The 2018 Indoor track has season has been quite unique. Â Multiple meets cancelled due to weather, no meets at Norwich, a Vermont meet hosted in New Hampshire, and lastly, states held at UVM (that hopefully wonâ€™t continue into the early hours of the morning like last year). Â While many of the prevailing narratives from the previous season continued through to this year, a few new ones also emerged to keep this season as interesting as any other. Â With the State Championships this weekend, teams are ready to put it all out on the line for a shot at glory.
One of the most distinct differences from states last year to states this year will be the time the meet takes. Â With the new qualifying format, the fields will be limited to twelve athletes, so events will be run incredibly quickly. Â This will leave athletes with less rest than they are used to, possibly turning this meet into a competition of attrition. Â Certain teams have been training with this in mind, so there may be unexpected teams that turn heads this weekend. Â All we have to say is good luck to athletes doubling (or even tripling up) between the 1500m, 600m, 1000m.
Patrick Oâ€™Hara-South Burlington
South Burlingtonâ€™s Patrick Oâ€™Hara, now in his second year of track and field, has absolutely proven that his athleticism on the soccer field translates to skills on the track. Â Ranked in the top five of division 1 in long jump, high jump, 55m, and 300m, plus the 4×200 and 4×400, Patrick looks primed to lead the pack of the newly renamed South Burlington Wolves. Â
Sonia John + Abi Lowe-Rice Memorial + Hartford
The most heavily favored sprinters coming into this season were Riceâ€™s Sonia John, and Hartfordâ€™s Abi Lowe. Â Decorated with accolades from both in state and out of state, these two continued their reign from last year as two of the most dominant athletes in Vermont. Â Look for at least four individual gold medals from this pair at the D2 state meet on Friday. Â
Molly McCreedyâ€™s performances this year have been simply astonishing. Â Molly has broken the shot put state record on multiple occasions this season, reaching 41â€™ 3.75â€ in December, and furthering that distance to 42â€™ 9.5â€ at PSU in January. Â The record books in Vermont have rarely had any athlete surpass a state record on multiple occasions in such a short period of time, which makes this feat even more impressive.Â
Girls D1 600m
The 600m is a unique race, it combines the aggression of sprinting, with the patience needed for distance races. Â The opening 50m is always exciting, with jostling for positions being done at high speed. Â This season in the girls D1 race, we expect nothing less than fireworks; while the field of a 600m is often dominated by distance runners â€˜going downâ€™, this year itâ€™s primarily sprinters â€˜going upâ€™. Â The familiar faces of Cowan, Kakalec, and Rotti lead the field this year, which should lead to an excellent race to both 50m, and to the finish line. Â
Girls D1 55mh
Does anybody remember the womenâ€™s 100m hurdle final in Rio? Â The unprecedented American sweep was the highlight of the games for many; Saint Johnsbury could emulate that level of dominance. Â Their girls currently occupy seeds 1, 2, 3, 5. Â This is just one example of the depth that Saint Johnsbury head coach Chip Langmaid produces year after year. Â
This yearâ€™s meet will be difficult to predict. Â As mentioned earlier, the largest factor will be which athletes can recover the fastest between events and be ready to score in multiple events. Â That said, Riceâ€™s girls look to have the experience and depth to with the d2 title, while the boys d2 title will be hotly contested between Rice, Hartford, Oxbow, and Milton. Â At the d1 level, South Burlington, MMU, and Saint Johnsbury will come down to the wire on both the boys and girls side. Â Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!