In recent years sprinting has been the strong point for Norwalk High School's indoor track and field squads. The Bears retain much of their talent in that area, but boast their most depth among the distance runners.
"The dynamic of our team's going to be different," Norwalk boys coach Pat Moffett said.
The girls are led by Coach Carlos Rodriguez, although there is plenty of overlap with Moffett working with all of the sprinters and Rodriguez, also a cross country coach at NHS, directing the distance runners. Throwing coach Leanne Johnson will work with the shot-put group.
Captains are Edwin Rosales and Ian Gogh (both distance runners) for the boys squad, and Alex Troetti (distance) and Crystle Hill (sprinter) for the girls.
Other key team members are Tamia Taylor (sprinter), Claire Turner (distance), Jakoyia Brown (sprinter), Samantha Bartush (distance), Jessica Balasa (distance), Hopeton Chambers (sprinter), Lester Harris (sprinter), Michael Bonebreak (middle-short distance), Christian Bonebreak (middle-long distance), and Dylan Ramirez (distance).
Christian Bonebreak is part of the school's record-setting 4x800 relay team, and Turner holds records in the 600 and 800. Hill, meanwhile, placed in both the FCIAC and state championship meets last year, and also qualified for the New England championships in the 55 meter dash.
Chambers is coming off a breakout season in the 300 hurdles during the spring outdoor track campaign, Moffett said.
As always, the FCIAC will be loaded with tough teams, among the best in the state, such as Danbury and Staples of Westport.
"You know if you place high in the FCIAC championships you have a good shot at states," Moffett said.
The coach added that four team members qualified for the FCIAC championships a year ago. He is hopeful that seven or eight runners might qualify this year.
As for the throwers: "I'm thinking that I might be able to take four to FCIACs," Johnson said. "But nothing's more important than improving on your own distances."
After the FCIAC championships come the Class LL state finals. Last winter, the Norwalk girls and boys both placed 12th. Hill placed third in the 55 dash.
This year's regular season begins with a Dec. 15 visit to Staples against the host Wreckers, along with Stamford, Ridgefield, and Bassick of Bridgeport.