For the first time in more than three decades, the Loomis Chaffee boys track & field team won the Division I New England Prep School Track Association Championships this weekend at Loomis.
The Pelicans earned 107 points while the next closest competitor, Andover, scored 57 points. Choate was third with 56 points, and Avon Old Farms was fourth with 51.5 points. In all, twelve of the largest prep schools in New England competed in the championship meet.
Earning individual victories for Loomis were sophomore Matt Farrell (1500 meters in a time of 4:00.12 and 3000 meters in 8:51.86), junior Tyler Delgado (javelin, 169'6"), senior Ross Kennedy (long jump, 22'0"), and senior captain Ryan Durkin (pole vault, 14'1"). Farrell's 1500 meter time of 4:00.12 beat the previous facility record by over two seconds, a record that has stood for 15 years!
These marks were impressive, but even more so given Saturday's inclement weather. Durkin's pole vault of 14'1" set a facility record, and he made several close attempts at the NEPSTA championships record of 14'8", though it was a challenging day to grip a pole.
Earning All-NEPSTA honors and valuable points for the team for their top-six finishes were senior Shayne Simpson (100 meters, 3rd place; 200 meters, 6th place), senior captain Ryan Heskin (1500 meters, 4th place; 800 meters, 4th place), senior captain Robert Allen (triple jump, 4th place; 400 meters, 4th place), Delgado (shot put, 5th place), junior Adam Jannetti (high jump, 2nd place), and Zeno Schwebel (pole vault, 4th place).
The 4x100 relay team of junior Denny Williams, senior Arman Henry, Allen, and Kennedy placed second.
Also competing for the team were Williams (100 meters), senior Jacob Shichman (800 meters), senior Chris Knight (300-meter intermediate hurdles), senior Sincere Tuitt (300-meter intermediate hurdles), junior Mark Valadez (3000 meters), freshman Thierno Diallo (4x400-meter relay), senior Jack Warner (discus), junior Ben Laidlaw (javelin), junior Jalen Desravines (long Jump), Jannetti (triple jump), and Henry (high jump). In several cases, these competitors were mere inches or seconds from placing in their respective events and would have been the top performer in these events for many schools.
At the awards ceremony, the Loomis captains accepted the championship plaque from their head coach Scott Purdy, who was also the meet director because Loomis hosted the event this year. While the program has had tremendous teams for many years, the team last won the New England title in this highly competitive division more than 30 years ago.
Farrell was named Most Outstanding Male Athlete of the championships, as voted on by the head coaches of the teams competing at the meet.
The team would like to thank Athletics Director Sue Cabot and Athletics Facilities Manager Craig Lamenzo for their hard work in preparing for the meet. The team would also like to thank all the coaches and students from every school who helped make this day happen. A special shout-out to the Loomis "hurdle crew" as well, who made the transition between events smooth.
Complete results of the meet are online here.