NFA indoor track team takes conference title

By Scott Appleton - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Tue., Feb. 8, 2011
Norwich Free Academy’s Tony Facchini, who holds the school record for shotput, at a recent practice. Photos by Scott Appleton.
Norwich Free Academy’s Tony Facchini, who holds the school record for shotput, at a recent practice. Photos by Scott Appleton.

The Norwich Free Academy indoor track team is reaping the rewards of a hard-fought season.

In a pep talk to his team at a recent practice, head coach Chad Johnson told the team, “I’m looking at where you guys are seeded individually. Now is the time. There is nobody in this next meet that you should say, ‘I can’t run with them.’ If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. There are no free rides. We have the experience of what it means to stand at the line and say, ‘I’m going to win this race.’ I’m really passionate about this.”

Johnson is very proud of his team. They recently took first place in the conference championships, with both the girls and the boys. “Our chances to win state are good,” he said. “As a coach, I feel it’s my responsibility to put them in a position to be successful.”

This winter has been hard on track teams across the state. The snow has clogged roadsides and sidewalks, making running a tricky proposition. But the NFA team hasn’t let that slow them down, and the coach attributes their success, in part, to their determination and discipline in practicing daily, in spite of the weather. Some of the teams against which they have competed have let the weather deter them, giving NFA a readily revealed confidence, which should serve them well at the meets to come.


Coach’s Corner:

Norwich Free Academy Track Head Coach Chad Johnson.

Second year as head coach.

The season ahead: “This is a great group of kids,” Johnson said. “They’ve showed a lot of commitment with all the snow days we’ve had. We saw a stagnation in other teams when the weather turned bad, but our team has continued to improve. We won conference championships yesterday.” The coach has been running his whole life. “My dad was a runner and got me into it at a young age,” he said.        

Complete schedule on


Spotlight Players:

Brianna Lenehan - Sophomore

“Individually, there are a lot of people who I think will do well at the state tournament,” Lenehan said. “The weather has been a big challenge this year. I love track. It’s something to do every day, and you make a lot of friends. I like it a lot.”


Tony Facchini - Senior

“Track is pretty fun. My favorite event is the shotput, ’cause it shows the explosion of being able to throw a 12-pound ball over 50 feet,” Facchini said. “I hold the indoor and outdoor record for the school. Our chances of getting state are pretty good. Everybody needs to do their best performance.”

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