Athletes compete at states

Pearl Vercruysse, front, runs in the one-mile race at the state meet at the Reggie Lewis Center on Feb. 17. —Ali Barlett

By Alicja Vickers

Several members of the school’s Indoor Track and Field team competed in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 5 State Championships this past Friday.

The meet, held at The Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, brought together the qualifiers to compete in events such as hurdles, high jump, one mile run, 1000 meter dash, and relay runs. The Vineyarders brought home victories by placing highly in these events.

Senior captain Livy Smith started strong when she broke the school’s record in hurdles with a time of 8.81 seconds, placing her second at the meet. Livy is a veteran member of the indoor track team, having participated since the program was introduced at the high school during her sophomore year. “Track can be incredibly rewarding when you finally achieve what you have been working for. The sport can also be unforgiving when you don’t produce the outcome that you had hoped for. I am more proud of the way that I have learned from my failures and used them as motivation to do better,” she said.

Ninth grader Catherine Cherry, the youngest member on the team to qualify for states, has played the sport since the sixth grade. “I got interested because my private school had a track program which had a lot of my friends in it, so I tried it out. I wasn’t good at track, but I loved it,” she said. “My mom convinced me to do some 5-K races once I moved to Martha’s Vineyard. Again, I wasn’t good at them, but I loved the long distances. I kept doing more of the races until I got better and better.”

Senior captain Nevin Wallis placed sixth in the 600-meter run and ninth in the 4×200 relay. Nevin first found his love for running when he was young. “I was always a pretty competitive kid, so I loved to race against my dad and mom. They would always win against me when I was younger so it was something for me to strive for,” Nevin said. He went from racing his family members to racing students from all over the state at meets where he set personal records. “During the [Eastern Athletic Conference] final meet I cleared 6 feet in the high jump. I also came in second in the state divisional meet in the 600. These were the two proudest moments of my track career. I haven’t beaten either of those personal records,” said Nevin.

Another state competitor, senior Pearl Vercruysse, also did well at the meet placing, 5th in the one mile and 4th in the 1000 meter run. Pearl has run track since middle school, but has loved running since she was a small child. She found her admiration for the sport when she began high school track. Pearl said, “I’ve never been fully proud of myself because I always feel like I can do better. So maybe my proudest moments have been watching my teammates work really hard throughout the season and then surprise themselves out on the track with really great races.”