12/17/2016 – Burlington, VT
Opening weekend of the indoor season is always entertaining. Some athletes have been training all summer and fall, some are transitioning from their fall sports, and some kids are just trying track for the first time and still don’t know what spikes are. This mixed bag of preparation and experience will always deliver a slew of unexpected results and makes for an eventful day at the track.
I attended the Non-Chittenden county meet. My first unexpected observation was the number of participants. A few teams cancelled their trip due to the snow that had fallen overnight. VT weather – 1, VT track – 0. St. Johnsbury, a perennial powerhouse was not able to make the trip so there were many points up for grabs. On the boys’ side, Fair Haven capitalized on their depth and put up 129 points, well ahead of number two Spaulding at 65 points. Harwood (46), Middlebury (44), and Missisquoi (42) were separated by only 4 points in spots 3-5. The Spaulding girls took home the top position with 68 points, beating out Fair Haven at 49. Middlebury (47), Mt. Abraham (39), and U-32 (33) were the other top 5 teams.
One of the most exciting team results was seeing Stowe on the scoreboard! They are a brand new program and a few of their athletes not only showed up to compete, but also scored points. Welcome to the party, Stowe.
Another surprise that a new season brings is the introduction of 9th grade talent. Julia Oliver (U-32) had a fantastic day with top 6 finishes in four events: 55m, 300m, 55h, and long jump. She’ll be one to watch for as the season progresses.
The top performers on the boys side were Seth Beard (Harwood), Hunter Tardy (Missisquoi), and Seth Hoenes (Fair Haven). Each of them were double event winners.
Seth Beard, sporting a Harwood Strong t-shirt in remembrance of some close friends that he lost earlier this year, honored them with spectacular performances in the 55m dash and 300m dash. The 300m was an especially inspiring performance. Jeremy Hoyne-Grosvenor (winner of the mile), made a move on the outside at 150m. Seth felt the shoulder contact and surged off the turn to maintain the lead position and then controlled the tempo until the final straight when he had to dig deep to fight off another kick by Hoyne-Grosvenor.
Hunter Tardy won the long jump and high jump, and Seth Hoenes won the weight throw and triple jump. Interestingly enough, Seth Hoenes can throw the weight about the same distance that he can triple jump, with his jump being about 5 inches farther this time around.
Lydia Pitts (Mt. Abraham) was the only double event winner on the day for the girls competition. She was victorious in the 55m hurdles (video of her start below) and the long jump. There was a close battle between Tori Palmer (Randolph) and Chloe Kane (Middlebury) for speed queen as Palmer won the 55m dash just ahead of Kane, and Kane getting revenge in the 300m dash ahead of Palmer.
***Public Service Announcement***
The sport of indoor track continues to grow in Vermont. Participation numbers are up and more schools are starting clubs with hopes of incorporating as varsity teams in the near future. Concurrently, the number of officials and volunteers to staff the meets has declined. To help ensure the best possible experience for the kids, the Vermont Indoor Track Association needs more people to officiate. There are paid opportunities available. If you, or anyone you know might be interested, you can contact our friends over at Track Life Timing – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re looking for winter training opportunities, Sprinticity is hosting open sessions at the UVM indoor track over the next few weeks. Check out our winter training page or calendar page on our website for the full schedule.
Stay warm, stay fast, and happy holidays!