Boys and Girls
High School Track and Field
• Western Massachusetts •
Last Update: 6/13/2010
May 10, 2010:
Track's Popularity Soars Despite Lack of U.S. Star Power
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Massachusetts High School
[Last updated 5/10]
Girls 100 Meter Dash
Meet Record: # 12.12 5/30/2009 Jenn Christian, Central
Girls 200 Meter Dash
Meet Record: # 24.62 5/27/2006 Sarah Wernik, Northhampton
Girls 400 Meter Run
Meet Record: # 56.33 5/28/2005 Mandela Graves-Fulgham, Amherst
Girls 800 Meter Run
Meet Record: # 2:13.42 5/27/2006 Emily Bourdeau, Longmeadow
Girls 1 Mile Run
Meet Record: # 4:41.80 1995 Mary Cobb, Pittsfield
Girls 2 Mile Run
Meet Record: # 10:48.84 5/29/2005 Amber Sayer, Amherst
Girls 100 Meter Hurdles
Meet Record: # 14.70 1984 Tiffany Smith, Westfield
Girls 300 Meter Hurdles
Meet Record: # 44.83 2003 Colleen Farley, Mt. Greylock
Girls 4x800 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 9:53.10 2002 , Amherst
Girls 4x100 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 49.80 5/31/2008 Springfield Central HS
Girls 4x400 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 3:58.76 5/30/2009 Northampton HS, Northampton
Girls High Jump
Meet Record: # 5-05.75 1988 Maggie Ward, Pittsfield
Girls Pole Vault
Meet Record: # 10-06 5/28/2005 Nelly Denehy, Frontier
Girls Long Jump
Meet Record: # 18-10.50 5/28/2005 Sarah Wernik, Northhampton
Girls Triple Jump
Meet Record: # 38-03.50 1990 Devonia Long, East Longmeadow
Girls Discus Throw
Meet Record: # 128-09 2003 Sarah Hickman, Amherst
Girls Javelin Throw
Meet Record: # 140-03 1993 Marcia Chmura, Frontier
Girls Shot Put
Meet Record: # 42-08 1991 Kai Graves, Cathedral HS
Boys 100 Meter Dash
Meet Record: # 10.87 1992 Fred Hill, Minnechaug
Boys 200 Meter Dash
Meet Record: # 21.46 5/27/2006 Steven Headley, Minnechaug
Boys 400 Meter Run
Meet Record: # 48.84 1997 Mark Sylvander, Chicopee
Boys 800 Meter Run
Meet Record: # 1:55.77 5/28/2005 Eric Nacsin, E. Longmeadow
Boys 1 Mile Run
Meet Record: # 4:16.00 1978 Paul Beaulieu, Granby
Boys 2 Mile Run
Meet Record: # 9:09.00 1973 Stetson Arnold, Southwick
Boys 110 Meter Hurdles
Meet Record: # 14.10 1990 Oscar Arrechea, Springfield Central HS
Boys 300 Meter Hurdles
Meet Record: # 38.73 1998 Greg Devine, Springfield Central HS
Boys 4x800 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 8:16.60 2002 , Amherst
Boys 4x100 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 43.33 5/31/2008 Northampton HS, Northampton
Boys 4x400 Meter Relay
Meet Record: # 3:26.11 5/27/2006 , E. Longmeadow
Boys High Jump
Meet Record: # 6-09.50 2002 Miguel Bonilla, Sci Tech
Boys Pole Vault
Meet Record: # 14-02.50 1982 Ed Ziembrowski, Palmer
Boys Long Jump
Meet Record: # 23-08 1959 Fred Lewis, Tech
Boys Triple Jump
Meet Record: # 47-06 5/29/2004 Travis Suber, Longmeadow
Boys Discus Throw
Meet Record: # 170-10 5/28/2005 Haniyf Carr, Amherst
Boys Javelin Throw
Meet Record: # 208-04 1977 Al Pergraro, Cathedral
Boys Shot Put
Meet Record: # 57-02 1969 Jim Woodward, Tantasqua
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Blood, Sweat and No Respect for Runners
|While basketball and football are team sports measured by whoever has
the most points, running is individualistic and lonely and measured by
whoever has the most heart.|
In team sports you can rely on people. In track, it’s on you. And in team sports you have strength and conditioning, but track is strength and conditioning. It’s about pushing yourself through pain.
People play basketball, but nobody plays running, which makes the competitors in cross country or track hard to define. What are they exactly? I would say that they’re gladiators, cerebral assassins and just a little bit crazy.
There’s a big mental component to it. You need to be able to do things you thought were impossible.
Take for instance, the 400-meter hurdles, which is widely considered the hardest event in track. It’s the running equivalent of the death sentence.
Running is a blood sport in the same way boxing is — minus the face punching and ear biting, of course. With the exception of relays, running is always about going one-on-one to determine the victor. Surprisingly, the person who ends up with the bling isn’t always the fastest kid on the block.
