LUNENBURG – The Lunenburg boys’ indoor track and field team suffered some difficult injuries to key seniors in last year’s spring season, but the good news is that a lot of young athletes got thrust into pivotal roles on the team.
That experience is going to pay dividends this year, as the Blue Knights are a year older and poised to take the next step.
“We had some key senior injuries last spring, the freshman/sophomore group that I have and a couple of key veterans like Matt Agnese, Jacob Burns, Mike Laine, and Shawn Stillman have picked up right where they left off,” Lunenburg boys’ indoor track and field head coach Mike Spare said. “Because we were out three seniors last year. We feel good about the season.”
On December 10 the Knights opened the season at the Winter Festival at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, and performances shined through.
Burns figures to be a leader in the 55-meter dash, as he opened the season with a 7.1 second time. Stillman and Agnese opened the season with a bang in the 300m, both running sub-40 second times.
“Stillman ran a 38, and Agnese just finished his race at a 37.8,” Spare said. “We usually don’t have two kids that run under 40 in the 300, sometimes we get one. It was kind of a surprise as both those guys run 400s usually. So we pulled them down and they performed really well.”
Lucas Pentedemos, Connor Martin, Jayden Pereira, and Cameron Begley all ran in the 55 second range in the 4x400m relay, posting a 3:40, which should provide some punch at the league championship. The quartet represents Lunenburg’s mid-distance crew, and will bounce around the different events.
“We have a little bit more time where we can do a little bit more experimentation this year,” Spare said. “Because we’re not competing head-to-head against another team (with the new track format rules that alleviated dual meets in favor of invitationals). I can try different people in different things and see how they do.”
The Knights are a little green in class rank when it comes to the distance crew. Matt Pilon, Ben Dunlap, and Issac Sculimbrene, are the young up-and-comers, with Dunlap and Sculimbrene being eighth graders in class rank. Pilon ran a shade over 5 minutes in the mile, and Dunlap was in the 5:13 range last weekend.
Jeremiah Burney, is a seventh grader, who will lead the hurdle crew. Burney has experience competing in the event at the middle school level, but is brand new to the high school program.
“We’re hoping to set (Burney) up with some good habits, and build a hurdle team around him,” Spare said. “He’ll end up being the veteran at some point. Hurdles are a little more regimented than everything else.”
Freshman Raymond Beardmore started the season where he left off in the spring in the shot put, chucking a toss of 44 feet 11.75 inches. A 45-footer was his best mark last season. Senior Dylan Newcomb has the capability to crack 40 feet, and opened the season hoovering in the 38-39 foot range.
Alex Rabinow will provide depth in the shot, and will expect to take on a more prominent role next season, and as he works his way up in class rank.
Stillman returns as an outdoor high jumper, but has yet to start training in the event this season. Nate Ayles is a hard-working freshman in the event, as well as being the team’s go-to in the long jump when the bigger meets at the end of the year come around.
“We’re looking forward to the season,” Spare said. “I was a little surprised at how fast everyone was at the invitational. Everybody must’ve worked hard in the off season, because they came back right where they were. There’s usually a little dip and we have to build back up, but they had pretty impressive performances.”