NHTF NOTE on SEASON PREVIEW
As we began to look at the landscape of the 2023 Winter Track League, it quickly became apparent that penning a valid, authentic, informed preview is impossible. It has been literally 3 years since the WTL last competed! Only seniors, who actually participated, have any experience! Yes we can look at the landscape from Spring Track 2022, but is that reliable? It is an entirely different season with an expanded number of athletes. Those rosters have basketball players, cross country skiers, hockey players, wrestlers! Indoor teams can have a vastly different set of players at many schools!
So, while we can’t wait to throw down a forecast of what 2023 WTL will bring, we have to delay the preview until after the holidays, to really see WHO’S IN!!! This can only be proven by watching the first couple weeks of meets. So look for 2023 Season Preview the first week of January! In the meantime, check out Mike Smith’s thoughts on the upcoming season!
Welcome Back Winter Track!
After a two season hiatus, NH Winter Track (and Field) is back!!! The past two years have been tough to get through the cold New England winters for our high school runners, but that’s what gives us the grit to contend with the rest of the nation (reference to the NH delegation just recently racing at NXN!)
Many thanks to the NH colleges and universities for opening their doors back up to our high school athletes. We are at the mercy of the college system for track availability and their generosity is vital for indoor track going forward. Be gracious when visiting these facilities, leaving them better than you found them. Make sure you follow ALL rules of each facility you visit!
Obviously, a big, well deserved thank you to all the people working behind the scenes to get this season done. Mike Lyford and Amy Sanborn have assumed the heavy lifting now that Larry Martin has stepped away from everything indoor. It’s no surprise it takes more than one person to fill Larry’s shoes, so thanks to him for his tireless work over the many (many) years for our athletes. Special thanks as he founded the league.
While we herald the return of indoor, it is inherent with its challenges. Yes the vast majority of schools struggle with the lack of facilities to train in and gearing up for indoor is a tenuous task. Predicting a snowy winter’s impact on after school activities makes it truly hard to train for a perfect season, especially with meets canceled due to inclement weather? This can really take a hit on championship preparations.
But isn’t it all worth it??!! We love the opportunity it provides for athletes to keep in touch with the sport, be it running, jumping or throwing. It is vital. The calendar year certainly had a gaping hole in it from December through March 2021 and 2022. And, our track and field athletes’ progression was slowed. Besides, what else are your athletes going to do? Some meets are better than no meets. Some touches of a throwing implement are better than no touches. Some jump approaches are better than no jump approaches. While distance runners can be limited to single events, this becomes a great time for some relay practice! Thanks to the NHIAA as champions are crowned, state records are broken, the excitement will be there!!!
So as we gear up for this season, we encourage kids that despite its challenges indoor offers opportunity. Opportunity to train, opportunity to practice skills, opportunity to touch some speed, an opportunity to stay in touch with the sport they are learning to love.
And I wish my kids the best performances they can give, I also lessen expectations as investing too heavily in the outcomes tied to indoor can be misgiving. With Division 2 encompassing all of D2 and D3 (and D4 like us!) it would be easy for an athlete not to qualify for States but still have a fantastic indoor season so I never want to make too much out of it.
But it is good to be back. And while I’m not looking forward to two hour bus rides to meets, or the dusty, dry air of the Paul Sweet oval, it will be good to watch kids get out there, when Mother Nature makes doing what they love just a touch more difficult, and getting after it. Might not be perfect, but it’s about as perfect as we can get.