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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

    Coach Van Gelder deems first meet a sucess for the Unified Track Team

    Matt Davidopoulos
    Unified track team head Coach Joe Van Gelder smiles for a photo

    The first Unified Track meeting took place on Wednesday April 24 at the WA track where WA faced off against Concord-Carlisle and Acton-Boxborough.

    The Athletic department as well as Best Buddies came together to form WA’s Unified track team. It is led by coach Joesph Van Gelder and coach Tadgh Murray with student assistant coach’s being Laney March, Keilana daRosa Leah Spinney and Leah Bordenca. The 6 athletes on the team are Eric Godfroy, James McGowan, Harshal Nookala, Meggie Norton, Vihaan Pydah and Jamison Roth.

    Coach Van Gelder went into the first Unified Track meet with a mix of excitement and nervousness.

    “We had some expectations of some kids doing well in the events,” Van Gelder said. “But we weren’t really sure how it was going to go, especially [with it] being our first one and with two other teams there.”

    Despite the uncertainty, the meet turned out to be a success.

    “Overall, we think it was a success,” Van Gelder saidWe learned a few things and what to improve on. But overall, we’d say the kids did awesome and had fun, and that’s the number one goal.”

    Van Gelder hopes the meet can help the team get a better understanding of the sport.

    “We learned a few things about the format of the meet, what goes where, and when each event is,” Van Gelder said. “So we want to build off that. We’ve been kind of mimicking the meet a little bit at practice this week to prepare better for the relay races and all the other events. I think now that the kids have an understanding of how it goes down, next week [we] will be better prepared.”

    When asked about the goals for the athletes, Van Gelder emphasized personal improvement.

    “In track, there are two races,” Van Gelder said. “You race against your opponent, but you also race against yourself. Even if you don’t win your race, you want to try to improve on how you did last time. We want to keep the kids getting better each time, and as long as they’re happy doing that, then that’s our goal.”

    Coach Van Gelder looks ahead to the rest of the season and beyond that.

    “We hope that we can develop a good team foundation and a strong community where moving forward into next year and years past that, kids will want to come and participate.” Van Gelder said. “[They will just want to be] a member of the team. And I think we’re on the right track for that so far.”

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    Matt Davidopoulos
    Matt Davidopoulos, Staff Writer
    Hi. My name is Matt Davidopoulos and I really enjoy writing about the things that I am interested in. In my free time I love to listen to music, watch sports, go outside and go to the movies. I love all sports and the Boston sports teams. Some of my favorite artists are Noah Kahan, Taylor Swift and Tame Impala. I am super excited to be on the Ghostwriter staff! 

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