Senior Pole Vaulters, Freshman Miler Made 2007 Track Season Memorable

Published in the June 20, 2007 issue of Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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For the Nashoba Regional boys' track and field team, the season's top stories belonged to two pole vaulters who capped their high school careers with all-regional efforts and a precocious freshman miler whose best performances are undoubtedly ahead of him.

Pole vaulters Sean Busch of Stow and Lou Dinatale of Lancaster both posted personal bests at the state meet on June 5, with Busch clearing 13-6 to tie for third place and Dinatale clearing 13-0 to finish alone in fifth. The pair were the only Chieftains to qualify for the all-New England competition on June 11, in which both cleared heights of 13-0; Dinatale placed 12th and Busch 14th.

The pair's showing at the state meet is even more impressive in light of the fact that the competition began three days earlier but was postponed due to a lightning storm. At the time of the postponement, Busch had cleared 12-6 and had failed on his first attempt at 13-0 – a height he had never cleared before. When the competition resumed, the bar was again set at 13-0, and Busch had only two remaining chances to clear it.

“I was very nervous for those three days between,” said Busch, who also captained the varsity soccer and indoor track teams and was the class valedictorian. “Even when I had to do other things – including interviewing for a job – I couldn't stop thinking about the vault.”

When the time came, though, he cleared it on the first try. Incidentally, he also got the job-- he'll be the head lifeguard at Stow Town Beach this summer.

The pole vault event has been a strength for the Chieftains, due in part to the tutelage of girls' track coach Ley Ricker, but with no apparent heirs waiting in the wings the focus might very well shift to the mile, where freshman Brendon Aylaian of Stow has already made a name for himself.

At the MIAA Central Massachusetts meet on May 26, Aylaian surprised his opponents and his coaches by jumping out to an early lead, which he maintained for most of the race. Near the end, however, he began to lose ground as other runners accelerated toward the finish. One runner passed him, then two, then four. The freshman's aggressive approach was about to cost him the race.

Not this freshman. Somehow, his kick propelled him past all four of the runners who had passed him only moments earlier, ultimately winning by 0.16 of a second with a time of 4:35.29.

And as much as third-year coach Jim Nosel hopes Aylaian will learn to “run smarter,” he's also the first one to acknowledge the freshman's talent.

“He's a prodigy,” Nosel said. “He's a kid who's going to be one to watch for the next three years.”

As important as it is for a track and field team to have athletes who dominate individual events, Nosel also emphasized the key roles played by other team members whom he likened to the utility players on a baseball team. Quarter-milers Oren Shapira and Dan Stefanis of Stow were two such contributors this past season, Nosel said.

“If you need someone to step in on a relay team, either one would step up,” he said.

Another athlete from Stow, senior David Lauritano, worked hard to fill the shoes of former Chieftain javelin standout Connor Hogan but had his season cut short by injury, Nosel said. Lauritano, who will attend Lafayette College in Easton, placed 20th in the Central Mass meet with a throw of 147 feet.

“David's been a rock the last three years,” Nosel said. “I hope he throws in college.”

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239