Strength in numbers for Track and Field

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Strength in numbers for Track and Field

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This year, Track and Field has the second largest roster of any team on campus despite being the newest program. Established as an FSA in 2007 and recognized as a varsity sport in 2010, the team has witnessed a dramatic growth in participation in its ten years. With a current group consisting of 15 boys and 16 girls, athletes participate in various events such as relays, high jump, shot put, hurdles, javelin and meter dashes at differing lengths. This rising popularity over the past few years remains a key factor contributing to the team’s success and high spirits.

Since founded with 10 total students, numbers of participants have grown steadily upward ever since. Mr. Maguire, the head coach of the team provides his explanation for the increase in turnout are attributed to “more students coming in who have participated in track and field at their previous schools” and “the sport also has so many events, both running and field events, that there is something for everyone.” As co-captain Coco Wallace ’17 says, “people don’t have any other sports to do in the spring so they try track because it has so many different options within it.” Current athletes cite multiple incentives for joining the track and field team. Some joined because of previous experience before attending Groton. While others, such as javelin-thrower Angelika Hillios ’19, joined because she wanted to stay in shape for her main sports. Newer members such as Evie Gomila ’19 were recommended by friends to try out the sport.

Due to the increasing size, the team has and continues to earn better results. Last year, the girl’s team placed 8th in the ISL out of 13 teams, a clear improvement to the 11th place finish two years prior. As shot putter Rose Gil ‘18 notes, “We’re getting placements and we’re accomplishing more than we did last year.”

Overall, the members view larger crowd atmosphere positively, mentioning better scores as well as the improvement in the “closeness” of the team. As team member Caleb Coleman ’20 states, “The team dynamic will always be very fun and a great time, we are only getting better.” Echoing a similar statement, pole-vaulter Zizi Kendall ’17 says, “We’re more serious now that were bigger and we have more fun because we do better.” On the contrary, Coco Wallace argues that “the feel isn’t very different” to when she started in Fourth Form, elaborating that “everyone has their groups, relay teams, sprinters, jumpers, throwers, distance runners, etc.  It’s just a matter of what you do.” Despite the different outlooks, the supportive team dynamic is reiterated amongst teammates. Coco observes, “Fifth and Sixth Formers interact more with the younger kids and mentor them more on the team.” Similar to Coco, Zizi describes the team having “a much tighter bond.”

Larger numbers have only evoked positive responses from the track and field team. This allows more people to take part in diverse events, solidifies bonds between teammates and improves results. One statement can be confidently and clearly said about the track team, their strength truly does come in numbers.

 

This year, Track and Field has the second largest roster of any team on campus despite being the newest program. Established as an FSA in 2007 and recognized as a varsity sport in 2010, the team has witnessed a dramatic growth in participation in its ten years. With a current group consisting of 15 boys and 16 girls, athletes participate in various events such as relays, high jump, shot put, hurdles, javelin and meter dashes at differing lengths. This rising popularity over the past few years has been crucial to the team’s success and high spirits.

Mr. Maguire, the head coach of the team attributes the increase in number to “more students coming in who have participated in track and field at their previous schools” and “the sport also has so many events, both running and field events, that there is something for everyone.” As co-captain Coco Wallace ’17 says, “people who don’t have any other sports to do in the spring so they try track because it has so many different options within it.” Current athletes cite a variety of incentives for joining the track and field team. Some joined because of previous experience before attending Groton. Javelin-thrower Angelika Hillios ’19, explains that she joined the team as a way to stay in shape for other sports. Newer members such as Evie Gomila ’19 were recommended by friends to try out the sport.

Due to the increasing size, the team has and continues to earn better results. Last year, the girls’ team placed 8th in the ISL out of 13 teams, a clear improvement to the 11th place finish two years prior. As shot putter Rose Gil ‘18 notes, “We’re getting placements and we’re accomplishing more than we did last year.”

On the boys’ side, recent successes have included Noah Aaron ’18 placing fifth in the high jump at last year’s ISL championships as well as the 4×100 meter relay team breaking the school record with a time of 44.96 seconds during the same meet.

The increasing popularity of Track and Field has also resulted in an improvement in the “closeness” of the team. Caleb Coleman ’20 states, “The team dynamic will always be very fun and a great time, we are only getting better.” Echoing a similar sentiment, pole-vaulter Zizi Kendall ’17 says, “We’re more serious now that we’re bigger and we have more fun because we do better.” After three seasons on the team, Coco says she has noticed a definite improvement in the team dynamic. Coco observes that, “Fifth and Sixth Formers interact more with the younger kids and act as mentors for many of them.” Similarly, Zizi describes the team having “a much tighter bond” than when she joined in Third Form.

The dramatic growth in size of the Track and Field team has evoked only positive responses from team members and coaches alike. Track and Field’s larger roster allows more people to take part in diverse events (such as javelin and triple jump), solidifies bonds between teammates and  improves results. One statement can be confidently and clearly said about the track team: their strength truly does come in numbers.