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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Ashland Track and Field on the Way Up

By Chritopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

In the past, the Asland track and field team has had its troubles securing Clocker athletes to take part in their program. 

Three years ago, Ashland had a mere 25 athletes on their winter roster where only three advanced to the State Tournament. It was back in 2011, 13 years ago, when they had one of their largest group of athletes qualify to participate in the post-season (8 individuals and 1 relay team). 

This year it seems that the tide has finally turned for the Clockers – Coach Sharon Ames has 92 athletes on this year’s teams, while currently there are close to 20 different athletes that will be looking to take part in the State Tournament. 

“I am so proud of how this program has grown,” Ames said. “We’ve been trying to recruit in any way we can; we have gotten a lot of athletes from the fall soccer teams and spring lacrosse teams to join the team to stay in shape. They need to keep running and this is a good place to do it.”

In addition to the other sports athletes coming out for the team Ashland has also had an influx of younger kids join the program. According to Ames, the sport is all about individuality where everything is basically based on each athlete’s specific event and what they do. 

“It’s all about improving upon your personal records, while growing in the sport,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, just focus on yourself and what you can do.”

Senior Ryan Kaufman has not only qualified to continue running in the post season, but he has also set the school record in the 55m hurdles with a time of 8.64. The senior also takes part in the shot-put and the long jump and continues to improve on a daily basis.

Clocker, Luca Domestico, who set the school record in the 1000m (2:49.31) and mile (4:43.11) has qualified in both events as a freshman and as an eighth grader last winter Coach Ames took him to the BAA Invitational where he won the 1K event and this year she is hoping that he can continue his winning streak but doing it on the high school level. Domestico does not run track during the spring, instead he plays on the Ashland baseball team.

“Luca runs cross country and winter track for us and I am excited about his potential; he’s a top 10 runner and only a freshman setting records,” Ames said.

Another youngster, Declan Vento has punched his ticket in the 300m with a time of 38.18. The sophomore also does the long jump, runs the 55m and takes part on relay teams is performing at a high level in all his events according to his sprinting Coach Ethan Doyon.

In addition to Doyon, Coaches Bob Shilalie, John Brinegar and Emily Reilly have all helped with the overall improvement of the athletes this season. The Clocker coaching staff are truly committed to the team and the development of each and every athlete. They have been a constant factor in the Ashland success.

Junior Will Child has qualified for the mile posting a time of 4:42.17 and the 2-mile as well with a time of 10:13.65 and is closing in on the 1000 with a time of 2:57.80.

Other male qualifiers are senior Isaac Ayres (55m dash, 9.60 seconds), sophomore Carson Boozyczko (2-mile, 11:00.32), sophomore Davis Robustellie (2-mile, 10:56.06), and Cole Lewis (high jump, 6 feet). Juniors Hunter Meigs and Noah Arnold, along with Vento and senior Quincy Carter will run the 4x400 for Ashland at the State Tournament having posted a time of 3:39.

Freshman Gianluca Uglialoro runs the 1000m, as well as the mile and 2-mile where he has continued to pr throughout the season. Junior Daniel Turner is close to qualifying in the 600.

On the female side of the team freshman Phoebe Carroll is closing in on two possible events that could send her to the States. Carroll currently has run the 600m in a school record time of 1:54.38; she also throws the shot put. 

“Her grandfather used to throw the shot put and gave Phoebe a ball to throw when she was younger,” said Ames. “Now that she’s in high school she wanted to give it a try and it has been working out for her. She’s an incredible athlete, at practice she’ll go out and run with the distance crew and then come back and throw.”

 Sophomores Natalia Melnick (55m, 7.76) and Ava Dittenhafer (300m, 44.56) have also qualified for the Clockers. Sophomore Jane Goss (mile) and freshmen Alissa Brown (1000) and Maggie Magennis (600m) are all on the verge of qualifying and hoping to do so before the deadline. Brown is the third Ashland freshman to break a school record this season, she did so in the 1000 with a time of 3:33.56. Along with Reilly and Domestico the trio now finds themselves on the Ashland Top 10 list.

The Clockers also have had standout performances from three shot putters this year – sophomore Kelis Stapleton (28’-.025”), Reilly (29 feet) and senior Ethan Cinello (36’-10”)

“Having so many qualifiers, the kids on the outside are seeing the success that we are having and realize that track and field is much more than they thought it was,” the Clocker coach said. “Participating in events outside of Ashland is something everyone is hoping to do.”

While the Clockers are having success under Ames and the other coaches, there are other issues that Ashland has to worry about. In the past when the team didn’t have the numbers like they do this year it was tough to compete against some of the other bigger schools. This year, with the numbers increasing, the biggest issue the coaches have had to deal with is who gets to contribute to each event on any given day. 

“Our biggest worry is getting them all into events to have the opportunity to take part,” the Coach said. “This is a 4-year program and we are not expecting things to happen overnight. We are looking for them to grow over these years and become successful.”

The success of the program has continued to grow as Vento, Aryes, Domestico and Child were named to the TVL boys All Star team, while Kaufman and Meigs were honorable mentions. Melnick was the only Clocker female to earn the award and Dittenhafer was an honorable mention. The boys’ team was also presented with the TVL Sportsmanship Award.