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The Yankee Express

Running To Perfection

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

Having a mix of talented veterans and a group of up-and-coming youth the Auburn winter track team is flirting with perfection. The Rockets currently find themselves sitting atop of the Southern Worcester County League (SWCL) sporting an unblemished overall record of 10-0. 
“You never anticipate being undefeated. I am always nervous about schools like Uxbridge, Millbury, Grafton and Tantasqua,” Coach Steve Quitadamo said. “I’m a superstitious person and tell the kids to just worry about getting better as the year goes on and you’ll be happy by the end of the season.”
Having already secured 10 wins, Auburn has done so by taking out Uxbridge and Tantasqua, both previously undefeated to leave their record perfect. One of the big reasons the Rockets are having success this winter is their depth, something that they haven’t had too much of in the past.
“The biggest reason this year compared to past seasons is our depth in every event,” the Coach said. “I really don’t have to worry about certain events as I know that we are going to score points.”
What’s behind the influx of athletes flocking to the winter track team this year is mind boggling to the Coach. 
“I really don’t know why, but they all decided to come out this year,” Quitadamo said. “We usually get kids from other sports, but this year we’ve got around 40 kids looking to participate.”
Despite having gratifying success, Quitadamo noted that the team doe does not have that one real superstar to lead the team. 
“It’s a full team effort,” the coach said. “Recently, due to sickness we’ve found ourselves shorthanded, but each meet someone has stepped up for us to help secure the win.”
Junior twins Kyle (hurdles and 300) and Cam (2-mlee and 1000) McLaughlin have been some of the athletes that have helped the Rockets to their undefeated season. Dominic Hammond has not lost a single match this season in the shot put, while another tandem of twins Alex (2 mile and 1000) and Evan (mile and 600) Mercadante have also provided wins. Senior Vinny Miles has performed well in the mile and 1000 to help the team as well.
During a recent meet, Auburn had the first five runners cross the finish line in the 600. A performance, that Quitadamo said was unusual, but showed the type of depth that Auburn has had this season.
“The kids have seemed to be really into it this season,” the Auburn Coach said. “And the newer kids are realizing that track is actually fun.”
As the season continues along the Rocket athletes only need to worry about one person – themselves. The Auburn Coaching staff is there to help them reach their potential and as long as they improve they’ll be happy.
“It’s all about improving, don’t worry about anything else and everything will eventually fall into place,” Quitadamo said. “There is no such thing as a bad day, only good. Lessons are learned that will allow each athlete to find out what they need to work on throughout the year.” 
 Can they continue to participate at the top of their game and go undefeated, Quitadamo believes it is possible.
“If they continue to do what they have been they’ll be ok,” he said. “I continually tell them just to stay humble and don’t expect anything then things will fall into place. Stay humble and we, as coaches, will push you in the right direction to get to your potential.”
Staying humble and following the Coaches advice may eventually lead the Auburn winter track team to that elusive undefeated season in the long run and hopefully that extends into the post-season.