READING — After a second straight third-place finish a year ago, the Reading High boys outdoor track team is determined to get over the hump.

Reading returns 30 tracksters from last year’s squad, and with 100 out for this year’s team, the Rockets may have strength in numbers to challenge for the Liberty Division title.

“I feel great about our team, and I am confident we’re going to be a strong, competitive team once again,” said fifth-year Reading head coach Scott Price. “While our distance runners are young they are improving and should do well. We have some great athletes in the throwing events. So I feel the distance and the throwing events along with the high jump will be our team’s strengths this year.

“I feel we have the potential to win the Liberty Division this year,” continued Price. “We’ve been a third-place team the last two years, so now we want to improve on that and climb the ladder. So a first-place or a second-place finish is our goal this year. We want to be an improved team both within the league and at the state level.”

The Rockets will seek their improvement behind the efforts of senior captains Andrew Riffe in distance and middle distance events, Thomas Allardi in the high and triple jumps. Also Josh Klages in the sprints, and the high and triple jumps, and Kyle Dumas in the discus and shot put.

Reading will also be led by senior Chris “Wheels” Wheeler who a state-level caliber thrower. Also, senior Robert Yandle in the discus and shot put should earn points as well as Owen Martel in the 400, Jymel Nortelus in the sprints and shot put, Tyler Perillo in the shot put, and Dan Erikson in the hurdles.

Reading’s first dual meet is on Wednesday at Arlington (4 p.m.).

Returning athletes: Seniors – Andrew Riffe (captain, distance, middle distance), Thomas Allardi (captain, high jump, triple jump), Josh Klages (captain, sprints, triple jump, high jump), Kyle Dumas (captain, discus, shot put), Robert Yandle (discus, shot put), Chris Wheeler (javelin), Owen Martel (400), Jymel Nortelus (sprints, shot put), Tyler Perillo (shot put), Dan Erikson (hurdles). Juniors – Tyler Gonick (middle distance), Drew Anderson (javelin), Nick Brown (distance), Jeremy Rosh (110 hurdles), Kevin Craven (400 hurdles), Jeff Pan (sprints, high jump). Sophomores – Andrew Benassi (distance), Sean Crehan (distance), Tyler Lindmark (sprints), Jadon Wilson (sprints), Alex Nest-Gathel (400), James Nest-Gathel (400), Kevin Yatsuhashi (400 hurdles, high jump).

Promising newcomers: Juniors – Jason Dan (javelin), Dante Barbosa (sprints), Ethan Dumas (400). Sophomores – Jaheim Nortelus (sprints, long jump), Lucas Fleming (spot put, pole vault), Trevor Thornton (shot put, pole vault), John Mahile (400 hurdles). Freshman – Bobby Squires (distance), Mike Wall (distance), Ryan Wallace (distance).

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