As the 2010-11 term opens up, the men’s and women’s track and field teams are gearing up in an effort to provide repeat performances of last year’s top finishes of the very long winter season. Both the men and women claimed the Heptagonal crowns in the outdoor competition in the culmination of what turned into the spring season, and hope to do so again throughout the winter. While both teams boast a strong class of returning members, what is key for both of these rosters is the addition of new, talented freshmen.
“It’s always hard to tell exactly what’s going to happen this far in advance because we haven’t had any real competitions and real competitors always come out during the meets,” said junior sprinter Chase Aaronson. “But as far as I know, the new kids are fast and athletic … especially in the sprints and jumps.”
Last season, the men clinched their eighth consecutive Outdoor Heps title, with Josh Kirkpatrick ’10 leading the way. With his graduation, there is room on the men’s squad for essentially anyone to step up. At the current moment, many of the upperclassmen are out with injuries, so this provides extra opportunities for freshmen to fall into major roles.
“It’s nice because there are no guys that feel the need to be head honcho,” Aaronson said.
Additionally, upperclassmen leading roles are spread out between four senior captains who share responsibility of overseeing the state of the team — Cody Boyd, Chris Tait, Alex Holcombe and Adrien Dannemiller. Their effort in leading the younger runners, throwers and jumpers will play a huge role this season.
On the women’s side, the situation is quite similar. Last year’s Outdoor Heps win marked the eighth time in nine years that the Red came out on top. The squad is ready to reproduce these results this season. Like on the men’s end, the women’s side will feature a strong mix of returning, core players rounded out by strong newcomers. Junior Melissa Hewitt shared the title of MVP in the Outdoor Heps and will return to the Red to attempt to reproduce these results and help younger team members adjust and perform well. The women added 21 new athletes to its roster, including five previous state high school champions.
The new track and field athletes are expected to keep up the tradition of boasting strong winter seasons that culminate in decisive Heptagonal victories, as has been the trend for nearly a decade. This attitude prevails through the similarly consistent and powerful men’s and women’s teams.
“We won Heps last year and we hope to do the same this year. We really don’t expect anything less,” Aaronson said.
Original Author: Reena Gilani