Hopkinton High School boys indoor track and field head coach Mike Donahue did not have to worry about getting his team in shape at the start of the season. In fact, many of his athletes needed a little time to recover after lengthy and successful seasons with their fall teams.
“We have a lot of seniors and they were coming in off football, which always has an impact because they play until Thanksgiving and it takes some time to bounce back from that season,” Donahue said. “There were kids a little banged up from soccer, they went to the state title game, and our best distance guys are coming off a long cross country season.”
Added Donahue: “We didn’t need to make sure they were in shape, they were just beat up a little bit.”
While the older athletes started a bit slower and are rounding into form now as the season heads toward the home stretch, Donahue said he and the other coaches were able to work with some of the younger athletes to get them up to speed. The results have been positive, as Hopkinton won its first three dual meets of the year and put up a strong showing at the sprawling Northeast Invitational meet.
All of Donahue’s athletes are now training full bore and had a strong fitness base at the start of the year, thanks in part to their successful fall sports campaigns. Senior Sean Golembiewski is returning as an All-American and has the top time in the state in the 55-meter hurdles. Golembiewski has committed to the University of Pennsylvania to continue his track and field career after graduation.
Senior Declan Mick is another captain who has been strong in both the hurdles and the shot put. Mick is second in the Tri-Valley League in the former event and in the top 10 in the latter.
“He’s a guy we can use in a bunch of different areas,” Donahue said. “He can run the sprints if we need him to, and he is good in the relays.”
Senior captain Kavin Prasanna is new to indoor track, but he already has shown himself to be a strong shot putter. He is ranked highly in the TVL despite needing some time to learn the new event.
“He decided he wanted to throw a rotational technique and, once he has that down, he is going to explode,” Donahue predicted. “He is a tremendous athlete.”
Craig Salois started strong in the 2-mile and is seeded right at the top of the TVL. Donahue said he should be ready to peak by the time the middle of February rolls around. Senior hurdler Paul Litscher and senior middle distance runner Luke Boothroyd are two more athletes who are big-time point-scorers for the Hillers. Boothroyd recorded the top time in Division 2 in the 600-meter run. The HHS 4×400 relay team is the top team in Division 2 and captured a win at the Northeast Invitational, a meet that included about 3,700 competitors from all over the region.
Hopkinton is looking to finish up the season with a perfect dual meet record and a TVL large school title. The Hillers also figure to be a top-tier team in Division 2, and a top-five or top-three finish is well within reach, Donahue said. Although, his athletes have their sights set even higher.
“The kids want to win it, and we might be in the mix, we will see,” he said. “The competition is steep, but we have got some horses. The question will be whether we have enough depth across all of the events to win it.”