Another school with a rich tradition in track is Bromfield, but despite some talented athletes of both genders, fifth-year coach Greg Bourque is basically rebuilding the proud program from scratch.
Only 11 boys and six girls came out are on the roster, and just five are sophomores or seniors. There are no juniors.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids,” Bourque said. “We were almost not able to have a team.”
Bourque praised Superintendent Dr. Linda Dwight and athletic director Dave Boisvert with their commitment to sports.
“They worked to make sure the kids didn’t miss out on the opportunity,” Bourque said. “They’ve been really supportive of getting all sports back up and running.”
Bourque isn’t exactly sure why the numbers have dwindled, but he suspects having to wear masks at all times, even when competing, has a little something to do with it.
“I think that’s why we might be short of athletes this year,” said Bourque, who also coaches the boys’ and girls’ outdoor track squads. “I think there are a lot of kids who opted out because of COVID policies. Anytime we’re indoors, they have to wear their masks. The middle school program cross-country team had 50-plus kids, and so that’s promising. The middle school track (team) will be just as big in the spring. In the spring, I think we’ll have a lot of (varsity) kids.”
Despite the sparse numbers, Bourque has turned that into a positive.
“With a small team, it’s really good to focus on an individual,” Bourque said. “It’s a really good opportunity for the younger kids to get experience. It’s easier to coach when you have a small team. It’s easier to focus on individuals and their individual training plans and individual goals."
Leading the boys’ contingent is sophomore Colin Harte, who was a member of the 1,600-meter relay team that broke the outdoor school record last spring.
Harte qualified for the Division 5 state meet when he long-jumped 18-6½ — good enough for fifth — at Sunday’s Winter Festival at Reggie Lewis for small schools. He also placed fourth in the 300 in 38.0.
“He’s really good,” Bourque said. “He’s going to be a really big help for our team.”
Meanwhile, eighth grader Wally Johannsen ran a 5:13.90 mile at the Winter Festival to place 26th, and came within 2 seconds of qualifying for the freshman mile event in the 2022 NSAF Indoor Nationals in March in New York.
The qualifying standard time, according to Bourque, is 5:12.
“It was great to see him put up that time in his first indoor race ever,” Bourque said. “We are confident he can reach that mark at his next race at the Reggie Lewis Center.”
Another key contributor is the lone Trojans senior Jacob Pulido (sprints, high jump). Bourque is high on freshmen Ralph Adams (55 dash, 300) and Adrian Erdogus-Brady (distances).
“Ralph has run for us previously and has been improving greatly over the past few seasons,” Bourque said. “Adrian is new to track, but ran cross-country in the fall and will be a big help for the team.”
The girls’ squad is keyed by senior Pariss Eang Lee (high jump, sprints, pentathlon) and sophomores Marissa Flynn (distances) and Gretchen Day, who runs anything from the 300 to 600.
“Most of the middle schoolers are new, but a few of them ran cross-country this fall,” Bourque said. “We have a great team culture and a great coaching staff, so I expect the season to be great, regardless of our numbers.”
—Contact Steve Farley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Bromfield School indoor track remains focused during rebuild