Indoor track off and running

Vineyard boys ground Hawks; girls edged.

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MacKenzie Condon, seen running in the EAC Division 5 Championship last year, won four events last Friday against Southeastern Regional Vocational Tech. –Bret Stearns

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School indoor track season got underway last Friday at Wheaton College in Norton, with the Vineyarders taking on Southeastern Regional Vocational Tech in an Eastern Athletic Conference meet. The Vineyard boys downed the Hawks 68-32, while the girls narrowly lost, 47-44.

In the boys meet, the Vineyarders dominated the field and distance events. Overall, MV won eight of 12 events.

Nathaniel Packer, the defending EAC champ in the shot put, broke his own indoor record with a first-place throw of 41 feet, 3 inches. Richie Barlett put the shot 35 feet, 1 inch, to claim second. Tim Wallis and Dash Christy placed one-two in the high jump with twin leaps of five feet, with Wallis taking the tiebreaker by virtue of having had fewer missed attempts. Wallis was second in the long jump at 16 feet, 11 inches, while Christy was third at 16 feet, 8 inches.

A trio of Vineyard harriers claimed the distance events. Otto Osmers won both the one- and two-mile races with times of 5:15 and 11:17, respectively. Isaac Richards topped the field in the 1,000 meters (3:11), and Peter Burke won the 600 meters (1:34). Jack Creighton finished second in the two-mile (12:53).

For the girls, Mackenzie Condon had a stellar day at Wheaton, winning the long jump, high jump (4 feet, 8 inches), 55-meter high hurdles (9.22) and the 600 meters (1:53). Amber Cuthbert won the mile (5:51.3) and the 1,000 meters (3:24), while Catherine Cherry was tops in the two-mile (12:30).

Trailing by three points with only the relay race remaining, the Vineyard girls could not take part, first because they were maxed out on events, and second, because the Vineyarders had to catch the last ferry from Woods Hole.

Going forward this season, Vineyard Coach Joe Schroeder has a wealth of talent on both the boys and girls teams.

Senior co-captain Nathaniel Packer, juniors Richie Barlett, Ronaldo Dos Santos, and Andres Garcia, sophomore Daniel Bonneau, and freshman Micah Vought comprise the boys throwing contingent.

The boys formidable distance-running lineup features seniors Otto Osmers, co-captain Charlie Whalen, and Evan Peak; junior Jack Creighton; sophomores Peter Burke, Daniel Rivard, and Keats Brown; and freshmen Owen Atkins, Isaac Richards, and Jackson Wojnowski.

Sprinters and hurdlers include returning runners junior J.P. Alves, the aforementioned Daniel Bonneau, and fellow sophomore Dash Christy, plus a host of newcomers in sophomores Tim Wallis, JoJo Bonneau (Daniel’s twin brother), and Emmanuel Da Silva, along with freshmen Keaton Aliberti and Jacob Gurney. Christy, Wallis, Gurney and JoJo Bonneau will also compete in the jumping events.

Nathaniel Packer throws the shot during the opening meet vs. Southeastern last Friday at Wheaton College. –Courtesy Joe Schroeder

Spearheading the seven-member girls team is junior co-captain Mackenzie Condon, the top hurdler in the EAC, and a gifted all-purpose athlete who is a leading contender in multiple events. Cross-country standouts sophomore Catherine Cherry and freshman Amber Cuthbert should be a dynamic duo in the distance events. “Catherine will be looking to build on her success from cross-country and last year’s indoor and outdoor seasons,” Coach Schroeder said. “Amber had a great initial cross-country season, so she really came into indoor prepared.”

The rest of the Vineyard girls, like Ms. Cuthbert, are also new to indoor track. Junior Cassie Casey and sophomore Ashley Biggs will compete in the hurdles and jumping events, while sophomore Paige Pogue will put the shot, and sprint alongside junior Erin DeBettencourt.
With the roster set at seven, the Vineyard girls will have to put an emphasis on scoring before the final relay events. “We like to get as many points as we can before the relays, so we’re not counting on the relays,” Coach Schroeder said. “Their goal is to do as well as they can in each of the dual meets in preparation for the larger meets ahead, like the division championships, Coaches Invitational, and EAC championships.”

The Vineyarders, girls and boys, compete next on Thursday at Wheaton against EAC rivals West Bridgewater. The dual meet begins at 3:30 pm.