Practices for a shortened “indoor” track and field season began March 15 for Bromfield athletes. The typical 12-week season that normally starts in December and ends in February will consist of only four meets this year, will last about a month, and will be conducted outdoors.
Head coach Greg Bourque said the team was allowed to hold a few preseason practices for “general fitness training” earlier this month but that the first official practice was Monday. Meets will be Thursdays beginning March 25 if weather permits, and are scheduled against Ayer Shirley Regional High School, Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Lunenburg High School, and Littleton High School.
This new schedule is in compliance with guidance issued by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association in January. The MIAA approved indoor track, cheerleading, football, and unified basketball for a modified “fall II” season. The MIAA set a timeframe of Feb. 22 through April 25 for fall II practice and competition but will not host any postseason competitions.
The Harvard School Committee decided in February to reduce the fee for indoor track participation from $280 to $165, both to encourage participation and to acknowledge the shortened format. Still, Bourque said the team is smaller than usual this year. Typically turnout is over 30 and this year only about 25 athletes signed up. Still, he said there are a few new faces and enough students to field separate boys and girls teams.
This year’s late indoor season nudges the outdoor season back a bit as well. Typically, outdoor track begins in March and ends in June, but this year it will start April 26 and run into July. Unlike the indoor season, outdoor athletes may have the chance to compete in MIAA-sponsored postseason competitions.