Track and Field Makes Strides For Improvement 


With the end of the season nearing, the girls and boys varsity track and field teams are focused on improving their competitiveness during the first complete season since the onset of COVID-19.

Head Coach Tricia Watson believes that the team has improved despite these challenges. The players constantly worked to their fullest capacity and strove to develop their skill set. “I see the domination in this season in the hurdle events. We have two seniors, [senior Co-captain] Dan Raymond and [senior Co-captain] Ashleigh Stepnowski, who are both phenomenal.” 

The track and field team is unique because of its ventures to alternate sites other than the KO campus for practices. The team went to Sterling Park in West Hartford for their workouts. In addition, the team had access to the Conard High School track. The group focused on technique work there because there were more resources available, including a long jump pit, high jump pit, hurdles, and handoff exchange zones. 

Stepnowski believes that the team’s cohesiveness and connection between athletes allowed the team to succeed. Not only this, but each athlete’s drive and genuine enthusiasm enabled the team to make massive improvements. “We’ve made a lot of strides in our technique, and with that, we’ve seen a lot of times drop,” Stepnowski said. “A lot of kids have gone from knowing nothing about track to knowing a lot about track and being able to compete in their events.”

With recent meets against Cheshire Academy and Taft School, the team showcased its skills. Senior Co-captain Megan Murphy is a dominant force for the team in the 200-meter. Raymond has been a valuable team member and is ranked No. 1 in 110 hurdles. Senior Co-captain Olivia Reynolds is a talented 800-meter runner, while senior Sam Merkatz excels in the 3000-meter. 

As the track team transitions into their championship season, Coach Watson believes that the team is destined to perform well. “I shared with them [the team] open communication about what really is expected and what are their goals,” she said. “We want them to have this level of competition that they are able to compete in a healthy way and so we want them to not only qualify, but compete.”

The Wyverns have performed well at their meets against Cheshire Academy, Taft School, and Wilbraham and Monson Academy. These meets have tested the team’s strength and mental toughness, leaving them with points for improvement. 

During their last regular season meet of the year, the Wyverns traveled to Cheshire Academy to compete in a dual meet. Both the boys and girls teams found great successes, and a number of athletes registered personal bests. Senior co-captain Isaias Wooden registered a personal best of 127.08 in the javelin, an event he only started competing in this season. Additionally, junior Jordan DiMauro jumped a personal best of 15.04 in the long jump and Stepnowski set herself a season record in the 300 hurdles, with a time of 54.9 seconds. The girls track and field team won this meet by an impressive 36 points, and the boys team just fell short of a win.

On Saturday, May 14, the boys and girls track and field teams traveled to Trinity-Pawling School in New York to compete in the Founders League Championships, which was their first of two championship meets. Although the competition was tough, the Wyverns were able to secure multiple top-ten finishes. Most notably, freshman Joey Kalinowski placed third in the 100, eighth-grader Tyler Brown placed third in the 200, Reynolds placed third in the 800, Raymond placed third in the 110 hurdles, and Raymond won the 300 hurdles.

This past weekend, the track and field traveled to Gordon College to compete in the NEPSTA division three New England Championships. Again at this meet, the Wyverns were able to secure a number of top ten finishes and many athletes set personal records. Impressively, Raymond was able to take the first place medal in both the 110 and 300 hurdles. The girls 4×100 relay team and the girls 4×400 relay team were able to place. Other top finishes include a sixth-place finish in the 800 by Reynolds, and a sixth and a fourth-place finish in the 300 and 110 hurdles respectively by Stepnowski.

We wish the seniors all the best with whatever comes next in their athletic careers. Congratulations to both the boys and girls track and field teams for a successful season, we can’t wait to see your achievements next season!