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The season may have just begun for the Narragansett boys outdoor track team but so far coach Brian McNeice likes what heâs seen from his team.
âWe have a really, really good attitude this year,â he said by phone Monday night. âIâm really excited about it.
âWe lost like seven or eight of our scorers so things were looking pretty dismal but we have guys stepping up and filling the slots and I think weâre a more well-rounded team this year.â
According to McNeiece, juniors Steven Fitzpatrick and Vincent Santos have provided valuable leadership in organizing team workouts in between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
âHe and Steven Fitzpatrick have worked out every day since indoor ended,â McNeiece
said. âI wasnât allowed to be around them [per Rhode Island Interscholastic League regulations] but Vinny and Steven, these guys showed great leadership in getting everyone together.â
Santos â who is now fully healed after breaking his wrist in the Marinersâ first football game of the season this past fall â figures to be a consistent scorer for the team in the hurdles, sprints, middle distance and relay events.
Fitzpatrick should be a strong contributor in the 300 hurdles this season, while classmate Ethan Wright returns as one of the top javelin throwers in the state.
Last season Wright finished fifth at states and should be in the mix for a spot in the top three this spring, although catching Exeter-West Greenwich senior Zach Hurd â who said Monday he hopes to reach 210 feet by the end of the season â will be a difficult task.
As for seniors this seasonâs team has just three â Mike Paradise, Zach Zuchowski and Ben Lee â but each should also be point scorers for âGansett.
Paradise is coming off a strong indoor season where he did a little bit of everything for the team but should have the most success at 100 meters.
Sophomores Deontae Stanley, Ryan Tudino and Jonathan Whalen should also be consistent contributors for the Mariners this spring.
Tudino is the teamâs top distance runner, Stanley has shown great promise in the short and middle distance events and according to McNeiece Whalen has made great strides in the throwing events.
As far as the newcomers go, freshman Michael Silvestri should be someone to keep an eye on this spring.
When it comes to the girls team you have to start with junior Leia Mistowski, who is coming off All-American honors in the weight throw this winter.
By her own admission Mistowski is much better at the hammer and should be a contender for a state title in the event.
Mistowski will be joined in the throwing circle by senior Gabby Smith and the two should be major point scorers all season for the Mariners.
âGansett should also be strong in the distance events this spring thanks to freshmen Marissa McPhillips and Emily McNeiece.
McPhillips â who was a standout swimmer during the winter â was the Marinersâ top runner during cross country this fall and more often than not McNeiece was the next Narragansett runner across the line.
Madison Loomis, Abigail Gendreau, Kasha Pike, Cecilia Nelson, Emma Bush, Sara Ryan, Alicia Perry, Gabrielle Risica and Victoria Sauro also return from last seasonâs team having competed in the Southern Division and Class C Championships.