The Stoughton High boys' and girls' indoor track teams are the final squads to kick off the spring season. The Black Knights will host Sharon Thursday, starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Stoughton High track.
Previews of both the Stoughton boys' and girls' teams are below:
Coming off last season where the Stoughton High boys' track team finished as co-Davenport Division champions in the Hockomock League, the Black Knights are looking for similar success this spring.
"I have high expectations for this year's boys team," coach Harvey Blonder said.
"It is a well balanced team with some strength in all events - sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, distance and mid-distance," he continued. "We have lost some talented kids to graduation, but we have many experienced track kids who have the ability to step into their shoes. We also have a nice group of freshmen/sophomores who will certainly be a big part of our team going forward."
Senior captain Jack D'Addieco echoed his coach. "It's going to take exactly what we had from last season [to repeat as champions]. We did lose a little bit of talent but most of the talent is returning thi year, so if we work up to our best potential then we are going to be the only champions."
D'Addieco is one of four captains on this team along with fellow seniors Wayne Barnaby, Aaron Mack and Andrew Valle.
Blonder said Stoughton's leading runners and jumpers heading into the season are: Jason Marshall (400-meter hurdles, high jump and 4 x 400); John Eppenstein (both hurdle events); Aaron and Matt Mack (sprints/jumps/4 x 100 relay); Malachi Baugh (sprints, jumps - winter Hockomock All-Star); Samir Sofi (sprints, jumps); Andrew Valle (hurdles, jumps,jav), Harley David (hurdles); Jack D'Addieco (400-meters, shot put, triple jump - Hockomock honorable mention in winter); Marcus Middleton (sprints, relay); Lennox Green (sprints, jumps); David Lockhart (mile, 800-meters, relay); Wayne Barnaby (mile, 2 mile, javelin, relay); Evan Schulze (distance); Alec DeNapoli (distance, mid-distance); and John Paul Noe (800-meters) and Antonio Irons (800-meters).
Blonder said the team's top throwers are: Shawn Connolly (shot put); Kevin Lucas (shot put); Alex Green (shot put, discus, javelin); Joey Wilder (shot put); Bobby Blindt (discus); Charles Williams (javelin); and Tim Porter (discus).
Meanwhile, Blonder said upcoming freshmen and others who are likely to run for varsity include: Alex Oliver (hurdles), Smeet Patel (sprints, jumps), Melvin Amado (sprints, jumps), Alfred Parker (sprints,jumps), Alex Smith (throws, jumps) and Mikey Cardoso (mid-distance).
"We have a pretty wide variety of talent," Barnaby said. "It's good to have a wide base of talent coming in because [the younger members are] going to be the team of the future and not only is it going to help this year, but it's going to help in the coming years."
D'Addieco said he is looking for Noe to carry over his success from the winter season into the spring, and sees Cardoso, a senior, but track rookie, as making an impact. He also points to Matt Mack and Porter as two more athletes primed for big seasons.
Barnaby sees Lockhart, a fellow distance runner, having another solid season, after excelling in cross country and indoor track so far this school year.
The Stoughton High girls' track team features strong distance runners and a pair of solid high jumpers and another pair of standouts in the shut put and discus.
But where in past seasons the team may have already had a scrimmage under its belt, Thursday's test vs. Sharon will be the first time going up against other runners this spring.
As a result, girls' coach Bob Clarke said "my outlook for the season is still up in the air. We normally have a scrimmage with another team so that I can evaluate the team's potential. The weather put a damper on that."
The captains this season are seniors Niamh Fennessy, Carson McGrath, Ariene Ohimor and Kerry O'Neil.
Clake said his distance runners "seem to be in great shape." He pointed to Kerry O'Neil leading the pack in the 2 mile; Katie Daly in the mile; Rachel Berkowsky and Shannon Barkey in the 800-meters.
Hurdlers include Shelby Sprague, Maya Barrant and Lisa Bontemps.
Clarke said he also expects contributions this season from newcomers Sara Quattrucci, Donyea Holloway and Amy Kelly (a standout in cross country) in the 400-meter hurdles.
High Jumpers Imani David and Michaella Henry are both at 4'6" and should get better, Clarke said.
Ariene Ohimor and Ada Monyeki are "standouts" in the shot and disc. The team's only javelin thrower right now is Emily Quattrucci.
"I expect big things out of Megan Crimmins, Kadijah Dansby, Susanna Noe, Kennelya Ellis, Rebekah Medina, Carson McGrath, Leslie Camillo and Julia Bobeck," Clarke said. "Girls to watch - Ashley Chipman, Sara Quattrucci, Samantha Roppoli, Isabella Hobbs and Michaela Peck."
Fennessy is looking for the younger members of the team, and the newcomers, to make a mark this season.
"We definitely want to improve on last year's performance," she said. "We have a lot of really good freshmen who will hopefully be able to step up and help us out a lot and a lot of new mid-dstance runners who can probably get a lot of points for us."
"We're also expecting Emily Quattrucci to do big things in the javelin," Ohimor added. "Her sister [Julia, a 2012 SHS grad] was the champ for the most part out here and holds the record so now it's Emily's time and hopefully she can do it."