Windsor, Hartford Athletes Take Home State Track Titles
Fair Haven, Vt. — The word “dynasty” gets thrown around these days like darts at the Wednesday night league down at the bar. But we can at least say the U-32 boys track team is working on the start of one after the Raiders captured their second consecutive Vermont Division II state championship on Saturday at Fair Haven’s Heitkamp Track.
Harwood dethroned U-32 as the champion in the girls competition.
A bigger story than the U-32 boys or Harwood girls winning the title is what the U-32 boys team had to overcome. The Raiders saw points fade away before the day hardly began.
Jalen Carter was being counted on as a big point getter in a number of events but he injured his knee on his landing in the long jump pit and was done for the day with a sixth-place finish in that event.
Teammate Adam Gowans was scratched in the long jump, where he was seeded second, as a result of an accident during the morning before arriving. He still managed to get some key points with firsts in the shot put and javelin, but the Raiders were forced to make up for an unforeseen void and they did as everyone found something extra to contribute in helping the Raiders to a score of 108.50, ahead of second-place Fair Haven with 89.50.
U-32 coach Mark Chaplin said the setbacks and injuries early in the day forced the Raiders to “overwork our distance runners.”
But the formula worked and after never winning a state crown in the sport before 2013, the U-32 Raiders had two in a row.
The Highlanders have always been known for their distance running, whether it be on the cross-country trails in the fall or on the track in the spring. It helped Harwood to its state girls crown, but they also got points in other places.
The distance people came through as freshman Anneka Williams won the 3,000 meters in a time of 11:26.78 and Charlotte Boyden (11:31.94) and Alice Woodruff (11:51.86) saw to it that the Highlanders went 1-2-4 in that event.
It was more of the same in the 1,500 even though Hartford’s Shanan Hamilton won the event in 5:05.04. The Highlanders still went 2-3-4 with Williams (5:07.74), Marla Davidson (5:08.03) and Lauren Alexander (5:08.03).
Windsor sophomore Katey Comstock was a double state champion by winning the shot put and the discus. It is the second straight year she has won both events.
Comstock also plays softball in the spring and helped take the Yellow Jackets to the quarterfinals.
But in the winter season, she plays three sports for the Jacks. She competes in basketball, indoor track (where she was also state champion) and bowling.
She is was a running back and linebacker for the football team in the fall.
But now as she enters her junior year and has received a letter to her home from the Colby College (Maine) track program, she is about to concentrate more of her effort on track and field.
“I won’t be doing football,” she said after unleashing her winning discus throw of 104-11.
Now, it is on to the New Englands, where Comstock has some goals.
“I would like to throw 37 feet in the shot and at least 110 in the discus,” Comstock said of the marks that would give her personal best throws at the New Englands.
Hartford’s throwers had a strong day, led by Jackson Dwyer’s winning toss of 140-10 in the discus and third-place heave of 41-02 in the shot put, the latter 61/2 inches behind teammate and shot put runner-up Tayler Larmie (41-08.5).
For the Hurricane girls, Julia Anderson threw 102-00 for second place, while Megan Newton was fourth in the javelin (91-08) and fifth in the high jump.
Dwyer was the final leg of Hartford’s sixth place 4x100 relay team that also included Hunter Judd, Clayton Bailey and Alex Page.
Team Scores: Boys — 1. U-32 108.50, 2. Fair Haven 89.50, 3. Lyndon 72, 4. Harwood 66, 5. Middlebury 61, 6. Rice 38, 7. Windsor 32, T8. Vergennes 25, T8. Hartford 25, T10. Milton 15, Missisquoi 15, 12. Mount Abraham 10.
Girls — 1. Harwood 139, 2. U-32 120.50, 3. Windsor 72, 4. Milton 68, 5. Middlebury 35,6. Rice 29, 7. Fair Haven 23.50; 8. Hartford 22.50, 9. Lyndon 15, 10. Burr and Burton 13.50, 11. Vergennes 8, 12. Missisquoi 6.50, 13. Mount Abraham 5.50.