SHS Senior Tucker Walker is one of three Maine athletes who have thrown over 50 feet in the shot put this year .
Photo: SHS Athletics
Sanford High School Indoor Track Program Triples in Participation
By Sam Bonsey, Sanford School Department Communications Coordinator
The Sanford High School indoor track program had roughly 15 athletes come out for the boys’ and girls’ teams combined last winter.
The program has over 40 athletes on the roster this winter, nearly tripling the number they had in their first year. Head coach Magnes Lewis believes the program has the opportunity to grow even bigger in the coming years.
“Track is very, very flexible where you could have kids play basketball or baseball or participate in wrestling and have track as a secondary sport,” Lewis said. “So we have a handful of athletes who do that. And then it’s just building relationships with other coaches in the high school.”
Lewis also coaches the outdoor track team and is an assistant on the girls’ soccer team in the fall. SHS English teacher Anna Lane, Ed-Tech Shaun Rowe, and Brian Walker are assistants on the indoor team.
Sanford’s season started in mid-December. They’ve already competed in four regular season meets and have two more prior to the SMAA Conference Championships on Feb. 10 at the University of Southern Maine’s indoor track in Gorham.
Athletes have to hit specific standards in their respective events throughout the season to qualify for the Class A Championships nine days after the conference meet. Sanford already has a handful of state-qualifying athletes on the boys’ team.
Senior Tucker Walker is one of three athletes in all of Maine who has thrown over 50 feet in the shot put. Along with Walker, seniors Craig Crant (high jump) and Mason Van Gieson (pole vault) and juniors Rhylen Avery (long jump, 55-meter dash) and Logan Glidden (long jump) have already hit qualifying marks in their events.
The girls’ team has yet to have an athlete qualify for the state championships. However, freshman Lily Peters is inches away from qualifying in the long jump. Lewis expects a number of girls to hit their qualifying marks at the conference meet.
SHS Athletic Director Zach Lemelin is happy to see the growth of the indoor track team. “Historically, Sanford has had large outdoor track teams at the middle and high school, so it was only a matter of time to see that growth for our indoor team,” Lemelin said. “We have incredible coaches that are able to attract and recruit Sanford student-athletes to join.”
Lewis sees track as a springboard for dual-sport athletes to help them in their other teams, which he thinks will only help the program grow each year. “Any sport can benefit from track,” Lewis said. “We have soccer players and football players. Doing track can only help them.”