Sports

Revived track team takes off

This spring, over 40 students laced up their running shoes for the return of track and field, ultimately finishing their first season with a record that left the group with high hopes for next year, Head Coach Charlie O’Rourke said.   This spring, over 40 students laced up their running shoes for the return of track and field, ultimately finishing their first season with a record that left the group with high hopes for next year, Head Coach Charlie O’Rourke said. Because the Independent School League (ISL) considered the squad a club this year, the group had no official record throughout the season, but unofficially the girls earned 15 wins and two losses, while the boys logged one win and 16 losses. “Although the boys’ record may not show it, we had some pretty talented runners, and they’ll improve next year,” Coach O’Rourke said.  “The girls will be tough competitors in each meet.” In their eight meets, the club competed in sprints, long-distance races, high jumps, and throwing competitions. Among the highlights were Whitney Janes ’20 remaining undefeated in her 100-meter race, at least 10 runners consistently placing in the top five in their events, and Jacob Ayyub ’17 emerging as a powerhouse in shot put.  “He would have placed high in ISLs,” Coach O’Rourke said, referring to the competitive end-of-season meet the group would have attended had they been a team, not a club.      The group practiced at the track at Danehy Park in Cambridge three times per week, ran alongside the Charles River one day a week, did yoga together on Fridays, and competed on Saturdays. Whitney said her favorite moment of the season was when her 4×100-meter relay team—which also included Cecelia Galligan ’17, Lena Rhie, and Mia Bawendi (both’20)—won the 4×400-meter race at Tabor Academy.“It was surprising because we’re all sprinters,” Whitney said. “It speaks to the fact that BB&N has a lot of sprinters that can run a variety of different races.” Victoria Kennedy ’20 identified the group camaraderie as her favorite part of the season. “It was a very family-community type of team,” she said. “It was close-knit, and everyone cheered on whoever was competing in their event at the time.”Emory Sabatini ’18 said he enjoyed the weekly team dinners on Friday nights at the homes of various upperclassmen.“Team dinners were not only fun because of the free food, but also because the team could just hang out as friends the night before a race,” he said. “I think those of us who went every week definitely became closer—plus, it was fun driving freshmen and sophomores and hearing the gossip within their grades!”  The school started its first track and field team in 1998, but the program was cut in 2008 because of waning interest. When this year school cross country runners and other students expressed new interest, however, the athletic department reestablished the sport.Track and Field Assistant Coach Saleena Rashed, who led the club’s sprinters, said she thinks the group will have another successful season in 2018.“Practice speaks for itself. If you have motivated and committed members, you will see the results,” she said. “BB&N is a strong team. I believe with our ending results, more members will join and we [will] have the opportunity to compete against some of the best kids in the New England area.”

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