The boys’ indoor track looks to build over the season.
Head coach Mike Driscoll’s expectation of his Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ track team is for it to show constant improvement.
The Panthers, who finished the year 2-3 last winter, have some large voids to fill with the graduation of all four of their Div. 3 All-State qualifiers in Brian Edwards, Brett Holmes, Andrew Newman and Jack Ryan.
“Those holes are big with those guys, and they create some problems in our lineup, but there will be kids stepping into their roles,” said the team’s sixth-year head coach. “I don’t know if they can say they’re going to step into Jack Ryan’s shoes or a Brett Holmes’ shoes or Andrew Newman’s shoes, but we certainly have kids who are ready.”
W-H does return its fair share of talent. Senior captain Billy Martell emerged last season as one of its top sprinters and relay runners. This season, he’ll throw the shot put in addition to running the 55-meter dash, 300-meter dash, long jumping and running a leg of a relay.
“He’s just a fast kid,” Driscoll said. “He can throw the shot put up to 40 feet. He fills a lot of holes on a track team.”
Martell, along with fellow senior captain Dan Kline, classmate Brandon O’Brien and junior Kyle O’Brien, are at the center of the Panthers’ strength – their sprinting.
“We feel like the sprinting group is our top group,” Driscoll said. “We have some really good distance runners, too.”
The distance runners are led by a bevy of cross country runners from the fall.
Senior captain Shane Schraut, a boys’ cross county captain, will run distance and relay in addition to hurdling as well.
“He’s a great leader and a passionate kid about track,” Driscoll said. “He’s very dynamic. He can cover a lot of ground in a lot of events. He can go from the 600 down all the way down to the 55 dash.”
Other cross country runners in the fall bolstering the Panthers in the distance events will be junior Brandon Hager and sophomores Liam Cafferty, Theo Kamperides and Chris MacDonald.
Kline will also throw shot put, and chip in running a relay and hurdle.
“Dan is one of the best hurdlers in the league,” Driscoll said. “He’s a very hardworking kid.”
Junior Pat Bui fills gaps in the 55-meter dash, 300-meter dash and shot put.
The Panthers are back in action Friday, Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m. against Hingham at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.
“We’ll see where we matchup with Hingham,” Driscoll said. “We still might have enough depth to win a league championship but we’ll compete.”