump, triple jump, javelin, and discus, along with a few running events. It requires your team to be a lot more well-rounded, whereas in winter you can get by with less depth.”
Unlike most teams, ORR does not need to worry about a lack of depth. With about 50 kids per team, the girls’ and boys’ have a good balance of jumpers, throwers, and runners. The boys will be led by hurdler Kevin Saccone, who is coming off a phenomenal winter season, where he placed highly in the state meet in both hurdles and long jump. Colin Knapton will lead the sprinters and javelin throwers, while Chris Demers and Zach Tilden will lead the middle-distance runners. The girls also seem to be very strong, with Paige Santos, Zoe Smith, and Elexus Afonso leading the jumps and hurdles while Sammie Barrett and Emily Josephson will lead the distance squad. Ashley Pacheco looks to be one of the Bulldogs’ top throwers this season as well.
Both teams have also set lofty goals for the season. “Both the boys and the girls would really like to win the SCC,” said senior captain Santos. “I know the boys won the championship two years ago, but lost last year, so they really want to take it back. The girls have won the spring SCC title for the past four years, so we’d really like to keep that streak going as well.”
Santos admitted that winning the SCC will not be easy, especially with strong teams like Dighton-Rehoboth and GNB Voc-Tech in contention for the crown. But Santos felt that both teams have the potential to win, especially with the strong crop of newcomers.
“There’s a lot of potential,” Santos said of the newcomers. “Learning how to use blocks and how to do certain events can be pretty challenging, but everyone has taken it really well and we’re getting in the swing of things.”
Freshman hurdler Eli Spevack, senior sprinter Jack Smith, and senior thrower Jesse Noonan were among the first-time spring athletes Santos mentioned. For the girls, Santos said that senior Abby Adams and freshmen Hannah Lafreniere, Brooke Santos, and Riley Shaugnessy would also contribute for the team.
The boys’ and girls’ spring track teams kick off their season with a home meet against Case High School on April 3 at 3:30 pm.
By Michael Kassabian