By: Jack Carrara
As fall comes to a close, winter track is once again starting. Athletes prepare for meets by completing training workouts outdoors in the frigid weather. Athletes have many track and field options that they may choose, including the 55 meter dash, 55 meter hurdles, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 800 meter run, 1600 meter run, 3200 meter run, 4×200 meter relay, 4×400 meter relay, 4×1600 meter relay, distance medley relay (1200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter), shot put, pole vault and high jump. Many athletes use winter track as an offseason aid to prepare them for their spring sports; for others, however, it is very competitive.
For the Caldwell Boys team, the season is looking promising, but with the loss of Matt Mehan, a talented senior runner who placed in many events, the team will have to try and fill the void he left as best they can. The two captains for the Caldwell Boys team this year are Mike Pabst and Brennan Thiemann. Pabst is a skilled long distance runner that runs year round, participating in cross country and spring track. Thiemann is a three year varsity soccer player who is an expert high jumper.
Thiemann puts the upcoming season in perspective, saying, “This season we have a very young team; we have three seniors and approximately five juniors. It’s going to be a developmental year, but I think that we will still have good runners that will do well in the meets. Mike Pabst will do extremely well in the long distance runs, and I expect Nick Mehan to hold down the short and medium distance races. We are having Mike Duca pole vault, an event which we haven’t done in winter track before, so I think that he will be the person to watch. I also think that Malzone, a sophomore, is a person to watch after jumping 5’6 in high jump as a freshman.”
“I only expect him and the team to get better as the season goes on,” Mike Pabst added. “I am hoping to improve more in the distance races than I have in the past years. I also feel that the team is full of very capable runners that are willing to work hard.”
As for the Caldwell Girls team, they face a very similar problem in regards to have a predominantly young group. They also faced a big loss in Joanna Carluccio, who, like Matt Mehan, could hold down a few events every meet. The Caldwell Girls team is still very capable with Charlyne Burki and Meghan Mahalik running the sprints, Francesca Sciacca and Charlyne Burki pole vaulting, Leanna Chen throwing shot put, and Claire Murphy running the hurdles. Overall, both the boys’ and the girls’ winter track teams are rebuilding themselves and will continue to progress and improve as winter wears on.