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Townsend Joins Nipmuc Track & Field Staff


The Nipmuc track and field team, like most spring sports, has dealt with the challenge of inclement weather as it prepares for the coming season. New girls' head coach Justin Townsend and the rest of the staff have been forced to improvise a bit to get the team into shape.
"We have been using the whole building," Townsend said. "Today we had some people in the weight room, we were doing hurdle drills in the cafeteria, on one sideline of the basketball court we had the long jump, high jump on the other side, shot put in the gym."
"Everyone has to put their heads down and grind," the new coach added. "We want to use it as a positive instead of being upset about it, it's really important to lay a foundation now and we have been able to do that."
Townsend joins the staff this year, leading the girls team alongside veteran boys' coach Richard Auger. A special education teacher at Bellingham High School, Townsend has coached for the past five years at Tri-County and North Smithfield High School. He was a four-year member of the track and cross country teams at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. after a standout career at Woonsocket High School.
The new coach said he is still getting to know his athletes and it's too soon to tell who might be put together to get significant point totals, but he has been impressed with the quality of the Nipmuc student athletes.
"They are just awesome kids," Townsend said. "They are mature kids and they have a lot of things they are good at besides track, it's a well-rounded group of athletes."
Townsend first met with the team back in February after accepting the head coaching position. He will be working with the sprinters and hurdlers as well as the athletes competing in the long jump and triple jump.
He said he has been impressed with how hard the group has worked in practices, even more so because they have not been on the track. Speaking at the beginning of the week, Townsend said the goal was to get the team out on the track at the Miscoe Hill School this week.
"The kids are really dealing well with the challenge of practicing and training without getting on the track," he said, "they are itching to get out there and then we will start to see who's who."




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