A gutsy Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School indoor track squad took the mighty, mighty Bishop Feehan Shamrocks literally to the final event of a dual meet Thursday night before the Vineyarders took their first loss of the season.
The Vineyarders, both MVRHS boys (54-46 final) and girls (54-36 final), led the ’Rocks going into the final events, the 2 x 200 meter and 4 x 400 meter relays, which Feehan won handily. I’m telling you all of this because the Vineyard performance was that stunning. To be clear: Feehan does not lose dual meets. Ever.
The last time it happened in winter track (circa 2003), Thursday’s competitors were toddlers or unborn. The last time it happened in spring track (1998), none of Thursday’s athletes were born.
And since the Vineyarder boys did not have the aptly named Dash Christy (illness), their speed-events burner, and did not field a girls team for the 4 x 400 relay, one’s heart leaps up at the future possibilities.
The Haas Athletic Center at Wheaton College was supercharged on Thursday as seven teams, three dual meets and a handful of contestants from a seventh, square-toed their marks. The Vineyarder veteran stars showed up as expected, and they were aided by some emerging newcomers. For example, Borja Tolay found enough at the end of the two-mile run to break into a dead run for the last 100 yards, lunging across the tape for third place, denying a Feehan sweep of the event.
And first-year shot putter Charlotte Packer watched her brother Nate stone the field by 10 feet with a 47-foot toss, then stepped up and took third herself in the girls event. Daniel Bonneau took third in the 300-meter run, and Isaac Richards gutted out a second in the mile run with three Shamrocks on his heels.
Whether the MVRHS athletes knew what was at stake or not, their effort was intense, nonstop, and riveting to watch. Who knew track was this exciting?
Both squads are now 3-1, and race again on Jan. 8 at 3 pm at Wheaton against Diman Voc. of Fall River.