Head coach: Marc Tardiff (20th season).

Last year: Wheeler finished 7-7in the dual meet season and placed 16th at the Class S meet.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors: David Anderson, Ben Bodley (captain), Sean Boldt, Ruy Fernandez, John Tillinghast. Junior: Michael O’Gara. Sophomores: Evan Browne, Nathaniel Dobley.

New to varsity:

Freshmen: Cameron Conway, Jayson Krysiewicz, Kyle Montigny.

Outlook: The freshman Conway will step in the No. 1 slot for the Lions this season.

“He did very well in the big middle school races and he’s very active. He does trampoline and he’s a competitive mountain bike racer,” Tardiff said.

Conway was the top finisher in Wheeler’s season-opening win against Grasso Tech.

Ben Dobley looks to be No. 2, followed by O’Gara, Krysiewicz and Anderson.

“Ben and Michael have been getting progressively better, and Jason had a good middle school career, too,” Tardiff said.

Tadiff said regional standings will be kept this season, but added that it’s unclear if there will be an ECC meet. The CIAC will not conduct any state meets this season.

“In our regional division there are teams like Norwich Tech, Griswold, Grasso Tech and St. Bernard,” Tardiff said. “I’m looking forward to it. Those are teams we’ve been competitive with in the past.”

Coach’s take: “They appreciate that they are [able to compete] and they are happy to be together. The spirit is definitely there. Getting out there and having a good time is important to them.”

—Keith Kimberlin

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