by Ken Brown
NEWPORT – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) track and field team showed little rust and a lot of promise under new head coach Jeff Tucker last week as they opened their season at the North Country Union High School.
Senior Camille Bolduc and sophomore Cormac Leahy both took home first place honors in the 800m to lead a Charger team that held its own against North Country, Lake Region, and Lamoille last Saturday.
Bolduc has earned back-to-back state titles in the event, including setting the school record at CA in 2019. Leahy dominated his first varsity 800m event with teammate Charlie Krebs just under two seconds behind for a runner-up finish. The duo blitzed the field by nearly thirty-seven seconds. Bolduc and Leahy also had strong third place finishes in the 1500m event and Bolduc anchored her team of Sadie Skorstad, Ava Purdy, and Rachel Bjerke to a runner-up finish in the 4X100 relay event. Skorstad also posted an impressive runner-up finish in the 100m and a third-place finish in the javelin event.
“Camille is our lone senior and Ida Eames is our only junior on a very young team, so their leadership as athletes is welcomed. Camille has a lot of varsity meet experience and she did a great job of navigating everyone through their first competition. Cormac and Charlie worked a really hard race together. It was fun to watch and they should be really proud of their effort. Sadie had never run the 100m before and her focus on preparation really paid off and will be a big confidence booster for her going forward. The blind hand-offs in the relay are extremely technical and the girls did a great job of executing and really ran a fast race,” said Tucker.
Dalton Gravel also had a strong day for the Chargers, posting a runner-up finish in the shot put and a third-place finish in the discus event.
COVID-19 canceled the 2020 Vermont spring sports season, so many of Tucker’s student athletes are making the jump from middle school straight to varsity competition.
“We had five first timers today and everyone had something to proud of. Dalton hasn’t even worked on strength training yet, but his preparation and execution on his technique was great. Linden Stelma-Leonard did a great job of finishing his 300m hurdle event, which is probably the most intimidating of all of the events. It’s a great group of kids and they are doing a nice job so far of not focusing on the results. They are approaching everything before and after the competitions the right way and controlling only what they can control. We want to learn from our experience and most importantly have fun doing it,” said Tucker.
The Chargers will be back in action on Wednesday at St. Johnsbury Academy.