Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ indoor track head coach Mike Driscoll is pleased with the effort put forth by his team this winter.
The Panthers, who finished the season at 2-3, owned wins over Duxbury (55-45) and Silver Lake (54-45) and were clipped by Hingham (57-43) and Pembroke (57-41).
“With the exception of the Plymouth North meet (70-30 loss), who were the [league] champions, we hung with some really good teams,” Driscoll explained. “We beat Duxbury, we beat Silver Lake, and Duxbury is a really good track team. We got within two events of beating Hingham, which we haven’t done in a long time.
“These kids worked really hard. We had a small senior class with only six seniors, but four of them are state-level competitors. I’m happy with the young kids, I’m happy with the older kids, we had a lot of freshmen, we had a lot of new kids this year, so the numbers are good.”
The four Panthers to crack the Division 3 All-State meet, which was held Feb. 18 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, were senior captains Brian Edwards and Andrew Newman (Patriot League All-Star) and classmates Brett Holmes (Patriot League All-Star) and Jack Ryan (Patriot League All-Star).
Edwards finished the contest tying his career-best of a 6-foot high jump, which was good for eighth place and a medal.
“Brian is just a natural high jumper,” Driscoll said. “That’s his event, it’s been his event since he was a freshman and it’s just a natural event for him. He can get up over that bar at six feet like it’s nothing and it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Newman also medaled with a seventh-place finish in the 2-mile run at 10:08.66.
“Andrew is one of the examples of a kid that if you just stick with something, you’re gonna be good at it,” Driscoll said. “Andrew came in as a freshman and he was maybe a little below average. And now with all the hard work he’s put into this program, and into himself and running, he’s an above-average runner now and he’s earned everything.”
Holmes and Ryan missed out on medals in the long jump and 1,000-meter run, respectively.
The Panthers were also bolstered this season by the addition of indoor track newbie and the progression of a seasoned veteran.
“[Junior] Billy Martell had a great year for us, his first year doing winter track, in the 300 meters and our 4×200 team,” Driscoll said. “And then senior Joey Coletti had another spectacular year in the 600 meters and 4×400 for us.”
Driscoll said Coletti was the biggest surprise of the winter.
“I wasn’t sure what we were gonna get out of him,” Driscoll said. “I knew he was a senior, [but] he really bought into the team this year and bought into the running, and I think he had an outstanding year for us.”
Coletti was a leg on the 4×400 relay team, along with sophomore Kyle O’Brien, Ryan and senior Andrew Tassey, that finished in 3:51.62 to help the Panthers edge Duxbury on Dec. 19.
“I think that was our best meet,” Driscoll said. “Beating that team with a lot of depth. We really, really ran well and jumped spectacular that night. We had to hit all our marks and all our spots and we did that night. “
Driscoll said he hopes to continue to develop the indoor track program by attracting more student-athletes over the offseason.
“We’d love to have every kid come out for track, but we get kids need rest after their fall seasons,” Driscoll said. “We just really want to build the program back to where it was.”