By Bill Spencer
This year’s indoor track and field season looked like it would be pretty bleak with the lack of indoor tracks to hold any meets on. Fortunately, the Hampshire Dome continued its long standing practice of setting aside the hours from 3 to 5 on weekdays for the dedicated usage of the track and one soccer field for High School teams during the track season. In normal years, these times are used by the local High Schools for training and an occasional meet. The track itself is 310 meters, with two running lanes and a four lane straight away. Souhegan High School provides the necessary equipment for the high jump, shot, dash and hurdles that are used by all the teams.
Once the season was canceled, Keene, Concord, Souhegan, Bishop Guertin, and Merrimack immediately reserved dates for meets and timing by North Star Timing. Alvirne also reserved dates with hand timing. Towards the end of the season, Milford, Portsmouth and Monadnock/Conant hosted meets.
The Dome limited the meets to two days per week and six teams per meet. No spectators were allowed and the meets had to be concluded within the 2 hour window. Fortunately, Steve Cote (The Highlight Guy), a Bishop Guertin parent, offered to Live Stream four of the meets and NHTF Streamed a fifth. Because of the two hour limit, it was impossible to include every event in each meet, so the distance events were alternated between meets and relays were limited to the 4×310 or shorter.
Both Bishop Guertin and Merrimack decided to use their time slots a little differently. Bishop Guertin had reserved three hours on Martin Luther King day to hold a Dome Championship meet, modeled on the Division Championship schedule, starting with the 4×620 and concluding with the 4×310. Entries were limited to 12 per event and were seeded by the FAT times run at the Dome meets. Medals were awarded to the first three in each event, excluding the relays. The six team rule was waived and 13 teams had runners that qualified. Officials were hired, Live Streaming was set up, North Star was hired, and volunteers were ready to go. Two days before the meet, the decision was made to move to date to the next day because of the impending storm. The only three hour time slot that was available that day was from 2 to 5, which caused several teams to withdraw due to transportation issues. The meet went off like clockwork in 2 ½ hours.
Merrimack decided to hold a Relay meet, also with Medals and ribbons to give the kids a different experience. That meet, also Live Streamed, was limited by the six team rule.
The season at the Dome is now over. There were 19 separate meets, with 31 teams participating and having a successful Indoor track season. Bill Derry, Hayden Daley, Danielle Fischer and John Snell were prime movers for their meets. Jeff Wilson was the go-to-guy for all the meets. Mike and Cathy Merra did a great job keeping the meets moving within the 2 hour time frame. Lastly, the Live Streaming by Steve Cote and NHTF was much appreciated.
By Mike Merra – North Star Timing
From December 16 through February 11 (nine weeks) 14 meets were FAT timed. We estimate we had approximately 225 “entries” per meet but many athletes entered more than one event so we estimate we had about 100 athletes competing on average each meet.
I thought the most exciting event was the newly created 4 x 310m lap relay which the kids really enjoyed and provided lots of excitement. We hope that continues in the future.
There were some great performances this past season including the following:
–Kylee Quinlan of Winnacunnet 1:38.67 in the 600m on 1/4/22 easily besting the time run in the 2020 Div 1 Indoor State Championship and set a new Winnacunnet school record.
-BG’s Fiona Doherty (4:52.83 on 1/13/22)and Mary Kate Finn (4:58.58 on 12/16/21) both bested the Div. 1 Championship time run in the 1500.
-Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel ran 10:24.86 at the Dome Championship meet on 1/17/22 to best her 2020 Division 2 winning time of 10:26.57.
–Zoe Arakelian of Portsmouth jumping 5’4” on 2/11/22 to tie Division 2 Championship mark.
–Will Jacques of Souhegan jumped 6’2” (2/3/22) and threw 52’ 9.75” (1/24/22). Both marks tying (HJ) and (SP) the 2020 Division 2 Championship marks.
–Seth Baylus of Merrimack Valley ran a 6.66 tying the Division 2 Championship Meet mark (1/18/22).
–Torin Kindopp’s (Keene) 4:06.42 in the 1500 1/27/2022