Indoor track teams stocked with talent and numbers

NEW MILFORD - More than 100 athletes are set to compete for the New Milford High School boys and girls indoor track teams this season, giving coaches Ryan Rebstock and Ryan Fitzsimmons both quality and quantity to choose from.

On the boys’ side, Rebstock has a team of 70 athletes ready to go, including what the coach believes perhaps could be the most talented freshman class he has had since he began coaching. Sprinter Matt Bouzakis should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, along with an enthusiastic group of young jumpers.

The Green Wave distance crew is coming off another stellar cross-country season, led by SWC and Class L champion Eli Nahom and captain Herlandt Lino. Charlie Osborne and Moroni Lima will handle the middle distance events, while captains Jacob Meadows and Craig Shanahan will anchor the New Milford throwing core.

The final two of the team’s five captains, Tommy Delaney and Tyler Timan, have been excellent leaders and will contribute on relays, along with standout sophomore Luke Chastain according to Rebstock.

“There are several other first year athletes that make up our roster of 70, and many of them have shown promise early. It is a fun group that is eager to learn and improve every day,” Rebstock said. “Our goal every year is to be in the hunt for a conference title. The SCC Invitational and Yale Classic will be the biggest tests for us leading up to the conference meet.”

The boys’ team is a little larger than it has been in the past.

“There was a definite uptick this year in numbers, which is great for the program. It is challenging with 70 kids, and I find myself running around like a madman to check on each group even more than usual,” Rebstock said. “Fortunately, we have strong leadership from the upperclassmen. They are students of the sport and they pass on their knowledge to the underclassmen every day.”

On the girls’ side, Fitzsimmons has 45 athletes on the team. The Green Wave will be competing in five SWC meets, The Yale Classic (Jan 20) and the SCC Invitational (Jan 21) all in the first three weeks of January.

“We are very excited about the season,” Fitzsimmons said. “We have a good balance of experienced athletes and excited newcomers. As a team we have the goal as always to compete for the SWC Championship Title early in February and advance as many girls as possible through State Championship Competition.”

UConn-bound Mia Nahom will be one of New Milford leaders this season and she has also qualified for the mile run at the New Balance Grand Prix on January 28th. This event is a mix of amateurs and professionals at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston and will air live on the NBC Sports Network.

Nahom highlights a returning seniors group that includes last seasons indoor state champion 4x800 runners Nahom, Brigit Humphreys and Riley Peragine. Senior Raquel Morehouse returns to anchor the sprints and Avery Kelly and Emily Prizio return to the throws. Outdoor track jumper Isabel Feliz has joined indoor track this season for the sprints and jumps. Fitzsimmons also had 10 freshmen join the team and they are getting experience in a variety of events.

“We have been practicing outside enjoying our new track and turf facility and the girls have had a great attitude and progressing well as we head into our competitive season,” Fitzsimmons said. “It will be a blur over the next three weeks but it's sure to be exciting and challenging.”