By AMBER NYE and ELSIE SERAUS
The Champlain Valley Youth Track and Field team set two state records at the Vermont Parks and Recreation Association State track meet held in St. Johnsbury, along with wins in several divisions.
Recreation departments across Vermont sent teams to compete at the meet, held July 21 with athletes in age groups 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, and 13/15.
The Champlain valley youth Program is run by recreation departments in Hinesburg, Williston and Charlotte, and is open to youngsters in neighboring towns as well. This year it had participants from Shelburne, South Burlington, St. George, Starksboro, and Bristol.
Gregory Seraus of Shelburne set a state record in the 13/15 400m with a time of 56.98, beating the prior year record held by Burlington of 58.23. The boys 11/12 100m relay team consisting of Williston residents Jaden Griffith, Billy Bates, Patrick Ricca, and Jacob Armstrong bested the Champlain Valley 2015 record of 1:00.92 with a new record of 1:00.77.
The boys 9/10 and 11/12 divisions won first place in the meet, and the boys 13/15 team placed second. The girls 11/12 age group placed second; the girls 9/10 and 13/15 divisions both placed third.
The summer program runs from the end of the school year through July, with evening practices at Champlain Valley Union High School. The program aims to introduce young athletes ages 6-15 entering grades K-9 to track and field.
The team was coached by Shelburne resident Elise Seraus, with support from her sons Gregory (who also competed for the final year) and Peter, and student coaches Kyle Bergeron and Benjamin McAuliffe, both of Shelburne, Sam Zinner of Charlotte, Caleb Nye of Hinesburg, and Parisi Speed School.
While winning events and setting records is exciting, coaches say their goal is to teach participants new skills to improve their own performance and abilities.
Full results of the state meet are online at https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/349605/results.
Champlain Valley Youth Track and Field State Meet Local Results
Apryl Tuiqere (9/10) 1st 100m, 3rd Softball Throw (PR), 4th Long Jump (PR) on 3rd place 9/10 relay team
Veronica Weston (9/10) 5th 400m, 2nd 800m, PR in Long Jump, on 3rd place 9/10 relay team
Max Zinner (11/12) A PR in 100m and Long Jump, on 4th place 11/12 relay team
Hayden Berard (13/15) 3rd 100m 2nd 200m (PR), 3rd Long Jump (PR), on 2nd place 13/15 relay team
Connor Brien (13/15) 3rd 800m (PR), 2nd 1600m (PR) on 2nd place 13/15 relay team
Liliane Gordon (11/12) 6th 80m Hurdles (PR), 5th Shot Put (PR), 3rd Discus (PR)
Nick Gordon (9/10) a PR in 100m and Softball Throw, 3rd Discus (PR), on 3rd place 9/10 relay team
Grace Marsella (7/8) PR in 100m and 800m
Fiona McCormick (9/10) 3rd 800 (PR), 2nd Discus (PR), on 3rd place 9/10 relay team
Mattea McCormick (7/8) PR in 50m, 800m, and Long Jump, on 3rd place 11/12 relay team
Trinity Nye (13/15) 5th Shot Put (PR), 2nd Discus (PR) on 4th place 13/15 relay team
Ava Perez (11/12) 2nd 100m, 4th Long Jump
Mario Robinson (13/15) 3rd 400m (PR), 3rd 1600m (PR)
Noah Wheeler (9/10) a PR in 100m, and 200m, 1st in Long Jump, on 4th place 11/12 relay team
Gregory Seraus (13/15) 1st 400m (State Record 56.98) 1st 200m (PR) 2nd Discus (PR), on 2nd place 13/15 relay team
PR = Personal Record/Best