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Indoor track to have altered procedures and schedule

Richard Ross - Reporter/Photographer
Posted 11/23/20

Update: After deadline Section 9 made some changes to the upcoming indoor track season, pushing the start date to January and cancelling December meets.

SULLIVAN COUNTY -- “If you don't suffer …

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On track?

Indoor track to have altered procedures and schedule


Update: After deadline Section 9 made some changes to the upcoming indoor track season, pushing the start date to January and cancelling December meets.

SULLIVAN COUNTY -- “If you don't suffer the pain of hard work now, you will suffer the pain of losing later,” proclaims a mantra from Track Nation.

For runners, jumpers and throwers serious about outdoor track success in the spring, indoor track is a key prerequisite as it is the medium in which athletes build endurance, technique, speed in running events and marshal greater heights and distances in jumps and throws. For those who choose to eschew indoor track in the winter, coming out for track in the spring can often feel like being behind the curve even if their winter activities such as basketball kept them in good condition.

Last spring track and field was a casualty of the COVID-19 cancellation but this winter, indoor track, classified as a low-to-moderate risk sport has been authorized to begin on November 30 but the questions surrounding the impending season at present read like a template for a fledgling cub reporter on his first assignment: who, what, when, where and why?

In a conversation with Section 9 Boys Indoor Track Chairman Mike White, many of those questions are being answered but, of course, much is subject to change. Of those queries, the most pressing one is where? For Sullivan County indoor track teams the twice weekly visits to Sullivan County Community College for developmental meets were improbable this winter given the fact that the college will be serving its students on a totally remote basis from Thanksgiving to February 1.

West Point, which has hosted the larger meets involving Section 9 schools, has declined the use of Gillis Field house for high school indoor track. At this juncture all meets will be staged outdoors with the Section 9 and State Qualifying meets held at the Armory. Section 9 has reserved dates at the Armory for those events. The state qualifier will be much more limited in terms of entries.

Needless to say the outdoor meets are subject to the exigencies of the weather. Snow dates are provided (see schedule below). If a meet was to be held with three schools and one could not attend, they could run their own meet and submit the times and distances to Mike White to be tabulated with the other schools to determine order of finishers.

Masks will be worn and every other lane will be used to maintain safe distances. No spectators will be allowed until further notice. One school at a time will compete in jumps, shot put and weight throw. When they are done the next school will compete.

For high jump and pole vault each athlete will provide his or her own cover to land on. Pole vaulters cannot share poles. Each pole must be sanitized after each user.

At present the Armory is not set up for high jump or pole vaulting. Fewer schools will be participating this winter. At present only Monticello, Sullivan West, Tri-Valley and Liberty are on the schedule from Sullivan County.

As of November 30 local teams will commence their practices with safety protocols in place but as of this writing there is no schedule 9.

For Sullivan West Indoor Track coach Joe Seidl, mentoring one of his smallest teams in memory, the agenda will be on conditioning and getting ready for the season whatever that might be. Safety is a major concern for Seidl.

“Also competing outdoors in cold weather could result in injuries due to tightness of muscles. There really are a lot of questions around the entire venture,” he said.

Seidl agreed that indoor track's inclusion in the low to moderate risk group of sports did not consider all of the issues that entails. He is not alone in that concern. Many others wonder why indoor track was included in the low-to-moderate risk category as it usually entails the gathering of many individuals within an enclosed facility.

This is paradoxical as the Governor has cautioned against gatherings of ten or more people. Indoor track meets can entail the gathering of hundreds under one roof. The site for the state meet is slated to be at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Conference in Staten Island. That will be held pending authorization from the state.

Here are some specifics on the upcoming season ...



Bold is HOME Team

Week 1 - 12/12 11am Saturday (Snow Date 1/9 Saturday)

Week 2 - 12/19 11am Saturday (Snow Date 1/18 Monday)

Week 3 - Jan 2 11am Saturday (Snow Date 1/23 Saturday

More dates to follow (weather permitting)

If a team cannot travel that week they will compete virtually and send results to a coordinator.

In week 1 Monticello will host Rondout Valley and New Paltz. Tri-Valley will host Liberty and Sullivan West will be at Port Jervis with O'Neill.

In week 2 Sullivan West will host Tri-Valley and Monticello will travel to Middletown with Burke.

In week 3 Monticello is hosting Sullivan West. Goshen is hosting Liberty and Burke is hosting Tri-Valley.

Sullivan West

puts up track record board

in the gymnasium

For track athletes the goal is always to marshal new personal bests in their events. It is also helpful to know what the existing records are as a context for how their performances stack up against the best registered to date. It can also be a motivation for some to try to break those records and have their names serve as incentive to future athletes. To that end, the Sullivan West Track Booster Club purchased a record board which is now on display in the school gym.

Seidl rigorously researched records for times and distances of all the outdoor events. He wanted to be sure that those recorded were certified Fully Automatic Times and not times recorded by hand-held watches at meets.

As can be seen some of the records date back quite a few years. They say records are meant to be broken and in recent seasons many prior records were eclipsed. The panels bearing the names and times/distances can be slid out of the record board and replaced as new records are set. While this is the indoor track season and those records are for outdoor, it is still a motivating factor for those who aspire to have their names added to the iconic list.


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