Hazen Track and Field Team Reboots

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photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union track and field runners (from left): Eliza Ciarimboli, Colin Gray, Daniel Pougnier, Jenna Thomas, Manny Fliegelman and Lewis Lapierre work on dynamic warm ups. Sixteen middle and high school students are on the track and field team. Their first meet was held on April 11 in St. Johnsbury.

by Ken Brown

HARDWICK – Head coach Kathy Fortmann will have a lot of holes to fill on her Hazen Union track and field team in her sixth season, after several graduations and losses from her 2022 squad.

Fortmann had one of her largest teams last season as she continued to build the track and field program at Hazen, but it will be a retooling year after losing Jessica Royer, Lila Meyer, Bruce Fortmann, and Colton Courtemanche to graduation. The Wildcats will also have to fill the hole left by breakout sophomore Cassandra Royer, who is studying abroad and exchange student Lisa Velten returning to Germany. All had state meet experience for Fortmann.

“We are still deciding on leadership positions with our team and this year it will be exciting for our new members to attend their first meet. I have always stated my goals to the team in years past, but this year I requested each athlete to write down their own goals for the season. So far they’ve ranged from having fun, trying out a new field event, creating personal bests, being a better runner or stronger athlete, and many more. We have seven returnees from last season’s middle school and high school teams and the rest are brand new track and field athletes,” said Fortmann.

Fortmann will go into the season this spring with a high school team of 10 strong and six middle schoolers. All of her state meet experience from the last two seasons have departed, but the interest is still there for the program and now all that is missing is repetitions and experience.

“Of course the weather is making it very tough for practices, but this is par for the course. All the coaches around the state are dealing with the same thing. We have gotten outside several times already and I hope to continue this even through the cold. These first couple of weeks are mainly for conditioning and because of the inside time, strength. Now that we are into our third week, I feel that our team is getting into the routine of practice and are starting to get into shape again!” said Fortmann.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union freshman Finn Burgess (left) works out on a bike as senior Ella Considine (right) walks on a treadmill during track and field practice April 5.

Ella Consadine and Lily Castle should provide some much-needed senior leadership for a very young team. Jasper Reagan competed in a full varsity schedule as just a freshman and sophomore Gabe Aubuchon also got some invaluable varsity competition under his belt in 2022. The Wildcats season opening meet at Lyndon Institute on April 5 was canceled due to the weather and they were scheduled to travel to St. Johnsbury Academy (SJA) this past Tuesday.

“It was probably hopeful thinking opening the season at L.I. that early, but hopefully the SJA meet holds. Midway through the season I will touch back on the team’s goal assignment and see if we have accomplished each goal everyone has made for themselves. We have our fingers crossed for better weather soon and I am looking forward to the season!” said Fortmann.

Hazen Union is scheduled to travel back to SJA for their second meet of the season next Thursday.

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