Somerville High Winter 2011-12 Preview: Indoor Track & Field

(written and photographed for Somerville Patch)

With the 2011-12 Somerville High winter season underway, Somerville Patch will be previewing all seven of the Highlander teams. Unsure how the Highlanders did last year? Want to know who might impact the upcoming season? Just want to know when the first game is? Read on and find out.

Boys’ Indoor Track & Field

2010 record: 4-0 in Greater Boston League; GBL Championship

The Highlander boys’ track and field team had about as successful a 2010-11 season as one could hope for – going undefeated and winning the Greater Boston League, then winning two state championships in individual events.

“We had a large group of kids – seniors – that last year was their fourth indoor season,” says coach Dave Dickerson, adding: “You could tell them, ‘Here’s the plan today,’ put it up on the wall, and the kids that are the captains, the leaders, can go and just get started doing that.”

With many of last season’s top runners graduated, Dickerson says this season will likely be a “take a breath” year.

“My hope is that by the end of the year, a lot of these guys are going to get the bug for track and really want to be doing it,” Dickerson says.

Next Meet: Tuesday, 12/27 at Boston Holiday Classic, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Boston, 8:30 a.m.

First GBL Meet: Wednesday, 1/11 vs. Medford at SHS Field House, 6:30 p.m.

Players to watch: Andre Rolim, junior; GBL All-Star; state champion in 600 meter, 1600 meter relay

“Andre was elected a captain, so he’s not just a really good runner,” Dickerson says. “He’s a pretty good leader. Quietly, but he does all the right things.”

Lyndon Kaba, junior; GBL All-Star

“Lyndon’s got just tremendous athletic ability,” Dickerson says. “He brings the excitement of a kid that can win any time.”

Key to the season: Consistent practice

“The first four weeks of the season are key,” Dickerson says, adding: “Try to get everybody in great condition so that they can do all the workouts that we have for the rest of the year.”

Girls’ Indoor Track & Field

2010 record: 4-0 in Greater Boston League; GBL Championship

The Highlander girls’ track and field matched the boys win for win, also going undefeated, winning the GBL and qualifying several racers for the New Balance Indoor Nationals.

“We had a lot of talent on the girls’ team,” says coach Charlie O’Rourke. “It was pretty balanced.”

This season, O’Rourke says his team should be strong in short-distance and skill events – hurdles, high-jump, etc.

“We have some real good distance runners, but we’d like to have more of them,” O’Rourke says.

Though this season’s team is much younger than last season’s, O’Rourke says his runners look poised to defend their title despite their inexperience.

And, adds O’Rourke, “We still have a great nucleus of kids.”

Next Meet: Tuesday, 12/27 at Boston Holiday Classic, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Boston, 8:30 a.m.

First GBL Meet: Wednesday, 1/11 vs. Medford at SHS Field House, 6:30 p.m.

Players to watch: Nicole Genard, senior; GBL All-Star

“Nicole is just an unbelievable athlete,” O’Rourke says. “She can do pretty much everything except run a mile.”

Senior Michel-le Miranda, senior; GBL All-Star

“She can sprint,” O’Rourke says, adding: “She can high-jump, she can long-jump. So she’s going to be a key person by running the 600, and then coming back in the 4-by-400 relay. She’s going to score a lot of points in the high jump.”

Key to the season: Staying healthy

“What we’re trying to do more with the kids is more drills when we warm up and when we cool down,” O’Rourke says. “Different types of drills centering on the lower leg – preventing shin splints, sore legs, sore muscles like that.”

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