Windham Tech track a young, but talented team

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Mon., May. 9, 2011
Freshman Valerie Savino competes in the shotput for Windham Tech on May 3.
Freshman Valerie Savino competes in the shotput for Windham Tech on May 3.

This year’s Windham Technical High School girls’ outdoor track team is a very young team, with no seniors and only two juniors. With a team dominated by freshmen, coach Rich Zadroga is still in the process of discovering his members’ strengths.

“We’re still trying to figure out what they can do well,” Zadroga said at a meet against Lyman Memorial and Tourtellotte on May 3. “And because they’re so young, they’re still learning. We’re still working on developing their skills.”

But with more than 20 members, this year’s team is the biggest in school history. The Tigers lost Amy Huhn (sprints, jumps, pole vault) last year to Eastern Connecticut State University. Top returners include junior co-captain Carissa Baxter, who competes in sprints, relays, pole jump and long jump. Her co-captain, Amanda Pearce, is also a junior. Pearce currently competes in discus, the 800 meter, and relays.

Other top returners are all sophomores: Ana Garay (distance, high jump), Felicia Figeuroa (distance), Danni O’Connor (distance, high jump, javelin), Kassey Moore (sprints, hurdles) and Rachel Shafer (discus).

Some promising newcomers include freshmen Jenna Flynn (throws), Veeka Buckley (pole vault), Alyssa Pearce (distance) and Kara Thibideau (sprints, jumps). Newcomer Kassiah Sanchez is a sophomore who competes in sprints.

Finishing in fifth place in the Central Connecticut State Conference for 2010, the Windham Tech Tigers hope to improve upon that record for this year. The main focus will be on gaining experience and skills for the young competitors.


Coach’s Corner-

This is Rich Zadroga’s 32nd year coaching at Windham Tech. “Between JV and varsity, I’ve been coaching track since 1980,” he said. Zadroga is assisted by Chris Morgan, and both coaches boast experience competing at both the high school and college levels.

According to his athletes, Zadroga remains as committed as ever to the sport. “He works very hard to make the team run smoothly,” said girls’ co-captain Amanda Pearce.

“He puts a lot of his own time and money into this,” agreed co-captain Carissa Baxter. “He puts us first, like family.”

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