Boys Track Starting Out Strong

Published in the April 30, 2008 issue of The Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster


With the Nashoba Regional boys' outdoor track and field team undefeated heading into spring vacation week, it's tempting to wonder if the state title won by the boys' indoor track team might be matched by their outdoor counterparts. Too tempting, if you ask head coach Jim Nosel.

“Expectations may be high for some people because the indoor team was so successful, but a lot of things are different with outdoor track,” Nosel said. “The schedule is different. We compete against different teams. The distances and some of the events are different. The number of students who turn out for the team is different. The competitiveness is different. Outdoor track is a completely different animal.”

That's not to say the outdoor team won't have its own successes. Many of those who were key contributors during the indoor season—including senior co-captains Doug Koury of Stow and Anthony Raduazo, sophomore distance runners Brendon Aylaian and Coby Horowitz of Stow and junior hurdler Conor Megee of Stow—are back. Some who chose other winter sports over indoor track, such as Stow seniors (and ski team members) Travis Johnson and co-captain Jesse Way, will bring different perspectives to the team in addition to athletic ability.

And, through their first three meets, the Chieftains have been unbeatable. They've also won in impressive fashion, with the margin of victory increasing each time out: 87-57 over Hudson, 94-51 over Groton-Dunstable, and 102-43 over Marlboro.

“It's interesting, the teams we've gone against played us very well and very tight, but it just so happened that those were days when our number two and three runners kicked it in and got the points,” Nosel said. “They just decided they weren't going to get beat that day.”

Leading the charge throughout the winning streak has been Koury, who Nosel calls “the most amazing utility runner in track I've ever seen.” And running isn't all Koury does. He decided to try the pole vault, practiced for two weeks and cleared 10 feet in a meet. He heard from Nosel about a new high jumping technique being taught at a coaches' clinic, tried it, and cleared 6'4”--two inches higher than his previous personal best. He hasn't tried hurdles yet...but that may be just a matter of time.

“He's the most coachable kid I've had in a while,” Nosel said.

Another is Johnson, who competes in the 200 meters, the long jump and triple jump. The three-sport athlete, who excelled at soccer in the fall and on the alpine ski team in the winter, is willing to try just about anything, Nosel said, and after a little coaching generally does it well.

With athletes who seem to be continually improving from week to week, it's certainly possible that the Chieftains will finish the season even stronger than they've started it. But Nosel isn't making any assumptions about the postseason just yet, not with tough league matchups against Westboro and Gardner still ahead (the Chieftains were scheduled to face Westboro yesterday).

Other, more nebulous challenges may come between the Chieftains and their postseason aspirations. There are the distractions that always accompany the end of school, particularly for graduating seniors. Then there's the down side of inheriting a title-winning indoor team. The winter squad's postseason accomplishments allowed precious little time for rest and recovery before the start of the spring season, meaning that Nosel must also guard against his athletes breaking down—particularly the distance runners, many of whom have been competing practically nonstop since cross-country team practices began last summer.

All of which means it's just too soon for Nosel and the Chieftains to be thinking about titles of any kind. Which is why, although many Nashoba tracksters have already qualified for the state individual meet and others have come close, those qualifying standards are not a topic of discussion at practice.

“I don't want them worrying about any additional pressure. I'd rather have them going for a personal best at every meet,” Nosel said. “That's the most I can ask.”


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