Track Season Starts With A Record-Breaking Relay

Alleyna Pitaso, Sports Editor

On Wednesday, March 24th, the Girls Varsity Track Team made history at their first event of the season. An almost 6-year-old school relay record was broken by Mia Conca, Sara Taloumis, Kathryn Bolivar, and Emily Taylor. The previous time for the 4×200 meter relay race was 1:54.41, but the team was able to beat it with a time of 1:53.00. 

“We were all very happy for them as that was a goal going into the season and something talked about the day prior,” said Girls’ Head Coach Matthew Griffin, “the team as a whole showed a lot of sportsmanship.”

The Girls and Boys Varsity Track Team’s season began on March 1st. The girls’ team was known for having 100 girls on the team each season, yet this year there are only about 55 members. The boys’ team’s participation has also been reduced. Though the amount of participation for each team has gone down, it makes it easier for the teams to keep each runner safe from COVID-19.

The gymnasium now has designated spots for bags and water bottles, that way everyone stays six feet apart while they are hydrating. The coaches also pre-plan and create cohorts for practices so that there are less runners in one area. An average practice is about two hours, beginning with stretching and warm-up exercises and ending with a core workout or lifting session. It’s not only the coaches that bear the burden of keeping runners safe. The captains will sometimes need to monitor the groups when the coaches aren’t around. “One of my responsibilities is to help enforce social distancing,” explained Jordan Lavalley, one of the captains of the girls’ team.

A member of the Boys Varsity Track team Adam Rossmeisl said that the team wears masks at all times, even when running. The runners are usually outside so they have plenty of space to spread out. Safety is a major priority for everyone involved in this season. This “indoor track season” is no longer being hosted inside of the Reggie Lewis Center at Smith College, where all meets were held in previous years.

“The meets will be held outdoors at the surrounding high schools’ tracks. We anticipate a lot of the meets to be held at Clark Field and only the team we are competing against will be present,” explained Lavalley. There will only be six meets this year, with four of them being held at Clark Field. At the season opener, audience members were allowed to sit in the stands as long as they were socially distanced. Those that did not go to the meet were able to live stream the event from the comfort of their homes, and runners were following the guidelines given to them. 

According to Coach Griffin, meets and practices are fun but competitive. “There’s a great core of student-athletes on the team. Many finally got the feel of what a track meet is like versus competing in other sports.” Teammates can hype each other up and enjoy being a part of a competitive atmosphere.

His goals for this season include, “having a completely safe and healthy season, making sure the student-athletes understand the sport and their events, everyone achieves a personal record (or get close), and trying to break four school records.”

Despite meets and practices already taking place outside for the “indoor” season, it’s not known yet if Spring outdoor track will still happen. “Usually indoor track ends and then we have 4-6 weeks of an off-season, which then goes into outdoor track. This year indoor track leads right into outdoor track, so it’s almost like a long track season with no off-season break,” said Rossmeisl. While the decision about outdoor track officially taking place is still up in the air, it’s a guarantee that all precautions will be taken to make sure every runner stays safe. The Boys’ and Girls’ next home meet is Thursday, April 1st at Clark Field.