Boys’ track wins fifth straight PVIAC Indoor Championship in Northampton

Jericho Sylla in a relay at the fifth PVIAC track meet.Photo:

Jericho Sylla and Owen Wright, ARHS seniors and members of this year’s Super Seven selection went into the season with high aspirations for the boy’s indoor track team, and they nabbed their fifth straight PVIAC championship in late January.

“We will have a decent group of guys making it to states this year, and I could see our relays doing well at states and possibly going to New Englands and Nationals,” said Wright.

Even after the loss of many leading members of the previous year’s team to college, the team has had a great season so far. “It’s different, but not in a bad way,” said Sylla.

The team meets every day for practice led by head coach David Thompson, and coaches Mulazimuddin Rasool, Bob Rosen, and Greg McClung.

“Thompson handles a lot of the dirty work with meets and is a great motivator. He’s laidback sometimes but when it’s game time he’s down to business,” said Wright.

“Coach Mulazimuddin Rasool helps a lot with everyone, mostly hurdlers and sprinters. He’s got a lot of experience and always has something to say,” he added. “Bob Rosen coaches distance. He’s always there in rain or sleet or snow and is there for every workout taking splits. Greg McClung is a new assistant coach who usually runs with the team.”

Individually, Sylla participates in the 4×2 relay, 4×4 relay, and long jump, with a record of 21’ 9”.

“I don’t focus on my record, I just do it,” said Sylla.

Wright mainly runs in the long distance races.

According to Wright, the team has a number of standout athletes, including Adawehi Robinson, the returning Western Mass shot-put and discus champion from last year.

Joseph Tavares, Andre Shepard, and Aiden Foucault Etheridge, have also been “elite in their events.”

“We’re the best and hardest working team in Western Mass,” said Sylla.

Both Wright and Sylla expected Northampton to be the team’s biggest competition. “They have two of the best athletes in all of Western Mass which makes them a strong team right there,” said Wright.

“I think we can match them by having depth and a lot of guys in a multitude of events.”

He said Holyoke also has a really strong distance team but believes ARHS is more versatile than them. “They’re competition, but not on our level yet,” said Sylla.

Sylla sees a promising future for ARHS’s indoor track team.

“We’re a really young team with young talent,” said Sylla. “I believe the team will always be good. New years bring new people.”

Wright has confidence that the team will be able to accomplish their goals.

“We’ve won Western Mass four years in a row. We won the Division II & III State Class championships the last two years,” said Wright. “We seem to have a good process so if we keep doing what we’ve been doing day in and day out we should be in a good spot.”