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Kyle Maruca claimed first place in the shot put and the discus at the SCC West Sectional Championship for North Haven as a sophomore this spring. Kyle also plays on the offensive and defensive lines as a member of the Indians’ football team. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Maruca )
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Kyle Maruca had a breakout year for the North Haven track program as a sophomore and is on pace to become one of best throwers in Indians’ history. Kyle turned in several stellar performances at major meets throughout his sophomore year, including first-place finishes in the shot put and discus at the SCC West Sectional Championship during the outdoor season.
“Right now, his discus is at a level never seen before at North Haven High School at his age. The North Haven boys’ track team has been in existence since 1956, and he is ranked seventh already out of all those boys that have thrown,” says Marc Celmer, who is North Haven’s head coach for indoor track and the throwing coach for indoor and outdoor. “He passed some of the most powerful throwers I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching. If that continues, who know where this goes?”
Kyle competed at states as a freshman last spring, although he came up shy of reaching the distances he had achieved in the regular season. That motivated Kyle to fare much better his second time around this year.
“I came in with a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,” Kyle says. “Freshmen usually don’t get the opportunity to go to states, and I allowed that pressure to get to me. I wasn’t ready for it. I stepped back and looked at what track is all about. It’s about you and what you can do; not anybody else. So, that’s how I handled it and came back from a performance like that.”
Kyle responded by having a solid indoor season in which he placed second in the shot put at sectionals, third at the SCC meet, and sixth in states. However, Kyle did even better during the spring, most notably winning both the shot put and discus with distances of 43 feet-9.25 and 130 feet-8 inches, respectively, at the West Sectional Championship.
Kyle then took third in the shot put and fourth in the discus at SCCs, after which he placed fourth for the shot and fifth in the discus at the Class L State Championship. Kyle followed that up by finishing seventh in the discus at the State Open with a personal-best throw of 144-4, which was 11 feet-3 inches better than this throw at states. He also competed in the shot put at the Open.
“At the Open, it was great. I felt like I was on top of the world. It was the first time I was there, and I was happy,” Kyle says. “It gave me confidence knowing I can come back from my previous year. That helped me do as well as I did there.”
Kyle also recorded a career-best toss of 46-3 in the shot put during the outdoor campaign. While he’s still relatively new to track, Kyle has spent a lot of time working with his coaches to find his groove in the throwing events.
“Jumping right in was difficult at first, but as I kept doing it and doing it, I found my own ways to make things happen the way they’re supposed to, so it got easier,” says Kyle, who is also a two-way lineman for the Indians’ football squad. “I found my own techniques to help me work with the techniques my coaches were giving me.”
Kyle is 16 feet away from setting North Haven’s school record in the discus. He has his sights set on eclipsing that mark during his junior year.
“It’s actually super motivating to me, because it’s a goal I think I can reach this upcoming season,” Kyle says. “It’s a goal I want to strive for this season. I want to become No. 1 on that record board and also go beyond that.”
Kyle’s twin brother Luke also plays for North Haven’s football team and is a thrower in the track program. Kyle likes that he gets to compete alongside his brother throughout the year and looks forward to seeing what they can both achieve during their junior and senior seasons.
“We kind of are never apart, because we’re together in school and at practice. It’s good for us, because it’s a competition to make us better, knowing if one does something, you have to do it the same or better,” says Kyle. “I’m excited to see what we can do.”
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