MAU indoor track and field to compete at NE meet

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BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony indoor track and field team is about to compete on the biggest stage it has all season when they travel down to Massachusetts for the 2018 New England Indoor and Field Championships this Saturday at Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston.

A facility that has long been the home of the Boston Indoor Games and has hosted the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships on multiple occasions, will welcome some of the best high school athletes from around the region to compete.

MAU will have representation in five events this weekend. Sophomore Rebecca Crosier will compete in the girls 300 meter dash and long jump. Senior Skyler Hoyt will compete in the boys long jump.

The boys had both their 4x200m relay team and 4x800 relay team qualify. In the 4x200, Jack Haynes, Matthew Whitman, Alexander Thompson, Evan Page, Mattheu Longtin, Shawn Tobin, and Hoyt qualified. In the 4x800, Cooper Mason, Aneesh Kamath, Tobin, Longtin, Hoyt, Whitman and Page all qualified.

After a season which saw a lot of growth for MAU, Patriots coach Amanda Mullen is excited for her team's chance to compete this weekend.

"It's really big for us," Mullen said. "I think with the relays qualifying, it shows how our team has come together and worked together. They're just really pushing each other this year, which is really great to see. Most of those athletes are coming back for outdoor, so seeing the teamwork helps the team overall."

Crosier has been one of the MAU athletes that has really stood out and come into her own in the sport. She qualified for New England's with a 16 foot, 3.5 inch mark in the long jump and a 44.24-second time in the 300-meter dash.

"This year we really tried to work on her mentally, getting rid of those nerves," Mullen said. "In long jump, she was always worried about her steps, but once she got a good one and was confident in it, you noticed that she's improved by over a foot in that event. I'm really excited for this weekend because this is probably the nicest track she's ever run on."

Hoyt has been one of the leaders for the Patriots throughout his high school career and by qualifying for New England's again in his top event, the long jump, he's only solidified his legacy. At last year's New England championships, Hoyt placed 20th with a jump of 19 feet, 8.5 inches and was the only Vermont athlete to compete in the event.

This year, he comes in with a qualifying jump of 18 feet, 10.5 inches.

Hoyt's impact on the team, especially in relays where he can impart his experience on to younger teammates has been incredibly valuable.

"He takes a big leadership role. He gets the nerves out of all of the kids," Mullen said. "It's nice because he's on the relay team. They're not nervous. They're working hard."

According to Mullen, Hoyt's ranking isn't as high as it should be due to him switching between weight throw and long jump at states.

Hoyt's shin has been an issue in the past, so Mullen is hoping it doesn't hinder him and he can put himself in position to possibly break the school record mark that he's been shooting for.

Competing at Reggie Lewis Center and against the best of the best in New England is something MAU is excited for. One look at the New England qualifying marks and it's clear that a lot of the top athletes are from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Mullen and the team are planning on getting into Boston early to acclimate themselves, so they can compete at the highest level.

"We're bringing them down the night before, so they can get a good night's rest," Mullen said. "We're going to walk in confident. It might be a little nerve-wracking because other than two of them, none of them have been to a meet this big, where they are ranked really low because Massachusetts and Connecticut are very competitive. We're using it as a learning experience, seeing what's outside of Vermont and continuing to push to get those personal records."

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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