Warriors hope for similar success they had during the indoor season


WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High boys’ track team might just add new meaning to the phrase, “Taking it outside.”

IAN RITCHIE, a senior captain, returns to run the mile and two mile. He was also a member of Wakefield’s national qualifying 4x400 relay team. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

IAN RITCHIE, a senior captain, returns to run the mile and two mile. He was also a member of Wakefield’s national qualifying 4×400 relay team. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

After the WMHS boys’ indoor track team captured the Middlesex League Freedom division title this past winter and had a successful showing in the Div. 4 state relays and Div. 4 state championship meet, the Warriors are hoping to continue the upward trend this spring on the outdoor stage.

Wakefield posted a 2-4 overall record and 2-3 record in the M.L. Freedom division last spring. So the Warriors will definitely be seeking improvement this spring season.

Wakefield’s captains for the outdoor season are seniors Eddie Massabni, Ben Joly, Ian Ritchie, Jackson Gallagher, Joe Hurton and Armin Palic.

“After a pretty good indoor season we are hoping to continue the winning trend that the athletes have set. Our goals remain the same; Improve as athletes, win a league, state relays and sectional title,” said Head Coach Ruben Reinoso, in his seventh year. “We open up next week (tomorrow) against Woburn at home. The athletes have been working really hard in order to prepare for this season and although the weather has not helped, we have found ways to get some good workouts in.”

Running distance for the Warriors will be three of their captains, Massabni, Ritchie and Gallagher.

Ritchie had an outstanding year last year in the mile, two mile and as a national qualifying member of the 4×400 meter relay.

Gallagher returns after being one of the top 600 meter runners in the country this winter. He will attempt to improve on his runner-up performances at All-States and in New England championships as he moves up to the 800 meters. Gallagher will also compete in the 400 meters.

Other middle distance/distance contributors will be junior Rich Custodio, sophomore Adam Roberto, junior Alec Rodgers, junior Alex Guerriero, junior Chris Skeldon, junior Tyler Whipple, junior Jeremy Keegan, sophomore Jackson Kehoe and new to outdoors, Jack Stevens, a sophomore.

There are a number of other young runners who show potential for scoring points from the 800 meters up to the two mile and in the 4×400 relay as well.

“This distance group is hoping to have more than 10 boys under five minutes in the mile this season, providing depth in each of those events,” said Reinoso.

Tyler Strauss, a senior, will mainly compete in the 400 meters, 800 meters and the 4×400 relay.

In the sprints, Wakefield has captain Palic, along with junior Kevin Russo, junior Eric Chi, junior Jian Glen Gallardo, senior Kyle Geaney, sophomore Dan Sallade and freshman Henry Stikeman. All the sprinters will compete in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and in the 4×100 relay.

The 4×100 meter relay hopes to improve on last year’s qualifying national time of 44.28 seconds, which was one of the top times in the state.

Captain Hurton and Brian Dickey, a senior, will compete in the 400 meter hurdles and in the 4×400 meter relay.

Cam Yasi and Joe Boudreau, a senior and a junior, will compete in the 200 meters, 400 meters and the 4×400 meter relay.

In the 110 hurdles, Wakefield has junior Zach Conlon, sophomore Peter Crump and sophomore Ben Thompson.

Joly will lead the way in the throwing events. Joining him are sophomore Joe Connell, junior Jared Regan, senior Dan Wensley and junior Nick Nice. They will compete in the shot put and discus. Joly was one of the top throwers in the league last year and he hopes to improve on last year’s and this past winter’s indoor performances.

In the javelin, the Warriors have Will Bergendahl, a senior. Bergendhal was one of the top throwers in the state and qualified for nationals last year. Russo will also compete in the javelin. Russo had a very good first year throwing the javelin and, along with Bergendahl, is looking to win a state relays title this year said Reinoso.

In the jumps, the Warriors return Hurton and Geaney. They return as two of the top jumpers in the league.

In the long jump, Wakefield has senior Pat Casaletto, Gallardo and Yasi back. All three should be in the mix to win a lot of meets and compete for a state relays title as well.

The Warriors also have some new athletes to the program that Reinoso and the coaching staff are hoping will have an impact on the WMHS program. They are sophomore Alex McKenna, junior Nick Elcewicz, sophomore Sean McNall and junior Mark Melanson. They will compete in the high jump, sprints and javelin.

Helping out the program this year are assistant coaches Perry Pappas (distance), Justin Berry (shot put, discus, strength and conditioning), Elias Reinoso (hurdles and horizontal jumps), Anthony LaFratta (sprints and relays) and Greg Gibbs (sprints, strength and conditioning).

The Warriors are scheduled to open up the season on Tuesday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m. when they host Woburn at the Beasley Track and Field facility. That is, of course, if all the snow has melted and the conditions of the track and field improve enough to run a meet there.