Track and Field (Coed): Varsity vs. Hunt Relays (4/22/2023 12:00 PM)

Event Details

Boys Varsity Track & Field Write Up:

On a cloudy Saturday in Deerfield, a day on which the rain held off until the meet was well-concluded, and the morning chill gave way to an afternoon of moderately warm, largely windless competition weather, Deerfield’s Track & Field program gathered to host nine peer schools in a friendly, unscored running of the Hunt Relays. In addition to local schools Bement and Eaglebrook, Loomis Chaffee, Hotchkiss, Northfield Mount Hermon, Cushing, Williston Northampton, Wilbraham & Monson and Pomfret made the Saturday morning trip to the Pocumtuck Valley and entered teams in all or, at least, a few of the thirteen relay events offered at the meet. It was the 63rd running of the Hunt Relays, an annual event founded and named for longtime Deerfield Track & Field coach Mo Hunt, and sustained thereafter by coaches Peter Brush and Mike Schloat.  

Although a dozen or so Deerfield athletes were away from campus for Spring Family Weekend, around fifty boys dressed out for the meet, and forty-four competed in a single event on the day, while five doubled up and competed twice. As the meet commenced with the javelin relay, Deerfield athletes formed a formidable green wall of audience support along the javelin pitch and pushed Brady Stahelski, Bob Provost, Ephraim Tutu and Jason Bannerman to a victory. On the day, the throwing crew carried away the win in the javelin, shot put, and discus relays. The latter two events saw CJ Williams, Chigozie Oge-Evans and Alex Volkman compete in each relay, while Will Sutman rounded out the shot put relay and Gabe Castillo threw the discus.  

In the jumping and vaulting relays, Deerfield had strong performances across the board. Xavier Valdez, Cai Harrison and Lock Grigsby had an excellent developmental day, with new bests for a pair of the Tenth Graders and a fourth place finish overall. Chandler Dicks, the individual winner of the High Jump, led Muyi Woghiren and Thomas Lu to a runner-up finish in that event. Meanwhile, Barack Mwesigwa, Aaron Gibbons and Toby Fernandez had a stellar day as a group and brought home a first place ribbon in the Pole Vault. 

Track events commenced with the Distance Medley Relay. Ninth Grader JT Gally, running bravely just behind strong senior runners from Northfield and Loomis, passed the baton to Farouk Mukhtar, the team’s present top 400 Meter runner, who ran a new personal best, inspiring new personal bests from Robbie Hua in the 800 Meters and Max Wang in the 1600. Wang closed a forty-yard gap over the course of four laps and passed Northfield’s senior runner on the homestretch, holding on for second-place in the race. The 4×100 Meter team of Jackson Rose, Brady Stahelski, Christian Reavis and Triston Ward wowed the crowd with a dominant performance that resulted in the second-fastest 4×100 Meter time in school history – just ahead of the 2021 team and just behind the 2022 time, each of which also featured Reavis on the third leg. 

In the 4×400 Relay, Jarvis Shema, Songa Rwamucyo, Owen Haight and Barack Mwesigwa ran fifth behind a strong Loomis team, while in the 4×800, the team of Aiden Van Epps, Arvin Mou, Blix Salz and Jeffry Kamil placed fourth. Two junior teams, comprised of athletes under the age of sixteen on meet day, ran strong times full of new personal bests. John Woo, Kiefer Ebling, Ishaan Myrie and Ollie Peruzzi took fifth in the junior DMR, while the junior 4×200 team of Sungmin Ahn, Bryan Gianvecchio, Tyler Long and Rich Zhou placed fourth. The day concluded with a 4×200 Meter Relay run by Carson Belaire, Victor Kibuuka, Xavier Armas and Theo Lewis, which placed sixth. 

Crowd and team support was strong throughout the day, and at the conclusion of the field events, a hundred or more people watched Chandler Dicks defeat a jumper from Williston Northampton in the High Jump. The meet was run flawlessly by Tina Crocker and Liz Haygood. 

After a canceled meet at Taft last Saturday and a partial-team makeup meet at Andover on Wednesday, this concluded a busy week for the Deerfield team. The upcoming week, with the Penn Relays on Thursday for the 4×100 and 4×400 teams and a tri-meet against Hotchkiss and Loomis on Saturday, promises more highlights ahead. 

Girls Varsity Track & Field Write Up:

This past Saturday, the Girls’ Track and Field team came down to a cool track to compete in the Sixty-Third Hunt Relays. After a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for Coach Belcher, the team started their warm-up to get ready for the day’s events. We appreciated Bement bringing their girls’ team down the road and welcomed teams from Loomis Chaffee, Hotchkiss, Northfield Mount Hermon, Cushing, Williston Northampton, Pomfret, and Wilbraham & Monson. This historic relay event was named for Mo Hunt, who had coached the Deerfield Track and Field team for many years. It was continued by former coaches Peter Brush and Mike Schloat, both of whom were able to attend this year’s meet.

Hunt relays are unique in that even field events take part in the relay events by adding up the best throws from three athletes on the “relay” team. Deerfield took the Javelin relay with Addeva Alli and Bianka Dusseault throwing over a whopping 80 feet. A huge congratulations to Daisy Rolland, Charlie Rolland, and Janis Zempare, who made their premiere for throws at this event. Deerfield came in second at the long jump, with Campbell Fealy gaining a personal best by jumping over seventeen feet.

The track events proved to be very exciting as well. The distance medley relays took off first. Although sprinters by trade, Eva Bramwell and Katherine Ni jumped into the junior medley with the 1600m and 1200m races, respectively.  The 4×100 team that will be traveling to Penn Relays this weekend included Campbell Fealy, Alexis Miller, Alex Hermsdorf, and Kaelin Creagh. Their chemistry clearly clicked as they won the race with a time of 50.23 seconds. A unique race is the 4×800, where Deerfield came in a close second, and many runners were able to try the 800 for the first time this season. Rounding out the track portion were the impressive junior 4×200 and 4×200 relays. Many runners had already participated in other events, but they gave it their all, with fans and fellow teammates cheering them on.

We are incredibly proud of all of the competitors and supportive athletes. After driving down to Taft last week only to have the meet canceled due to storms, the team was ready to compete. It is very exciting to see what else the team can do. The next challenge will be Penn Relays and a tri-meet at Hotchkiss.