The boys’ outdoor track team went 3-2 this spring.
For head Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ outdoor track coach Stephen Schlicting, it was tough to ask for a better campaign from his squad.
“This was a very successful season, in my opinion,” said the second-year head coach. “We started the season with over 70 boys on the roster and we finished with 60 active members. Recruiting and keeping a large number of athletes who strive to improve is a key to a track and field program remaining competitive in this league. Those athletes had hundreds of improvements over the course of the season. That’s how I gauge the team’s success.”
In the Panthers’ last three dual meets of the season – which featured wins over Duxbury (75-61) and Silver Lake (73-63) and a loss to Hingham (103-34) – athletes improved more than 50 times
“Our goals going into the season were to recruit a larger number of athletes than in the previous years,” explained Schlicting. “We wanted those athletes to improve. We wanted to participate in the major invitational meets (state relays, Patriot League meet, Div. 2 state meet and the MSTCA decathlon.) All those goals were met.”
The Panthers’ win/loss mark wasn’t too shabby either, as they finished the spring 3-2.
“We had a great group of boys on this year’s team,” said the coach.
Senior captain Dan Kline was named the team’s MVP after having a monster spring in both the 110-meter hurdles and javelin, while also contributing in the 400-meter hurdles.
“[He] was our best 110 high hurdler and javelin thrower,” Schlicting said.
Sophomore Theo Kamperides improved on an impressive freshman season, setting personal bests in both the 1- (4:45) and 2-mile run (9:58.37) en route to being tabbed a league all-star.
“He’s our team’s best 2 miler,” Schlicting said. “Theo came in first in the 2 mile at the Patriot League meet and had a great run, personal record of 9:58.37 at the Division 2 state meet.”
Junior Cullen Poth burst onto the scene in the discus and shotput, filling two major holes for the Panthers. His 39-foot-9 shot put throw and 117-foot-5 hurl of the discus were both personal bests this season.
“Cullen was our best discus and shot put thrower,” Schlicting said. “He was co-winner of our most improved award this year.”
Senior captains Shane Schraut (400-meter hurdles and 4×400 relay) and Billy Martell (100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4×100 relay) were also key.
“The aforementioned seniors, Dan Kline, Shane Schraut and Billy Martell, will be missed in terms of the points they earned at meets,” Schlicting said. “Their leadership and spirit will be hard to replace.”
Freshman Jake Caterer will not be missed, however, as he’s just getting started with his W-H track career – and in a big way, setting the freshman school record in the 100-meter dash and tying it in the 200-meter dash.
“Jake is a freshman sprinter and jumper,” Schlicting said. “He [also] ran on the 4×100 relay team that qualified to compete at the state Division 2 meet. Jake is an excellent high jumper and long jumper [also].”
Schlicting said he’s already looking forward to next season.
“My hope is that the strength and spirit our seniors brought to this year’s team will be replaced and surpassed as the underclassmen step forward to lead next year’s team,” Schlicting said. “Some of those others who will step forward will also include Pat Bui, Brandon Hager, Graham Stewart, Nick Hanley, Dyllan Burns, Mike King, Chris Blackman, Nathan Tassey, Will Stafford and Zachary Standish.”