SBHS holds first ‘meet’ for Indoor T&F team

With no official season, school plans to hold three intrasquad ‘meets’ this winter
Published: Jan. 24, 2021 at 4:28 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In November, state officials announced there would be a high school winter sport season in Vermont.

Outdoor sports were allowed to begin competitions this past week, while the majority of indoor sports are holding practices and waiting for the final go ahead for games to begin. However, officials said two sports would not be offered this winter, wrestling and indoor track and field.

When it comes to indoor track and field, the primary reason given was that meets typically involved hundreds of athletes all in close proximity. With no official season possible, South Burlington High School has come up with a way for it’s indoor team to feed its competitive fire.

Saturday, the Wolves held the first of three intrasquad ‘meets’. The team is broken up into four smaller groups which competed in five events. Four of those events were held at VASTA Performance Training in South Burlington. They consisted of ‘combine’ style exercises like a standing broad jump and vertical jump and an agility cone drill. The fifth event was an actual relay race held on the snow-filled track at South Burlington High School.

In each of the events, every athlete had their times or results recorded, so when they get together for the next ‘meet’ in a couple of weeks, they will have a result to compare to and try to improve on, and ultimately, one team will be crowned ‘School Champions’.

Although it’s not a traditional indoor season, the students were thrilled that the school had teamed with VASTA to set up these ‘meets’ and still give them the opportunity to compete this winter.

“It means a lot because some of my best friends are on this team.”, said South Burlington senior Becky Mills. “So to be able to have my senior season with them, it means a lot. To be able to do this different kind of competitive season, just iI being a track team, I think it’s going to get really competitive, but it’ll be fun competition with friends. It’ll be competitive but fun.”

“I was actually really excited, just to see people that I wouldn’t normally see during the day was just enough for me to sign up.”, added SBHS junior Dylan Palmer. “I think people are gonna have a lot of fun with it. This is something we would ever do in a normal season, we would never come here, but having a chance to do something new, people are confident, people want to show off, so it’s gonna get really competitive.”

While many of these athletes will take part in what they hope will be an outdoor track and field season this spring, and thus likely would have still trained this winter, both the students and the folks at VASTA say there’s tremendous value in creating an opportunity to compete, even if it’s a little different than a traditional track meet.

“I was excited just to have the opportunity.”, said SBHS senior Eli Meinner-Desranleau. “Last year I didn’t have a winter sport or, because of COVID, a spring sport. I think it’s really important, because it gives people the motivation to get better. Definitely, competition breeds better.”

“It’s great, especially in the unique circumstances of this year.”, said James Mahl, the Director of Performance Coaching at VASTA. “I feel really fortunate that we can do this kind of thing, get them doing something competitive. Obviously, it’s unique circumstances, but we’re doing the best we can.”

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