BERLIN — The Berlin High track team has waited more than 600 days to get back into the starting blocks to compete in a meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there will be several protocols in place this spring, the Mountaineers will be able to run, jump and throw in 2021.
Coach Bob Lord spoke highly of his girls team saying, "We have a good group of girls this season with plenty of good speed and I will actually field two 4x100 relay teams while we sort things out.”
Those speedsters include Gwen Pelchat, Emily Roy, Mya Wedge, Megan Bernier, Gianna Bouchard, Brooklyn Rainville, Mia Letourneau, Aliyah Paquette and Ashley Baldridge.
Lord also expects good things from Baldridge, Becca Host and Allysa Delafontaine in the discus.
Pelchat is a Meet of Champion qualifier two years ago in the 100-meter hurdles and should continue her dominance in that event. She, along with Cora Treiss, will be a force in the 300-meter hurdles.
As for the boy's team, Coach Lord expects great things from Brayden Landry, who will be a force in the 3,200-meter run, while Jace Arsenault, Victor Morales and Malachi Plociennic are looking fast for the 200 and 100.
Add to that mix Adam Hodgeman, Joe Zimmerman, Richard Hernandez and newcomer Hayden Munce are looking good in the throws. David Young is very strong this year, and Lord "expects him to fly in the 400 meters.”
The long-time, veteran track and field coach shared, "This season is a total mystery, having lost a whole season last year, plus the mask rule for runners will be a killer as kids have to run with less oxygen while sucking in their expelled carbon dioxide and trying to breathe while a soaking wet mask gets sucked into their mouths. We have run into this in practice. This will especially hurt the distance kids. There are no mask breaks in the 1600 and 3200.
He added: “Thankfully, the throwers are exempt, which is a mystery to me and fellow coaches. I would like to see the state leaders put on a mask, hit a track in 80- or 90-degree weather, run hard for eight laps, and let us know how it works out.
"I will have to monitor my runners once the heat hits and yank them out of races if things go south. I personally think oxygen should be available at our meets."