Spring Success for All of RL’s Varsity Teams
In addition to Varsity Tennis’s ISL Championship and second place finish in New England, RL’s Varsity Baseball, Lacrosse, and Track and Field Teams also had remarkable spring seasons this year, with noteworthy team-wide and individual accomplishments.
Varsity Baseball finished the season with an 11-4 record in Independent School League competition (12-5 overall), winning their last seven games in a row. The team finished a respectable third place in the ISL this year, and is losing five consequential and long-tenured seniors: Owen Butler, Harry Lonergan, Will Matthews, Antonio Morales (who will play ball at Wake Forest), and Patrick Schultz (who will play ball at Brandeis). Baseball had a great team performance in their season finale with a 12-0 win over St. Mark’s—facing a pitcher heading to Notre Dame and tagging him for five runs in the first inning!
Varsity Lacrosse finished the season with a winning record of 11-7. The team concluded its season by winning the ISL Consolation tournament, winning their first game against Brooks (17-3), winning their second game against BB&N (10-7), and finally beating Groton in the consolation championship (9-7). Hayden Cody was named tournament MVP. On the season, Matt Bastardi led the ISL in assists with 48. The team also had five different players with 20 or more goals this season: Taylor Cotton (28), Jake Popeo (25), Johnny Price (23), Tommy Weber (23), and Matt Bastardi (20). The team loses five seniors this year: Thomas Connolly, Aidan Gibbons, Will Anderson (who will play at Tufts), Riley Stanton (who will play at Holy Cross), and David Sullivan (who will play at Dartmouth).
This year’s Track and Field team had an excellent season, with lots of team and individual highlights. The team finished fifth place overall in the ISL, and in three events at the ISL Championship meet (discus, 110m hurdles, and 100m) all RL entrants set lifetime bests! Michael Thomas and Marc Quintanar both sent the discus over 105 feet. Alejandro Rincon and Ryan Lin showed the power of great teamwork in the 110m hurdles, finishing side-by-side in identical times of 16.74. Bruno Kim and Tyler Duarte both blazed to sub-12 performances in the 100m dash, Bruno for the first time at 11.76 and Tyler in a new lifetime PR of 11.78. Although he was RL’s lone entrant in the high jump, Matt Hoover lept to a new PR of 5’4″, making it four events in which all RL entrants set their lifetime bests.
At the ISL Championships, only the top six athletes or relay teams score in each event. With 13 ISL teams all putting their best athletes on the line, it is extremely difficult to score. All the more congratulations, then, go to RL’s three athletes who improved upon their unseeded times/distances and broke into the scoring: Ryan Miller made the most of his opportunity as RL’s lone “wild card” (third) entrant in an event, setting a lifetime PR of 10’6″ in the pole vault, catapulting into fifth place. Ezra Klauber set a 14-second lifetime PR in the 3000m to nab fifth, while Alejandro Rincon’s 110m hurdle time was good for sixth place.
Each year, the ISL coaches award Outstanding Performer plaques to the best field event athlete, track event athlete, and a combined field/track athlete at the Championships. These awards mark outstanding performances in what are already outstanding competitive fields. Roxbury Latin’s Kofi Fordjour was named the ISL’s 2023 Most Outstanding Track Athlete. Kofi single-handedly scored 28 of RL’s points, winning both the 1500m (4:10) and 3000m (9:24), and taking second in the 800m (1:58). Only a handful of RL distance runners have ever attempted this “iron man triple” at the ISL Championships, and Kofi’s finishing places put him at the top of that list. “The warm round of applause Kofi received from all the ISL athletes at the end of the meet is indicative of the respect he holds across the league,” said Coach Erin Dromgoole.
Track & Field’s final week included individual highlights at the ISL Development meet, as well as a gritty team performance that resulted in a third place finish at the New England Championships.
Although no team scores are kept at the ISL Development meet (with the emphasis instead placed on going for a personal best in one’s main event, or even trying something new), RL emerged with many top performances. Seniors Mathias Why and Michael Allen notably capped off their Track and Field careers with dual PRs in the 400m. In a great sign of the future, Lucas Connors notched his first individual victory on the track (in the 300m hurdles) while distance freshmen Liam Walsh (3000m) and Lincoln Hyatt (1500m) ran personal records in their events. Zach Heaton (1500m) Akhilsai Damera (800m), Drew Anderson (400m), Brendan Reichard (800m), Josh Hua and Austin Reid (200m) continued the PR parade! The race of the day went to Calvin Reid who battled his competition to the wire, leaned at the tape, and was rewarded with a big five-second PR in the 800m. In the field, RL’s top three shot putters, led by Hunter Lane, all ended their season with personal-best throws. This meet is an annual highlight for RL Track and Field “futures,” and this year proved to be more of the same.
Traveling two hours west to Williston Northampton, to compete at the New England Championships, Roxbury Latin Track and Field outscored its seed “on paper” to take home the third place trophy, with 80 points. (Suffield nipped RL for second place by just one point. However, Roxbury Latin’s athletes scored 30.5 more points than they had at the ISL Championships!)
Kofi Fordjour continued his track dominance, winning the 1500m and 3000m for the second week in a row at a Championship meet. Ethan Dhadly concluded his Track and Field career in dramatic fashion by catapulting himself into second place in the triple jump on his final attempt down the runway. Carter Crowley adeptly managed three different events (and multiple shoe changes), scoring in both javelin and 300m hurdles. Michael Thomas had the best meet of his career, launching the shot put 40’8″—a monstrous 2.5 foot PR! Carter, Michael, and Adam Kuechler (400m) all rose out of the unseeded ranks to score in their events—a huge boost to RL’s team score! Adam later had Thomas Savage to thank as a fellow member of the 4x400m team; Thomas’s blazing lead-off leg of that relay positioned RL perfectly to score. Thankfully, pole vault wrapped up before the real downpours began, and it was RL’s highest-scoring event of the day. All three RL vaulters set personal bests: Tommy Reichard (12’1″), Alejandro Rincon (11’6″), and Ryan Miller (11’0″).
This season marks the 11th year in a row (pandemic years excluded!) that RL Track & Field has enjoyed a winning record—a testament to the boys’ hard work and to their willingness to preserve a team culture that starts not with wins and losses, but with loving each other.