It’s not that other sports are easy or, ahem, soft, but compared to the brutal training regimes and high intensity races of cross country or track, standing at a plate and swinging a piece of wood seems a little lame. Sure, other sports probably require more skill and precision, but that stuff is overrated.
Basketball and football players get all the glory, and sometimes rightfully so. But the runners in this world have paid their dues. It’s time the most grueling and physically demanding competition started to get some props.
After all, if running were any easier, they’d call it football.
Last month we had another Boston Marathon – our national biggie - and once again there was another Kenyan victory. As a matter of fact Kenyans have won 18 of the last 23 Boston Marathons. A streak that clearly has some people upset. While I too am disappointed in our performance in Boston, I’m not sure that marathons/road racing are the bell weather of the state of track and field in America. Because road racing and track and field don’t seem to be related in this country.
Ironically, when one looks at road races in America, road racing is alive and well! Just about every major city in America plays host to a marathon: Boston, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles and on and on. As a matter of fact, there are over 100 marathons across the country listed on marathonguide.com between now and the end of June! That’s just marathon’s! That doesn’t include half marathons and 10K’s of which there are many. So people ARE running.
That’s what Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers spurred back in the 70’s when Frank won marathon gold and silver in Munich and Montreal, and Bill won the Boston Marathon in ‘75/’78/’80 and the New York Marathon in ‘76/’77/’78/’79. That combined with the fervor of the exploits of the legendary Steve Prefontaine and the "Running Boom" was born in America. A boom that it was thought was going to lead to more gold, faster records, and a slew of Prefontaine’s across America – Solinsky, Tegenkamp, Rupp and Ritzenhein are supposed to be as common as American sprinters! Yet while we have millions running marathons, half marathons and 10ks all across America, and arguably our biggest invitational event on the track (Prefontaine Classic) bears the name of America’s greatest distance icon, we have been sorely lacking in successful distance runners when it comes to international competitions. Why?
Well, I think the answer lies in the nature of the "Boom" itself. Because after watching the exploits of Prefontaine, Rodgers and Shorter millions took to the streets and roads to – run. Everyone felt like he/she could run, and so they did. You see it was a "Running" Boom, not a "Racing" Boom. The Boom that was thought to produce a string of elite distance runners, instead produced millions of recreational runners. So while we only have a single Prefontaine Classic, there are tons of runs like: "Run for the Cure", "Bay to Breakers", "Run for Living Green", "Aid Africa 5K", and many many others all across the country.
Running has become a huge recreational endeavor. To the point of spurring the creation of magazines such as Runners World, Running Times, Women’s Running, and others. The sale of running shoes is a multi billion dollar industry, and there are running stores such as Fleet Feet and The Runners Depot that specialize in nothing but shoes and running equipment. And there are corporations sponsoring marathons, half marathons and road races all over America. Running is HUGE in this country!
But as with "Trickle Down Economics", we haven’t seen the results hit the track in anywhere near the same sort of numbers! Yes, we have those young people that somehow get into Cross Country in middle school or high school and then find their way onto the track. As Cross Country seems to be the competitive gateway to distance running and track racing. But the majority of "runners" never get there.
And I’m beginning to think that perhaps that is where the disconnect has come for track and field in this country. Because we’ve shown as a nation what we can do with "Running". We’ve gotten everyone excited about running to the point where there are many more marathons, road races, and even triathlons, televised in this country than track meets! We draw huge crowds to see people run right by them and continue on for miles after we see them. Crowds that come out in the rain and the cold and all sorts of inclement conditions! Runs and Races are advertised in newspapers, in gyms, on bill boards and all over the internet. So we’ve shown that we have the ability to market "Running".
Yet we only have a handful of major track competitions in this country and have a hard time marketing them and attracting substantial crowds! Is it because we’ve created a disconnect between the athletes and the audience? Is it because the audience has no association with sprinting, hurdling, jumping, or throwing? Have we focused so much effort on selling running as recreation that the competitive aspect has been lost? I’m not sure.
What I do know, however, is that if we transfer what we’ve learned from the roads to the track, we can finally do what it was thought the Running Boom was going to do in this country – make us competitive in distance running on the international stage. Solinsky, Tegenkamp, Rupp, Rowbury, Barringer, and Pierce were supposed to be here at least a decade ago!
It’s funny when people talk about the success of the African’s in distance running, because the first thing people want to point out is how much they run! But our roads are filled with millions of Americans doing the exact same thing – running! The difference between us and the African nations, in my opinion, is that they treat distance running as a national sport, while we treat it as a national hobby. There is talent out there on the roads. We just have to find it and channel it onto the track. Just like we have to channel the energy, corporate sponsorship and marketing that is going on for road racing and channel it to the track.
What happened to the Running Boom? It’s fine. It just hasn’t found it’s way to the track yet.
Posted by Conway Hill