The end of an era? U-32 loses first state track meet in 6 years.

The 4×100 race was a pivotal event in the Division Two state meet on June 1st at South Burlington High school. The gun fired and the event started. For the first half of the 4×100, it was going smoothly for U-32. They were in second place and had the potential to catch 1st. But a simple cough during a handoff to Martin McMahon caused them to fall behind to 3rd place. This moment sums up the experience for the U-32 track team at the state meet.

This year is the first in 6 consecutive years that the boy’s track team did not win the state championship. Bellows Falls, who has also won the D3 state championship for the past 6 years, finally moved up to D2 to compete with the U-32 track team. While most of Bellows Falls’ points come from the field events, U-32’s mostly come from track events. Mark Chaplin, the track coach, said the distance runners get 80% of U-32’s points.

Before the meet, U-32’s team knew that it was going to be close.

Chaplin said that “if everyone finishes where they are seeded it’s an absolute tie, 94 to 94.” The team used to have contributions from nearly every event years prior and now they have lost that contribution. They have also lost their star sprinter and jumper Dane Lieberman that scored upwards of 30 points last year.

Andrew Crompton is a senior on the team. “We don’t have that star athlete factor, there is no non-distance runner that clearly has a dominant performance in the other throwing or jumping events,” Crompton said. “We are going to need points to come out of weird places aside from the ones that we already have.”

Before the meet, Martin McMahon, another senior runner, said: “I think I can get the team some points in the 300 hurdles and our 4×1 team is really good, we can also score some points in that.”

In the end, U-32 lost to Bellows falls 103 points to 127, ending their 6 year win streak and bumping Bellows Falls up to 7 years in a row. “The thing is, most of us did better than we were projected to do,” McMahon said, “but on the flip side Bellows Falls did better than they were projected to do as well.”