Indoor track has a bevy of changes this Fall II.
Indoor track meets have a different look this season.
First off, they’ll be held outside instead of inside. Second, teams won’t be boarding busses to head to the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center because that’s being used as COVID-19 vaccination center.
All meets are scheduled to be held at home in a virtual form with teammates competing with each other and then their scores will be entered online after for the rest of the league to see. Finally, there will also only be three field events: shot put, long jump and high jump. Other than that, it’s business as usual.
“Our virtual meets are essentially weekly time trails run at our facility with no opponent on campus,” explained seventh-year W-H girls’ head coach Steve George. “Our athletes compete with each other and run against the clock.”
Junior Myah Kamperides knows a thing or two about running against the clock. The reigning league all-star will lead the pack for the girls’ team this season. She competed in six running events last week and posted her best time in each of them.
She’s also brought along her younger sister, Savannah, a freshman. She competed in five individual events last week and was top three in four of them.
“We’ve got some extraordinary athletes among our distance runners in addition to the Kamperides girls,” George said. “Isabelle Amado, Anna Sullivan, Anna Flynn and Sarah Boulger all have experience and would be big factors in dual meet competition. And we have a couple of very talented sprinters/hurdlers in Hailey Minicucci and April Keyes, who also compete in the jumping events as well.”
George said the focus remains on improvement, like any other season.
“Some of the kids are trying events for the very first time as a byproduct of the jamboree format,” George said. “For example, we started working with a dozen-plus athletes on the long jump and in only four sessions they are hitting their marks and jumping like veterans.”
George said he believes this new track format could benefit his athletes in the near future.
“The virtual format really provides an opportunity for experimentation and I expect we’ll see enormous improvement among those who have joined in,” he said. “When spring track arrives, we’ll have a group of kids who are ready for anything.”
The boys’ team is led by the other Kamperides, senior Theo Kamperides, who is the back-to-back boys’ cross country MVP in the Patriot League Keenan Division.
“[He] will continue to be a dominant runner this winter,” said second-year W-H boys’ head coach Stephen Schlicting.
He is joined by cross country league all-stars, seniors Liam Cafferty and Chris MacDonald and juniors Nathan Tassey and Gordon Johnson.
“We have a very strong contingent of distance runners,” Schlicting said.
Juniors Jake Caterer and Jacob Donovan should push each other in the sprints. Senior Chris Blackman runs the 300 and 600, while junior Chase Baker will lead the way in the hurdles and long jump.
The Panthers’ mission this season is to just keep working on their skills together.
“[The] goal will be to improve and to encourage all to try new events, building a strong team culture of support and togetherness and having fun as we work this winter,” Schlicting said.