The Tenacious Track Team

The Tenacious Track Team

The indoor track team has always been one of the more dominant sports teams here at Ipswich High School.  They are known around the Cape Ann League as a highly skilled assembly of the fastest runners Ipswich has to offer.  Under the training of head coach Martin Binette and leadership of team captains Sean Whooley, Colin Senechal, and Mike Riddle the Tigers are currently sitting at .500 with two wins and two losses.  They will look to get their third win of the season this Friday at home when they go up against Manchester-Essex and Saugus.  When asked about the upcoming meet, senior captain Sean Whooley seemed pretty optimistic about the Tigers’ chances.  He told me, “On Friday we are facing Manchester-Essex and Saugus.  Saugus is new to the league so we aren’t really sure what to expect, but hopefully we do pretty well against them.  And on the other hand, we have played Manchester-Essex many times before so we know them pretty well.  I just hope we can get a couple more wins under our belts.  We have the personnel and skill, so what it’s going to come down to is execution and focus on the day of the meet.”

A big reason why the indoor track team has historically been so good is the heavy contribution they get from their underclassmen.  Unlike most teams, the Tigers don’t rely on the seniors to carry them to victory.  Just this season alone the non-senior team members have accounted for nearly two hundred of the season’s points.  That is a lot more than the combined points of all the seniors.

The track team’s success doesn’t just come from the players either.  The coaching staff is a collection of experienced former track stars.  Marty Binette is the head coach and specializes in sprinting.  Other coaches include Ken Spellman, who’s in charge of hurdles, Jack Welch, who handles shot put, and Sue Markos, who trains the distance runners.  Clearly, whatever the coaching staff is doing is working.  When asked what it is like to have Binette as a coach, junior runner, Vinny Martineau had nothing but good things to say.  “Oh, oh, what a guy.  He is wonderful.  He’s one of the best coaches around.  We have something new to do everyday; he knows what he’s doing, and he lays down the law.  He creates amazing workouts and I feel like I’m just getting better and better every time I go see him and talk to him”, said Martineau.

Ipswich High School’s passion for track is clearly displayed on their website.  The team’s mission statement is posted in big black letters across the middle of the home page.  It reads: “The goal of the Ipswich Tigers track program is to provide a fun, competitive, and rewarding atmosphere for athletes of all levels, abilities and interests.  We strive to train and educate our athletes on proper techniques and plans for competitive track and field, and life-long fitness.  Our goal is that our athletes progress to a level of performance that either propels them to compete for college track and field programs, or gives them the instruction they need to continue with good health and fitness and a love of track!”  All of this passion and pride is reflected in their success over the past years.  Just last season alone the Tigers were winners of three championships, taking home the trophies for the League, Open, and Small Division Championships.

The Tigers will look to improve their season record this Friday at home as they take on two tough teams.  Without a doubt there will be big contributions from the junior and sophomore classes, and the seniors will use their experience to help boost the Tigers to a 4-2 record.

nick rem track