Indoor Track Speeds to Success

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There’s nothing stopping the pace of the BLS track team (Source: Lisa Jackson)

By Terence Xie (II), Staff Writer

The Boston Latin School indoor track team started off their season with multiple wins at invitationals, and more recently, a strong Dual County League (DCL) meet. Despite their strong start, this season did not come without its fair share of challenges.

Captain Louie Belile (I) acknowledges the struggles that all athletes, including the track team, faced after the shutdown of all Boston Public Schools Athletics teams on December 23, 2021. “Three to four weeks off for a runner is really hard for us conditioning-wise,” he comments.

Even when they were able to compete again, the track team was not without their share of obstacles. Captain Sophie Ahearn (I) explains, “When we returned from this shutdown, our team had dwindled quite a bit due to COVID-19 concerns and injuries.”

Even with all the adversity the team faced early in the season, they were able to see success as a result of their hard work with their latest meet at the DCL Championship.

The DCL Championship is the culmination of all the practices and previous meets that the team had been working on leading up to this moment. They were able to send many runners further to statewide meets.

Among them was Rachel Starr (IV), who recently broke the school record for the two-mile event. Ahearn noted her incredible success, as well as her pride for the entire team.“We had a strong team compete at the DCL Championships; seven athletes competed at the divisionals meet, and […] Starr competed at the All-State meet,” says Ahearn.

Much of the team’s success can be attributed to the work they put in during practice as well as the workouts they do in their own time. 

Ahearn elaborates, “We always start off with a warmup and drills and then head into the workout. For sprinters this usually means shorter-distance runs, and for distance this can range anywhere from four miles to ten miles on any given day. All of our workouts end with stretching and strength-training in the weight room.”

Belile also acknowledges the extra work the team put in to ensure they had as much speed and power as possible. He also mentions the importance of a strong team morale and dynamic, especially when preparing the day before a meet. Practice is crucial to the team’s success, as Ahearn believes that “this ensures that we know we are part of a bigger team; we know what the next races are and how we are going to execute plans in those races.”

In addition to physical workouts, runners also have to prepare mentally. Starr explains, “I had to set strong goals for myself, the biggest of which was reaching states and staying in contact with my coach to design workouts specific to my goal times made it easier to keep working hard.”

On Saturday, Starr reached her goal, seeing her hard work pay off as she qualified for nationals with a time of 11 minutes and 27 seconds for the two-mile run.

“It does feel great to have qualified after all the chaos of this season, but the most important thing to me is continuing to improve through each meet,” Starr says. Prioritizing preparation for the beginning of the outdoor season, Starr and her coach, however, decided to sit out of nationals. “It feels both fulfilling and exciting to be able to keep improving,” Starr adds.  

With their successes and triumphs over numerous difficulties, the captains are content with how the season has turned out.

“I could not be more proud of the way the team showed up in the face of all of the challenges this season. This
season was a building block for the outdoor season, and I am very excited to see what we will accomplish,” Ahearn expresses.

Belile agrees with similar sentiments, noting how “many on our team felt like the indoor season was just preparation for the outdoor season considering our strongest events are in the spring season.”

With the DCL Championships and All-States in the past, the team is now looking ahead toward the spring season, in good shape and ready to dominate.