Off to the races with high school track

Jan 16, 2024

The Wareham High School track team, like most of the school's athletic teams, has joined a new conference for the 2023-24 season. 

The Mayflower Athletic Conference, the team's new home, is a smaller conference, said Track Coach Chris Gardner. "It's just us, Tri-County Diamond Regional and Southeastern Vocational School." 

But the level of competition is high — it's "as good, or it might be a little bit better" than before, he said. 

The girls squad has a winning record so far in the season, with two wins and one loss in the bag. The boys squad has yet to pick up a win. 

"Both teams are pretty young," Gardner said — the program only has one senior boy and a few senior girls. 

With a lot of new kids in the program, Gardner said he's working on introducing them to the sport. 

"No one grows up playing track — that's not even a thing," he said. "We do have some standout athletes … but the biggest thing is just introducing the sport to the kids.”

Even with the teams being young, the structure of the sport helps individual athletes have good showings and focus on their own performances. 

"Track is so individual," said Alexis Petterson, the team's captain and one of Gardner's “standout athletes”. "Even if you don't win as a team, everyone has a certain win — every day, someone [hits a personal record]," Petterson said. 

Petterson is a senior with the team, and said she would love to carry on after high school — though she doesn't know if she wants to fully commit to it. 

She said, "I've grown to love the sport so much because it's taught me so much, whether it's confidence issues or everything."

In the meantime, she's enjoying the new conference — and the team's new competitive arena.

"We're running at Wheaton [College] now," a "great facility," Petterson said. The new facility and its terrain allow the students to use spikes — track's version of cleats — at every meet, "so our times are quicker and better."