The Quabbin Regional boys’ indoor track team has been a model of consistency under coach Matt Castriotta, and the Panthers continue to shine no matter where or how deep their opponents are.
At last Saturday’s 43rd District E Indoor Invitational at Fitchburg High, Quabbin placed third overall with 54 points, then Friday night placed second to Littleton in the Division 5 State meet at Reggie Lewis. Track and Athletic Center.
The senior captains of the Panthers have once again come out on top in Boston. Owen Faulha easily won the shot put (50ft, 11¼in), UMass-Lowell-bound Brett Earle was second in the long jump (21ft, ¼in) and third in the 55m (6.58sec) ), and Lars Jenkins ranks seventh in the 55 hurdles (8.58) and tied for eighth in the high jump (5-8).
Perennial small-school powerhouse Littleton won the D5 tag team title, less than a week after claiming its third District E crown since 2016 with 84 points, followed by 12-time champion Wachusett Regional, who took second place with 68.
In District E, the Panthers tied the Tigers with three individual winners, led by Faulha in the shot put (52-7¼), Earle in the 55 dash (6.71 seconds) and Jenkins in the high jump (5-10).
“I was very proud of them,” said Castriotta, who guided Quabbin’s indoor program from 1996 to 1999 before returning in 2017 for his second stint. “We knew Littleton was going to be tough. They are well trained and very deep, as we would have been last winter. Considering we finished third with all Division 1 and Division 2 teams combined, I couldn’t have been prouder.
Two years ago, the Panthers went 4-0 at Mid-Wach C and finished third in the Central Mass Championships. Division 2.
Sadly, Quabbin, who won championship titles in 1997, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 within their pod roster, couldn’t build on that momentum last year as COVID-19 wiped out the playoffs. playoffs.
“Last winter would have been the strongest team ever in Quabbin,” said Castriotta, whose team went 3-2 in five games this season. “With the combined talent of the 2021 and 2022 classes, I think we would have won the league, district and state titles.”
Next up for Quabbin was Friday’s Division 5 State Meet at Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.
Faulha, an outstanding javelin thrower in the spring, has already qualified for the emerging elites in the shot put.
The versatile Earle holds the school record in the 55 sprint and in Division 5 state meets he was ranked second in the 300m and second in the long jump. He also throws the shot put at 39 feet.
Jenkins, who Castriotta says is having an incredible season, is one of CMass’ top hurdlers, and junior Kelan Mahoney finished second last Saturday in the two-mile and had a legitimate shot at a top-10 finish. first Thursday.
Senior Andrew Twarog, a former basketball player, is in his first year of indoor track and providing depth in the high jump and 55 hurdles and will join Earle and Jenkins in the MSTCA Individual Pentathlon on February 28 at Reggie Lewis.
“I have amazing captains,” Castriotta said. “They lead by example and help set a nice tone for the team. It’s a fun group to coach. Quabbin has never had this much depth in the field trials. Our sprint team is very deep.
Castriotta, who also leads the varsity boys’ away team, said his guys are pumped up for the spring.
“This winter’s successes built a stronger foundation for spring,” Castriotta said.
—Contact Steve Farley at [email protected]