Track season gets off to soggy start in UK
Stars and Stripes March 18, 2023
RAF LAKENHEATH, England – Five schools gathered Saturday for one of three DODEA-Europe season-opening track and field meets, but the sun generally declined to join in the festivities.
The Lakenheath Lancers hosted the Brussels Brigands, SHAPE Spartans, AFNORTH Lions, and Alconbury Dragons in 12 events focusing mainly on relays but still including the shot put, high jump, the long jump, and the triple jump.
Starting off the year with a relay meet offers a chance for young athletes to get a feel for competition in a team setting before the season begins to ramp up.
“With a relay meet, these athletes are with three other people and they can come together and help each other’s mental state and get ready for what’s coming in the rest of the season,” Lakenheath coach Frank Moxie said.
The Lancers girls came out on top, winning three of the eight relay events: the 4x100, 4x200 and the 4x800. The Brigands and Spartans each won twice: Brussels taking the 800-sprint medley and the distance medley and SHAPE capturing the 4x100 meter relay throwers relay and the 4x400.
The Spartans boys won four of the eight relays: 4x100 meter relay throwers relay, 4x400, 800-spring medley and the distance medley.
AFNORTH’s girls dominated the field events placing first in each jump and second in the shot put. Brussels’ boys fared the best in the field, with firsts in the high jump and long jump and the shot put.
Despite the gloomy and cold conditions, athletes appeared to give their best efforts and rekindle relationships often established in other sports.
“One thing that is awesome is that all these kids know each other from all the other sports they do and it’s created this friendly rivalry,” Brigands coach Dirk Van Derhulst said. “I like it a lot and I know the kids do too.”