by Ken Brown
MONTPELIER – The Hazen Union varsity and middle school track and field teams were back in action last week in Montpelier as both teams near the end of their regular seasons.
The varsity squad competed at U-32 High School last Tuesday, with several members of the girls’ team coming away with solid results. Sophomore Aster Watkevich placed sixth in the long jump event, with Olivia Thomas of Milton besting the field. Watkevich also joined teammates Lily Castle, Ella Considine, and Chloe Dyer to finish their first relay of the season in the 4X400m. U-32’s Maia Pasco, Madison Beaudoin, Greta Little, and Isabel Moustakas took home first place honors.
Castle was also strong in the javelin event, posting a tenth-place finish, with teammate Finn Burgess following close behind in eleventh. Hazel Stoddard of Mount Abe was the event winner. Considine (18th) and Watkevich (20th) were also respectable against a field of 40 competitors in the 100m, with Milton’s Thomas capturing her second title of the afternoon.
“With just one week left in the season, it is amazing to see how much each one of these athletes have improved. I am always amazed at how much they are able to handle during practices and how they come to meets with a goal of attaining a personal best. There are many, many lessons that the student athlete can learn during a track and field season, but the two I am most concerned with are the art of communication and resiliency. Communication is a key trait that allows us to take an active and effective role in our society. My hope is that each of these athletes walk away from this season with a better understanding of how a successful sharing of information can help them succeed in each of their future endeavors. Resiliency is the ability to recover from difficulties. I have pushed all of these athletes hard during practice. Running straight is hard and most of the time your main competition is yourself. You need to be able to overcome what your mind is telling you, you cannot do. These athletes have walked away from many practices knowing that they are stronger than they thought. They now know they can handle more than they ever thought they could. I look forward to this last week of our season and the future of Hazen track and field,” said head coach Kathy Fortmann.
The middle school team competed in their largest event of the season over the weekend at the Montpelier Invitational. Colin Gray and Hunter Martin led the way for the Wildcats with a pair of sixth place finishes against huge fields in the 200m and 1500m events. Seamus Dumas of Brown’s River and U-32’s Cole Page were the event winners. Martin also had a strong eighth place finish in the 400m, with Dumas capturing his second title of the afternoon. Gray and Martin capped off their afternoons with top 25 finishes in the 100m, with Dumas winning his third title against 65 competitors.
The Wildcat varsity team was back in action on Tuesday at St. Johnsbury Academy and the middle school team will wrap up their season on Wednesday at North Country High School.