The spring sports season for local varsity squads is quickly winding down, and state championship meets, matches and playoff tournaments are about to get under way if they haven’t already. The News & Citizen caught up with Jeff Beal, coach of the resurgent track and field team at Lamoille Union, for his thoughts on what to expect as the Lancers wrap up their season.
Q: Turnout this season?
Around 45 between boys and girls. Numbers for the Lamoille track team have doubled since last year. There are a lot of new faces and excitement for the sport. We added field events this year coached by our music teacher Nick Allen.
Q: Key returning athletes, and the events they compete in?
MegAnne Gilmore in the 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters and the 4x400m relay. Isabelle Sullivan in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay. Jake Benoit in the 400 meters, 800 meters and 4x400 meter relay.
Q: Key newcomers and their events?
Braeden Decker in the 100-meter dash, 200 meters, long jump and 4x400 meter relay. Owen Dearborn in the 100-meter dash, 200 meters, long jump and 4x400 meter relay. Jack Webster in the 100-meter dash and 200 meters. Lily Loomis in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay. Jasper Henderson in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters. Maggie McGee in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters.
Q: How did the team, and individual athletes, do at the state championships last year?
MegAnne was the runner up in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters at states last year. Isabelle was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and first in the 300-meter hurdles. With those scores, the girls were 7th out of 14 teams at states whereas the boys did not score any points.
Q: Results so far this season?
Isabelle was fourth and sixth in the hurdle races at last weekend’s Burlington Invitational. MegAnne was fourth and third in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters as well.
Q: Big meets left on the schedule?
The Essex Invitational on May 25 and states on June 1 at South Burlington.
Q: Team strengths, or events you believe the team or certain athletes will do well in going forward?
The girls 4x100 team will compete for the title at states this year. MegAnne will be look to improve upon her places from last year in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters at the state championship. Isabelle Sullivan and Lily Loomis will be very strong in the hurdle events and Isabelle will look to defend her state title from last year. Braeden Decker and Owen Dearborn have already had great success in the long jump, which will put them in the running for the top jump at states. The boys 4x400 relay team will look to make it on the podium for states too.
Q: Thoughts on season outlook/expectations? And how the team should fare at states?
The boys and girls should place well as a team at states. The girls will look to improve upon their seventh place finish last year. The boys should be able to snag points in many events and place very well overall. The hope is for a few individual state titles banners to display in our gym and to keep growing the sport at Lamoille.