HULL — Superintendent Judith Kuehn and Director of Athletics Connor Duhaime are pleased to announce the implementation of a successful intramural track program for Hull’s Memorial Middle School.
At the end of last school year Superintendent Kuehn and Director Duhaime began discussing the possibility of an intramural track program for students in grades 6 and 7, as grade 8 students can participate with the Hull High School track team.
The goal of the program was to introduce students to track at a younger age and also work to help build the high school team as there is currently no youth track program in town similar to the ones for football, basketball and soccer.
The school gauged interest in the program and knew it would be a popular choice for students. While at least 15 students said they would consider the program, more than 30 ended up signing up to participate.
The school used funding through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to start the program, and purchased new batons, javelins and high jump equipment for students to use during the season.
Hull High School winter track and spring track assistant coach Samantha Kaplan was chosen as the coach of the intramural team, which started holding practices in September. The season ran through Nov.12, and while there were no schools to compete against the team held in-house meets in the middle of the season and at the end of the season.
For the season-ending meet the athletes had uniforms made up and invited parents and teachers to cheer them on.
All of the events were popular among students, especially shot put, javelin, sprinting, relay and hurdles.
“The students took to all the events right away, and everyone found something they really loved,” Coach Kaplan said. “We even had Hull High School track athletes assist us, and the middle schoolers loved having them come and give them tips at practice. I’m so pleased with how this first season went, and Superintendent Kuehn and Director Duhaime were so incredibly supportive getting it off the ground and making sure it was a huge success.”
Highlights of the season included:
- Lily Nunes in the shot put, throwing distances that could be competitive in a high school competition
- Michael Cimmetti and Jaycub Lin leading the way in the hurdles
- Rachel Timins in the relay, one of the fastest 400-meter runners this season
- Meghan Duran in the javelin, with the best throw of the season (as well as a fast hurdle time)
- Distance runners Grace Kiley, Colin English and Calista Wyman, working hard at the 800-meter event.
While track and field is typically a spring event, the school wanted to hold this initial season in the fall to evaluate the program and gauge its sustainability. The school is confident the program will continue, and hopes to start competing against other middle school teams soon.
“Coach Kaplan did such a good job introducing the students to track and field and making it a welcoming and supportive experience, and the kids worked very hard all season,” Director Duhaime said. “We’re excited for what’s to come for this new program.”