By: Owen Gagne
It has been over a year since Wethersfield Public Schools closed due to COVID-19 and the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) has officially allowed us to have races. Coach Jeff Sanborn, head coach of girls and the boys distance squad, is going to speak on the topic and tell us more.
There has been lots of speculation about the upcoming outdoor track season, but as of March 1, the CIAC has allowed for races and sent out schedules. Coach Sanborn said, “We are going to have dual meets only, no invitationals, and 6 of the 7 meets will be at home.”
This is great news for all track athletes, especially considering last year's season was cancelled entirely.
This outdoor season will be a lot different than the indoor season WHS just had. Coach Sanborn told us that some guidelines have changed, for example the team does not need to wear masks during races. Also, unlike the indoor season, there is a set schedule for the team to follow and WHS can race other schools rather than just intersquad.
Training in the outdoor season will also dramatically change for athletes in field events from what it was like in the indoor season. For those training for the field events (javelin, discus, high jump, etc.), there are facilities outdoors that become useful to them and there are dedicated coaches for each event rather than just a head coach.
Distance and sprint training will stay similar, but with some minor adjustments because the track is now available for workouts instead of the parking lot.
Compared to previous outdoor track seasons, WHS has significantly less people on the team. “Our numbers are down, we got the rosters this morning and we have 30-40 kids on each side fewer than what we expected to see,” says Coach Sanborn. This puts pressure on certain athletes because WHS does not have the depth that they are used to having when put in competition.
Although the team has no invitational meets this year, the state and state open meets will still be held normally, but there will not be a New England meet. This changes up how the coaches will set up meets because rather than having one athlete focus on qualifying for New Englands, they will focus on helping the team win a state championship. For example, instead of that athlete focusing on only the mile, they will run the 4x8, mile, and 3200m events.
For this outdoor season, Coach Sanborn plans on focusing more on training in the first three weeks because, unlike previous years, there is a week and a half break between indoor and outdoor rather than 6-9 weeks. With this change, he expects athletes to perform a lot better early on in the season than usual. Also, with the young team that WHS has, he expects a lot of improvement from his athletes throughout the season.
This outdoor season is an interesting one, but every athlete is looking forward to it. You can click here to find the team schedule and results as the season progresses. Nothing has been said about spectators yet, but since 6/7 of the meets are home, show up and support if allowed!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.