Nothing Can Stop the Indoor Track Team


Anyone who walked into the high school’s cafeteria this fall instantly noticed a change.  Over the summer, the floor of the cafeteria, and therefore track, was resurfaced.  A new season for the Ipswich Indoor Track Team brings along a new indoor track. The gym floor was resurfaced over the summer before the 2015-2016 school year. According to Marty Binette, the head coach for the boys and girls indoor track teams, this is the first time the gym has been resurfaced since the high school/middle school was built in 1998.   Most tracks need to be resurfaced every five years or so to stay in the best condition for athletes to run on. The indoor track team existed well before the new high school was built; therefore making it a necessity to resurface the floor. The choice to improve the indoor track will benefit the track team and many teams in the years to come.


Runners for the 2015-2016 indoor track season were surprised when varsity athletes were told on the first day of practice that they will not be running on the brand new resurfaced track for meets. For the first time, all varsity track meets will be held at off campus arenas including Andover High School, Lynn Tech, and Reggie Lewis center in Roxbury. Runners are indifferent about this change. Senior distance runner Emily Demarco says, “I’m disappointed because there is a lot a traveling, and we are going to get home late, but I’m excited because there are more opportunities to qualify.”   


With away meets comes a lot of travel and late nights. Three out of the five league meets start at seven o’clock at night. This means the bus for these meets will leave around 4 o’clock to accommodate for the long drive and traffic. If you’re unfamiliar with track meets, they usually last about two to three hours. The student-athletes won’t arrive home from these school night meets until after ten o’clock; it is going to be difficult to transition from late nights of active running to bed.  The other two meets, which start at four, will give kids an opportunity to go home after school and arrive back to school in a reasonable time to get needed school work done before the next day.


In contrast to the Ipswich Indoor track which is 100 meters per lap, the tracks at Andover high school and Lynn tech are 160 yards and Reggie Lewis is 200 meters long. With bigger tracks comes less turns and leaning. In the runner world, this means it is easier to run fast. The bigger the track the more likely a runner is going to run a faster time. Mr. Binette says, “Having away meets gives my runners a better opportunity to qualify for the CAL meet and divisionals at the end of the season,” which is the ultimate end goal for track athletes. To qualify for the CAL meet and the divisionals meet, a runner needs to be able to run a certain time. These standards are quite challenging on their own, but when you add a small track to it, it becomes almost impossible. Mr. Binette is looking to have more kids qualify for these meets in the upcoming season.


This was not the only reason Mr. Binette tried to get varsity meets at larger tracks. He also said, “I didn’t want to take any chances with running on the resurfaced track because it may be too slippery to hold meets on” and he was right. Michaela Hedderman, a sprinter on the track team, can testify for the slippery floor. She says,“It is a lot more slippery than last year and harder to run on.” The track team is staying optimistic; they are hoping the track will become less slippery as time goes on.
Although there is no home varsity meets, the new Ipswich indoor track still hosts JV meets. JV meets are held about once a week, and all ten teams in the Cape Ann League compete in them. There are over 100 different kids who compete in each meet. It can get a little crazy but very entertaining and fun! On December 11th, the first JV meet was held. According to Martin Binette, the meet was very successful, and the kids seemed to be having fun. The gym is going to have endless benefits for the Ipswich Indoor JV and Varsity track teams in the years to come.