The Andover Middle School track team started practice on April 1st. Twenty six excited middle schoolers from 5th through 8th grade were ready to show their skills running, jumping, and throwing. The weather had other ideas, and combined with limitations on running around the school due to construction we had to be creative on our training the first two weeks of the season. The team did a great job working indoors and around Blackwater park in all weather conditions getting ready for the first meet at Winnisquam on April 9th. On the girls side there were 5 members so picking events was pretty straightforward. On the boys side it was a little tighter with limits of 4 entries per event and 4 events per athlete.
The team carried it’s excitement for learning their events through the April vacation. The team had the chance to earn a pizza party by practicing on their own over vacation. Athletes earned points for the team by running, jumping and throwing during vacation. Almost everyone participated and the team earned their pizza party. Returning from vacation the team split into 5/6th graders going to Gilford to compete against just 5/6th graders. Our 7/8th graders went to Merrimack Valley. The 5/6th graders got a taste of what life might be like when they’re older, competing against kids their size they did great. The 5th grade boys Logan Welch, Ben Kelly, Mychal, and Henry started a 4x400m relay team and won their first race. Isaac won both the 400 and the High Jump with Ben Kelly close behind in the 400. Kaden set a pattern for himself trying the 4 event max and trying to do as many events this season as possible. Carsyn Perkins won his heat of the 100 Hurdles. On the girls side Trinity ran a great 400 and Violet got her first clearance of 3’ 0” in the High Jump.
At Merrimack Valley Jack Colvin ran solid in the 100/200 along with Elliott Norris and Gus Kiedaisch . Caleb Warzocha led the throwers with a Personal best 70’ in the Discus qualifying for our Championship meet. Fenn Davis had a personal best in the Shot Put of 23’ 3”. The girls team had a great day. Caroline Sahs ran her best 400 of 1:18 earning a Championship qualifying time. Victoria Leak established herself as a thrower and jumper to watch with Discus throws of 52’ 3” and Shot Put of 21’ 1”. She long jumped to victory in 12’ 5”. All qualifiers for our Championship meet. Sophia won the High Jump, 200, and 800. Her times in the 200 and 800 both School Records. Her 800 time an all time school record for both boys and girls.
The following week we were back together and started the week at Kingswood. The boys ran their best 4x100m relay of the year with the team of Ben Kelly, Liam Murphy, Jack Colvin and Elliott Norris running 1:00.4. In the Javelin Nick Horbert and Anthony Hammond led the way for Andover both throwing 50’. In the 800 our young distance crew continued to improve led by Mychal Reynolds in 3:04 and smart running by Will Sahs and Henry Wagler. Dante and Enrico More both cleared 4’ 2” in the high jump. For the girls, Victoria won the discus 54’ 11” and had her best long jump of the year. Violet improved her high jump to 3’ “2. Sophia set a school record in Triple Jump and won the hurdles. On Wednesday the team was back at Merrimack Valley as a full team. Isaac started things off in the high jump with a season best of 4’ 4”. Ben Kelly had a breakout 400m run tying for the boys team best in 1:15. On the girls side Sophia Reynolds had the performance of the day winning and setting school records in the 200, 1600, and Long Jump. The 1600 meter record is an all time boys and girls record.
The season wrapped up at Kearsarge providing a last chance for athletes to qualify for our Championship meet. We had some great events and close calls. Isaac, Dante, and Enrico all ran great 400’s with Isaac improving his season best to 1:13 just missing the qualifier. Andrew Croteau had his best Javelin of the year throwing 71’ 5” also coming up a little short. The Javelin also saw season best throws from Anthony and Nick. For the girls, Ella Makechnie ran her best 200 of the year in 33.72 and jumper her best long jump. In the 800 Mychal led the way for the team finally breaking through 3 minutes to run 2:53 along with Will and Henry both setting personal bests. Sophia set two more school records in the hurdles and the 800.
After Kearsarge it was on to Championship season. Andover sent 5 athletes to our league championship. Elliott Norris in the 200, Trinity Delaney in the 400, Caleb Warzocha in the Discus and Shot Put, Victoria Leak in the 200, Shot Put, Discus, and Javelin. The Championship team rounded out by Sophia competing in the 400, 800, 1600, and Triple Jump. Andover had a great day. Trinity ran a personal best in the 400 as did Elliott in the 200. Caleb had a breakout day going to 80’ 6.5” in the discus earning 4th place. Victoria won bot the Discus and the Shot Put. Sophia added 400, 800, and 1600 victories to the team total. Between Sophia and Victoria Andover won 5 events and was second in a 6th to score 59 points and finish 4th as a team in the 16 team meet. As a result of their performances Sophia, Victoria, and Caleb qualified for the Middle School Meet of Champions.
The Meet of Champions is open only the best middle school track and field athletes. Athletes qualify by being top 4 in their league championship or meeting very tough qualifying standards. This was the first year Andover took any athletes to the meet and we had 3. Caleb improved his Discus to 83’ 9” to finish 16th. Victoria also improved her discus to 63’ 0” also placing 16th. Sophia started the day with Andover’s first State Championship in the 1600 winning in 5:18. She finished her middle school career with second in the 800 improving her school record to 2:28.