As the Massachusetts Maritime outdoor track & field program enters its second decade of varsity intercollegiate competition this spring, Head Coach Cathy Lohse looks to continue the success that the Buccaneers have enjoyed both individually and collectively. With an experienced group of returnees and talented newcomers in the fold this season, the veteran mentor will set the program’s sights on even greater achievements in 2017.
A key staple in the squad’s success has been leadership, and Lohse will look to seven members of this year’s team to provide that positive example to their teammates, as seniors Tyler Aldrich (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) and Emma Ethier (Norton, Mass./Norton), along with juniors Ian Chester (Rockland, Mass./Cardinal Spellman), Mitch Conroy (Brooklyn, Conn./Killingly), Joe Eastman (Hanover, Mass./Hanover), Jessica Gratzer (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) and Chris MacKay (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) will serve as Massachusetts Maritime’s captains this spring. Lohse describes the group as “committed to making themselves and their teammates better each and every day. Their work ethic is exceptional and infectious, and I know they will continue the tradition of demanding excellence that has always played a large part in our program.”
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the 2017 edition of Buccaneer Outdoor Track & Field:
THROWS. Gratzer and senior Meaghan Brain (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) provide valuable experience for Massachusetts Maritime, as Brain qualified for the New England Division III championships earlier in her career in the javelin and Gratzer returns after a year’s hiatus as the school record-holder in the shot put. Conroy and senior Judson Yerkes (West Barnstable, Mass./Blue Ridge School) also lend veteran depth for the Buccaneers, while freshmen C.J. Burt (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North), Jared Cormier (Maynard, Mass./Maynard), David Moore (Newbury, Mass./Whittier Tech) and Tyler Phillips (East Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) will be vying to make an impact during their respective rookie campaigns.
SPRINTS/HURDLES JUMPS. Chester and Ethier lead a solid group of versatile performers returning for Lohse in the sprints, hurdles and jumping events, as Ethier holds the Buccaneer school records in the 100 and 400 intermediate high hurdles while Chester has enjoyed success in sprint and relay events. Eastman, along with sophomores Cal Garufo (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) and Bryan Connors (Hanover, Mass./Hanover), also shined for Massachusetts Maritime in 2016, while sophomore Sara Merzon (Rockland, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) and freshmen Ryan Burns (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North), Aaron Diauto (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke), Jack Koss (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth), Anderson Melendez (Santa Clara, Calif./Santa Clara), Frank Mesa (Hialeah, Fla./Westland Hialeah), Alex Monterrey (Sandwich, Mass./Mashpee), Shane O’Neill (Georgetown, Mass./St. Mary’s), Michelle Sheehan (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) and Emma Sullivan (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) will look to establish themselves in competition while bolstering the program’s depth this spring.
DISTANCE. MacKay, who holds the school record in the 3,000 meters, teams up with Aldrich to lead the way in distance events for the Buccaneers in 2017, while the trio of sophomores Kevin Donato (North Andover, Mass./North Andover), Zach Podedworny (Webster, Mass./Bartlett) and Carl Thompson (Swanzey, N.H./Monadnock Regional) lend additional experience for Lohse’s squad. Sophomore John Driver (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock), along with freshmen Mehdi Bakhouch (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical), Parker Brassard (Plainfield, Conn./Killingly), Douglas Cleary (Pocasset, Mass./Upper Cape Tech), Meaghan Hamilton (Braintree, Mass./Norfolk Aggie), Esmael Mendes (Cataumet, Mass./Bourne), Steven Savoy (West Bridgewater, Mass./West Bridgewater) and Ryan Welsh (Washington, Conn./Shepaug Valley), are looking to make their respective marks in distance/relay events as newcomers this season.
SCHEDULE. A six event regular season slate awaits the Buccaneers in 2017, as Lohse’s squad will travel to Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, American International, Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut and Tufts before the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference/New England Alliance Championships on April 29th, which will take place at Westfield State.
Massachusetts Maritime begins the new campaign on Saturday, March 25th by heading to Bridgewater, Mass. to participate in the Bridgewater State Bears Invitational that begins at 9:00 a.m. EDT.