Hazen Track and Field Still Rebuilding with Youth

HARDWICK – Head coach Kathy Fortmann will continue to rebuild with a young team this spring in her seventh season leading the Hazen Union track and field program.

On the heels of having her largest and most competitive team at Hazen in 2022, Fortmann fielded a small team with limited varsity competition under their belt last spring.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
The Hazen Union middle and high school track and field team leave for a run Wednesday. Members of the team are (from left) Lewis LaPierre, Chloe Dyer, Manny Fliegelman, Daniel Pougnier, Gabe Aubuchon, Alden Pougnier and in her eighth season as head coach Kathy Fortmann (right). Missing from thephoto is Eliza Bunten and Lacy DiMarco.

Lily Castle was a bright spot, winning the javelin event in her first varsity competition in their season opener at St. Johnsbury Academy. Castle put a bow on a stellar senior campaign with a third-place finish in the javelin event at states, setting a career personal best in the process.

Fortmann lost Ella Considine, who qualified for the state competition in Manchester, to graduation,

Auster Watkevich will not be returning to the program after a promising sophomore season that qualified her for states, where she posted top ten finishes in both the long jump and 200m events.

Elizabeth Molina and Finn Burgess will not be returning after strong finishes to their varsity season for the Wildcats at the St. J. Last Chance Meet where they posted personal bests in sprints and the javelin.

Most of Fortmann’s experience will come from the return of Gabe Aubuchon, Manny Fliegelman, Daniel Pougnier, and Lewis LaPierre. Aubuchon was solid in his first varsity season and LaPierre set several personal bests as just a freshman in both the 100m and 200m. Fliegelman and Pougnier are fresh off their indoor track season for Hazen where they successfully qualified for states along with Cassandra Royer, who went on to qualify for the New England Championships.

Eliza Bunten will look to build off an impressive first season with the Wildcat middle school team after posting personal bests in their finale at North Country High School last May. Hazen’s track and field roster will be rounded out by Chloe Dyer, Lucy DiMarco, and Alden Pougnier.

“Our track and field team this year will be made up of a handful of mostly runner and distance runners. I’m looking forward to coaching this team this season. With this team’s motivation, I believe we will see many personal bests this year!” said Fortmann.

Hazen is scheduled to open the season at St. J. Academy on Thursday and will be back in action at Lyndon Institute next Tuesday, weather permitting.

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