December 15, 2019
It’s good to be back! #backontrack
On a relatively warm,
spring winter Saturday morning, a stampede of sneakers converged at the Gardner-Collins Indoor Track at the University of Vermont. Teams from 18 different high schools around the state made the early morning journey to compete at the very first indoor track meet of the season. There was a buzz of excitement – for many athletes, this was their first time on a track of any kind since the spring. The lack of indoor track facilities in Vermont means that many teams find very creative ways to train such as running in hallways, on basketball courts, or even parking lots. If anyone reading this would like to donate a public indoor track, thousands of children will love you forever.
I love the sense of community in track & field. It extends beyond teammates – rivals often share an embrace to show respect or understanding of a common experience (pain). Here’s one of my favorite photos from the meet. These girls shared a hug and smile before the 600m run. I promised them that I would not post the “after” photo… no one looks photogenic at the end of a 600m.
To the track action – there was a great mix of familiar excellence and emerging talent on display.
In the boys 55m dash, 4 boys broke 7 seconds with Trey Poquette (BFA – senior) winning in a time of 6.81. Bassiru Diawara (BHS – sophomore) led the chasing pack and finished just in front of Skylar Lamphere (MMU – junior) and William Hauf (MMU – sophomore). Trey put in a fantastic summer of training with Sprinticity and will aim to turn that hard work into success this season.
Alexis Lefaivre (North Country – junior) led a group of 3 girls under 8 seconds in the girls 55m dash. She won with a time of 7.67. Sophia Buonomo (Rice – senior) and Phoebe Weller (Rice – senior) rounded out the top 3. Alexis has been turning heads with her speed since freshman year. However, she also had to race against Sonia John (former Rice athlete, currently a freshman on the team at UVM) past couple of years. I’m sure Alexis found it a bit more satisfying to finish ahead of a pair of green jerseys instead of behind one. Look for more exciting races from these talented upperclassmen as the season progresses.
In the distance races, some more familiar names raced to the top. The girls 1500m run was a race between two of last year’s standout rookies. Alice Larson (CVU – sophomore) and Emily Bloom (Rice – sophomore) quickly ran to the front of a large pack and extended that lead by 5-10 with each lap. Alice wasn’t afraid of setting a fast pace early on, and Emily wasn’t afraid to go with her. It was a gutsy effort by Emily, but Alice showed incredible strength in the final quarter mile to maintain a winning pace, crossing the line in 5:10.49.
Emily wasn’t to be denied though. She came back two events later and won the 1000m run in a time of 3:26.39. That’s an impressive double this early in the season!
Kent Ford (BHS – senior) and Wondu Summa (BHS – junior) watched the action in the girls 1500m race and decided to give the crowd an encore performance. Much like Alice and Emily, Kent and Wondu challenged their heat to a bit of speed training on the first lap. The training partners worked comfortably with each other throughout the race to stay relaxed, and to pull away from the rest of the field. The final 2 laps was the track equivalent of watching two friends play on a seesaw. In the end, Kent edged ahead to win in a time of 4:20.42, just 0.11 seconds ahead of Wondu.
In addition to those familiar names, there were a total of 4 first place finishes by freshmen athletes! That’s quite an accomplishment, even if it is only the first meet of the year. I have a feeling that these performances were not flukes. In my experience, beginner’s luck doesn’t really apply to track and field.
- Girls 55m hurdles: 9.95 Annika Simard (Essex – freshman)
- Boys 1000m run: 2:53.20 Cole Alexander (Lake Region – freshman)
- Girls high jump: 5’2″ Maris Lynn (Rice – freshman)
- Girls long jump: 15’1.75″ Minelle SarfoAdu (South Burlington – freshman)
Couple of final thoughts –
- We’re always so thankful to see so many coaches, officials, volunteers, and fans supporting the student-athletes at these competitions. There is A LOT that happens in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the season. Meet day itself is no joke either. Special shoutout to Tom Dvorak, Maria Short, and Travis Kupiec for their roles as timer, head referee, and meet director respectively. Without them, there would be no Vermont Indoor Track and Field.
- The upcoming month is a tough one in terms of training. Schools are closed, and it’s the coldest time of the year. Sprinticity Track Club has a solution! We are hosting 10 open track sessions over the next month at UVM. Sign up for our winter access pass ahead of time for only $30, or pay $5 per visit in-person. Another option would be to buy the annual membership which gives you access to the winter sessions, and covers you for all of our summer training as well. Check out our calendar for dates/times.
We’ll be covering more of the high school indoor track season with meet reports and other stories. If you have suggestions for other stories you’d like us to cover, just send us a message.
I’ll end how I start… It’s good to be back!