Indoor track and field teams look to replicate ‘a very big season’

Jan 7, 2024

The Dartmouth High School girls indoor track and field team has big shoes to fill — last year, the girls went undefeated and won the league championship at the end of the season.

“Last year was by far the best season we’ve had so we’re hoping to do that again this year,” said head coach Caitlin McCarron-Deely. 

That win was a first for Dartmouth High School, and the undefeated regular season run was almost as unprecedented: “Last year was a very big season,” she said. 

With a solid first win against Durfee High School in early December, things are looking up for the new season, for both the boys and girls team. But the teams’ runners and athletes will be tested by the two upcoming meets against Brockton High School and Bridgewater-Raynham High School, which McCarron-Deely said will be some of the most competitive outings. 

The team is hard at work trying to replicate last year’s success — the athletes practice six days a week, including over winter break. Five coaches assist in the two teams’ training efforts, which McCarron-Deely said they’re “lucky to have.”

While track and field is more individualized than most Dartmouth High sports, the team atmosphere is part of what puts the Indians ahead. 

“Our athletes make this team an actual family where everyone is invested in each other,” McCarron-Deely said. “The girls are as invested in how the boys are doing as how they themselves are doing.”

Sophomore shot putter Owen Shurtleff echoed that sentiment: “I feel like we have a really good connection and we’re just a tight group of friends.”

Sophomore Runner Breanna Waite agreed too — she said everyone on the team supports each other, so much so that warming up by herself at the Jan. 6 Freshman-Sophomore Invitational was “a little scary.”

“Usually when warming up, I can rely on the [upperclassmen] to tell me when to warm up or the best things to do to warm up,” Waite said. 

McCarron-Deely said the support comes organically from the juniors and seniors, who have grown into leadership roles over the course of the season — athletes like junior Haley Zexter and senior Brooke Davis, who are also some of the team’s strongest athletes. Even as a sophomore, Sydney Almeida is also “setting the tone as a leader of the team,” McCarron-Deely said. 

On the boys team, standout performers include senior runners Tyler Medeiros, Will Fairfax and Nick Silva, junior sprinter Ethan Medeiros, and senior shot putter Andre Capataz. Tyler holds the school record in the 1000m run — last week, he broke his own record, and now “he has his sights on breaking that record again,” McCarron-Deely said. 

Many of Dartmouth’s upperclassmen have been on the team since freshman year, which brings a level of experience and commitment to both teams, she said.

“These teams are really special — the veterans that have been here … they are beyond hardworking, motivated, and committed,” she said. “They really have set the tone for the sophomores, for the freshman, of ‘this is what we do,’ and also make the team a fun place to be, a very welcoming place to be.”

Dartmouth next faces off against Brockton High School at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. All of Dartmouth’s indoor track events take place at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston.