RHAM track - tough beginning, but improving
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., May. 17, 2011
According to assistant coach Brad Dake, the RHAM High School boys’ track team had a rough beginning to the 2011 season. “But we had some wins that were not expected,” said Dake. “Since that point, I've seen a strong effort to build team unity and get better.”
RHAM has a number of competitors who have qualified to compete at the state level. “They could place in the top three in conference,” said Dake. “It takes a lot of work.”
The team is young, with not a lot of seniors. “We’re in a good stage of building,” said Dake. And while the team has qualifiers in a variety of different events, “our distance program is definitely our strongest,” said Dake.
As of May 16, the Connecticut Association of Schools/Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference had the following RHAM competitors listed as qualifying for state-level competition: Andrew Filthuat (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and high jump), James Des Jardins (200 M), John Bengtson (800 M) and Joseph Arel (high jump).
The head coach for the boys' track team is Mark Law. Law also coaches the cross-country team. There are four assistant coaches: Brad Dake coaches mainly sprinters and jumpers; Sean Law coaches jumps with Dake, and also coaches hurdlers; Tom Hammon is an assistant concentrating mostly on throws.
Brad Dake is one of three assistant coaches for the RHAM High Schoolboys’ track team. Dake primarily works with sprinters and jumpers for the boys’ and girls’ teams. This is his third season at RHAM. Dake was formerly a decathlete at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. "He's a good coach," said team member Andrew Filthuat. "He has a lot of experience in the sport. Each of the drills he has us do has been really helpful for pole vaulting."
Andrew Filthuat is a sophomore who has been competing on the team since his freshman year. He competes in the high jump, the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, and has qualified to compete at the state level in all three. Filthuat was a member of the track team in middle school, and he also plays basketball and football. He qualified to compete in the 300 hurdles last year, but wasn't happy with his performance. "I just want to beat my times from last year," he said of his goals for the season.
Cody Vendrillo is a freshman on the team who is already showing a lot of promise. Vendrillo competed in track for two years at RHAM Middle School, and was part of the first-place 4x100 team at states for 2010. Vendrillo is just 6 inches away from qualifying to compete at the state level in the pole vault. "I want to get to states," he said. "I'm going to work really hard to try to get there."