SHS boys’ track and field seniors lead the way

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Jun. 2, 2011
The Stafford High School track and field team at a recent practice. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
The Stafford High School track and field team at a recent practice. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

In 2010, the Stafford High School boys’ track and field team ended the season at 12-12. Returning in 2011 for his 28th season at the helm of the Bulldogs, coach Mark Dunn set his sights on individual improvement and focused the team’s efforts building towards the Class S Championships.

Senior leadership has been at the forefront of the Bulldogs’ efforts this year. Captains Tom Szymanski and Peter Molitoris have been integral cogs in the team’s successes. “Coach tells us before each meet to do our homework,” Molitoris said. “He makes sure we are prepared for every match-up.”

Shawn Cummings remembers the best advice Dunn ever gave him. “It’s pretty simple, really,” he said. “Run faster; that about sums up coach’s approach to every meet.”

Tri-sport athlete Tucker Fontanella joined the team as a junior. “I started on track last year and it has been a great experience,” he said. “Coach Dunn has a saying, ‘The harder you work, the better you’ll be.’ I think we all take it to heart.”

There are 11 seniors on the Bulldogs this year, each contributing in a variety of events: Tom Szymanski – 800M, 3200M; Tom Dziewa – Shot put, Discus, Javelin, Triple Jump; Peter Molitoris – Pole Vault, Javelin; Damon Rummel – Pole Vault, Chris Mitta – Pole Vault, Shaun Cummins – 4x100 Relay, 100M, 200M; Ryan Collier – 4x100 Relay, 100M, 200M; Tucker Fontanella – 400M, 4x400 Relay, Long Jump, 4x100 Relay; Bruce McKenney – 4x800 Relay, 800M; Wesley Boucher – 1600M; Ben Carter – Shot Put, Discus, Javelin.

For a complete list of Bulldogs track and field team members who qualified for the CIAC tournament, visit the website



Coach’s Corner-

Stafford High School Boys’ Track and Field Head Coach Mark Dunn

Number of seasons with this team: 28

Assistant Coach: Rob Ruick

Captains: Tom Szymanski and Peter Molitoris

Goal for the season: “To participate in the Class S championship,” Dunn said.

More information on


Spotlight Players:

Peter Molitoris – Senior: A pole vaulter and 4X4 runner, Molitoris plans on attending Rhode Island College to study computer science or graphic design. His favorite moment on the track team came during his first 4X4 in New Haven. “I was in the last event, and the whole team was screaming my name as I finished,” he said. In addition, he is a member of the cross-country and indoor track teams, and hopes to compete at a college level in the decathlon.


Shawn Cummings – Senior: Competing in the 100, 200 and 4X1, Cummings will be attending Western New England College. He has a best time in the 4X1 of 12.1. His greatest memory as a member of the team cannot be summed up in one line. “I loved all of it; it’s something I’ll never forget,” he said. In addition to track, he has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with Stafford Troop 81.


Tucker Fontanella – Senior: A wrestler and football player in addition to track, Fontanella runs the 400, 4X4 and 4X1. He also competes in the long jump, with a record 17 feet, 10.5 inches. Attending Ohio Wesleyan, he will study economics. Fontanella’s fondest moment on the track team was winning his first 400 as a junior.

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