Panther Athletics Has Much to Celebrate in the New Year
January 10, 2024
Photo credit: John Foster
Thetford Academy’s athletes are ringing in the new year with exciting early season successes. Both the varsity girls and boys basketball teams are deep into win streaks, with the girls 5-1 for the season (their only loss on the books was to championship rival Windsor in December), and the boys undefeated and currently ranked at the top of Division III. The girls travel to Windsor for a rematch on Thursday, and the boys will take on Spaulding at home on Friday. Keep track of the Panthers via the school calendar.
Indoor track and field is nearing the end of their season already, with the Vermont State High School Indoor Track Championships scheduled for January 27. The past two meets, at UVM and Norwich respectively, saw the Panthers posting several PRs and new school records.
Coach Charlie Buttrey reported from UVM: “Junior Uly Junker-Boyce worked his way onto the school record board when he ran a 6.99 in the 55 meter dash, senior Ben Mattern’s time of 4:31.52 in the 1500 placed him third all-time on the record board, sophomore Evan Rich’s high jump of 5′ 9″ earned him a third-place spot on the board, and senior Chase Lefevre’s throw of 40′ 9 3/4″ earned him third place on the record board as well.”
Meanwhile, he added, “Junior Ava Hayden is busy re-writing the record board all by herself: Ava, who is currently second all-time in the 3000, set the girls record in the 300 (46.91), the 600 (1:47.54) and the 1500 (5:07.07). Remarkably, her records in the 300 and the 600 both came on her very first attempts at those distances.”
The teams kept the momentum going last weekend with more strong performances at Norwich. After an impressive long jump of 6.27 meters (20’ 6 ½”), Uly Junker-Boyce is now ranked 2nd in the state among all divisions – and creeping up on Cole Chapman’s (TA 2015) second place on the school record board. Ben Mattern doubled down on his top spot on TA’s record board, approximating his recent top 9:45 time in the 3000 with a still-impressive 9:51:01.
Track might be wrapping up, but TA’s alpine ski team is just getting started. Winter’s been a little slow arriving and this weekend’s powder dump was very welcome. The team has been getting ready with dryland training and had their first on-snow meeting at Storr’s Hill on Monday. It was a hike-only situation, but coach Dixon shared that “We had a great first day on the snow, and despite having to hike, the spirits and excitement were high.”
The teams’ first races are next week, opening with a slalom race at Saskadena Six on Thursday followed by a slalom at Bromley on Monday.