Local teams navigating second straight winter without sanctioned indoor track

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal indoor track team competed at a meet hosted by Souhegan at the Hampshire Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/5/2022 1:32:55 PM
Modified: 1/5/2022 1:32:14 PM

Local high schools are navigating the second straight winter without a sanctioned indoor track season.

Just like the winter of 2020-21, the official NHIAA track season was canceled this winter, as the necessary college facilities like UNH and Dartmouth remained hesitant to host potential high school superspreader events on the weekends. While last winter saw the area’s indoor track teams do nothing more than training, two local high schools are participating in small regional meets this season.

ConVal competed in its first – and likely last – indoor track meet of the season last week at Milford’s Hampshire Dome, facing off against Souhegan, Milford and a handful of other schools looking to get in a few meets this winter despite the lack of official sanctioning from the state’s governing body.

“I’m glad,” said ConVal’s first-year coach Griffin Fletcher, “because [not competing] is a bummer. The season’s fun. We get to work out. We get to kind of keep going, but there’s something about competition that helps it on a little bit and gets kids invested.”

The Cougars brought a half-dozen athletes to the mini meet, the first for ConVal’s indoor track team since early 2020. For seniors like Ian Post, Elijah White, Corey Guzman and Tyler Beard, it was a chance to shake off some rust and compete for one of the final times in a ConVal uniform.

Beard left it all out there, literally; after missing early season training due to a bout of COVID, he’d had more rust than usual to shake off, and headed right off the track to throw up in a trash can following his 1,500M run.

“I’m vaccinated,” Beard said, “so I didn’t get very sick  [from COVID] or a nything. But I think that the downtime affected my training.”

Lack of training aside, Beard took fifth in the event. The indefatigable Ian Post won the 1,500M in 4:33.20, ConVal’s best finish of the evening. Guzman (5th, 55M; 6th, 300M), Ryan Charron (6th, 55M; 10th, 300M), James Post (2nd, 55M hurdles; 5th, 300M), Ryan O’Connor (9th, 300M) , White (14th, 1,500M) also completed races for the Cougars.

“These guys are some pretty amazing athletes, so it's nice for them to get a chance to show it off,” Fletcher said.

The previous two years have been tough on ConVal’s track team. Beard said the 2019-20 indoor track season and team was perhaps his favorite of his ConVal years; after that, the Cougars had to cancel the following spring and winter track seasons, and will likely only compete in the one Dome meet due to busing issues. 

“I try to think about it like: other people have been affected in much worse ways than losing a indoor track season, from the pandemic, obviously,” Beard said. “But yeah, it does kind of suck –  but there's not much we can do.”

With no sanctioned winter championship meet planned, the Cougars are essentially using this winter season to prepare for spring track. So, too, is Conant, as the Orioles have pinned their hopes high for the spring season.

“Overall, the focus is preparation for the spring outdoor season,” head coach Bill Edson said. “We have some pretty lofty goals.” 

Conant has about 22 athletes on the winter squad and plans to compete in a shot put/high jump competition at Portsmouth on Jan. 15 and at least one track meet at the Dome in February.

“We are grateful for the season to train, and subsequently compete when opportunities arise,” Edson said. 

Mascenic is not fielding an indoor track team this winter; Athletic Director Bradley Miller said the Vikings didn’t have a single interested athlete sign up. 

“Without having it last year, we had zero momentum,” Miller said. 




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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