A Dash to the Finish: Track and Field at New Englands

In quiet Lakeville, the Hotchkiss Track and Field team woke at the crack of dawn to put on an electric show at the 2019 New England Championship meet at Loomis Chaffee, which welcomed teams from around the area including several Founders League Rivals, such as Choate and Deerfield. Both the Boys and the Girls teams were coming off of successful 2nd place finishes at the Founder’s Championship meet the week before and welcomed the lovely 70-degree weather.

Starting in the morning, the Girls team took to an early lead in the field, with Olivia King ‘19 dominating the pole vault at 9 feet, a height that earned her the title of New England Pole Vault Champion. Captain Maddie Rego placed 4th in women’s javelin, launching it 100-07 meters and placing 4th. These highlights just skim the surface of the talent on the  Girl’s Track and Field team.

On the track, Girls Track and Field team showed a valiant effort against 11 other competitors. The girls 4×100 relay team (Sofia Weber ‘20,  Britney Burns ‘20, Hyla Mosher ‘19, and Tanami Penfold ‘20) placed 6th in New England with a time of 52.53 seconds. Burns and Penfold also placed in the 400-meter sprint, placing 6th and 7th respectively, with times of 1:04.16 and 1:04.34. Mosher placed 3rd in the 300-meter hurdles with an outstanding time of 47.37 seconds. To wrap up the day, the women’s 4×400 team (Burns, Jillian Cudney ‘20, Weber, and Penfold) placed 5th.

Sprinter Maggie Ottenbreit ‘20, when reminiscing on the girls’ accomplishments, commented, “All of us are pushing each other day in and day out to become our best selves, and that’s not just at running. Alone we can only do so little, but at Hotchkiss when we are all together, the success takes care of itself”.

For the Boys team, Dubem Anwunah ‘20 leaped a whopping 6 feet 5 inches, not only increasing his personal record but also earning him New England High Jump Champion. He also placed 4th in discus. In the javelin, Tiki Crider ‘20 placed 5th among the boys, throwing the javelin 147-07 meters to cap off an outstanding Upper-Mid performance.

Possibly the highlight of the meet, though, was the 1,500 distance run. The top 5 competitors broke the Loomis facility record, all timing under 4:00 flat. Captain Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff ‘19 placed 7th in the race, with a time of 4:02.32. Hotchkiss students have come to love watching Andrew run this year, as he never fails to give it his all when he launches his body over the finish line time and time again. He also placed 4th in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.31.

In the 400 meter sprint, Christian Finlay ‘20 placed 5th, with a time of 51.75 seconds; in the 200-meter dash, Michael Leon ‘21 placed 5th with a time of 23.2 seconds. This competition was his second after coming off of an injury; He will be someone to watch in the coming years if this result is an indicator of what he’s capable of. To close off the day, the Hotchkiss boys 4×400 team (Lucas Mastrodomenico ‘20, Jesse Swan ‘20, Finlay, and Sidamon-Eristoff) placed 4th, with split times of 52 seconds.

The boys placed 8th in New Englands and the girls placed 7th. When asked about the meet on Saturday, Kostia Howard ‘20, reflected on their performance. “It was a very competitive day and our team played up. Some injuries held us back this season and we’re looking forward to coming back stronger next year.”

Swan’s notorious banshee cry, “OH YEAH!”, accurately describes the dynamic of the team and the energy brought to every practice. The members of the team are all going to miss this year’s Seniors. They have been such an inspiration and have guided us on a spirited and successful season. The athletes are disheartened by the loss of Mr. Charlie Bell, who coached the jumping events, and Mr. Richard Kirby (DK), Instructor in Chemistry, as head coach but are determined to have an even better season next year.