Wildcats win ECC division boys’ track title

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Tue., May. 17, 2011
Taylor Davidson of Norwich Free Academy competes in the pole vault at the Ledyard Relays. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Taylor Davidson of Norwich Free Academy competes in the pole vault at the Ledyard Relays. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

Norwich Free Academy boys’ track and field coach Jemal Davis has a nice view from the top of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Large Division heap at the moment. It’s a familiar view for the 13-season veteran coach.

“We’re 6-0 in the regular season, and we won the large division title outright May 10 at Fitch,” Davis said. It’s the third ECC title in a row for the Wildcats.

The meet at Fitch was the end of the regular season for NFA, but there’s still plenty on the agenda before the end of the school year: CIAC Class LL and open championships, the decathlon, hammer throw and steeplechase championships in New Britain in June, and the New England championships in Vermont June 11.

“Over the years, we’ve been strong in a lot of different areas,” said Davis. “This year in particular, we’re very strong in sprints, as well as distance.”

Among Davis’ standout sprinters are Anthony Facchini, Martin Lewerk, Xavier Dunn, Tim Perez and Allen Gates. His 4 x 100-meter relay team has also set records.

Facchini, part of that 4 x 100 team, has also set records in shot-put for both indoor and outdoor track, and was named All-State in the outdoor event, said Davis.

Davis’s squad of 100 runners, jumpers and throwers boasts between 15 and 20 seniors – he’s not sure of the precise number – and that spells a strong future for coming seasons. “Typically, we’re able to be pretty solid in each event,” he said.

A prime example is sophomore Martin Lewerk, who Davis calls “an up-and-coming guy.

“He’s done extremely well the last two seasons. He just picked up the long jump and did 20’6” at the Middletown Invite,” Davis said. Lewerk, who also competes in pole vault, clocked an 11.5.4 100-meter sprint time at the event, as well.


Coach’s Corner-

Norwich Free Academy Head Boys’ Track and Field Coach Jemal Davis

Number of season coaching: 13

Davis, who also serves as the Wildcats’ head football coach, has led his team to the ECC division championships for three years running.


Sports Spotlight: Players to Watch-

Anthony Facchini – Senior:

Facchini is All-State in two sports; this year in football, where he was also a Rydell All-American, and last year in outdoor track and field shot-put. “We expect him to be competing for first in long jump, shot-put and 4 x 100 in the ECCs,” said Davis.


Vos Hunter – Senior:

Hunter, a soccer player, came out for cross-country last year. “He did extremely well,” said Davis. “He helped propel our 4 x 800 indoor track team to two nationals, and they finished first in the divisional race. There are multiple events he has the opportunity to win at ECCs” – including the mile run and 4 x 800.

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