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Independent Thoughts: Boston meets not ideal for HHS indoor track

by | Jan 26, 2024 | Featured, Featured: Features

HHS indoor track

The Hopkinton High School indoor track used to host Tri-Valley League meets, but the league prefers a full-size track like the one at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. FILE PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

A recent Boston Globe article highlighted the fact that track and field athletes in Boston have limited access to the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, even though the facility is located in the city.

The Reggie Lewis Center (situated next to Roxbury Community College) hosts a large number of meets for suburban athletes, including those run by the Tri-Valley League, which includes Hopkinton.

If it was up to Hopkinton High School girls track and field coach Jean Cann, the Hillers would rarely travel to Boston. In addition to the distance and traffic, there are other logistical issues.

“I don’t think any of the coaches wanted them all to be at Reggie,” Cann said. “But part of the issue is the smaller tracks that used to host meets [like HHS, which is 12 laps to a mile, as compared to just over 8 at Reggie Lewis], they don’t have a 55-meter straightaway and aren’t conducive to qualifying [for select meets].”

The TVL previously has used Wheaton College’s facility, but Wheaton can’t accommodate as many athletes, which made it challenging when the TVL bumped up to 12 teams. Plus, the Reggie Lewis Center does not charge public schools for its use, so the league saves on that expense.

Cann said the situation is not ideal for anyone. Because it’s in such high demand, there is a strict 3-hour time limit per reservation, meaning sometimes the athletes have to be rushed through their events. At a recent meet, one of the relay races had to be canceled due to time constraints, Cann said. Additionally, Cann said there isn’t proper warmup time, as Boston teams typically practice there until 4 p.m., so the TVL athletes have to wait in a hallway or sit in the bleachers until then, with their meets starting at 4:30.

“I don’t find it a positive experience for the most part,” Cann said. “And I think it should be more for Boston public schools to use. I think we should be sensitive to that. Most of the schools here have the funds to pay Wheaton. I would be happy with having a few meets at Hopkinton and a limited number at Wheaton or somewhere else.”

Hopkinton history comes alive

Last month’s presentation on the recent history of Hopkinton by local historian (and real estate agent) Chuck Joseph was so well-received that Joseph decided to post the video — something he originally didn’t plan to do.

It can be accessed via the HCAM website, and I highly recommend it.

There was a good turnout at the Hopkinton High School auditorium for the slide show and talk, which was sponsored by the Hopkinton Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Kilduff, who offered some remarks before introducing Joseph, pushed attendees to check out more of the Historical Society’s offerings.

“I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the current state of that organization, [but] this is not your grandfather’s Hopkinton Historical Society any more,” Kilduff said, encouraging residents to check out the History Center at 168 Hayden Rowe Street. “You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find. This is a very active and exciting organization.”

On a related note, Joseph shared that the History Center is in an old elementary school building — one of 11 neighborhood elementary school buildings in town at the time of its use.

“You didn’t travel [then],” Joseph said. “There was too much mud. You couldn’t get from one place to the other. So, you had a local school system, and that’s where it was. Woodville Rod & Gun Club was one, the Historical Society was one, 1 Ash [Street] was another.”

Phipps quietly celebrates 102

A belated happy birthday to Russ Phipps, whose celebration on Dec. 28 was held at his home.

His daughter, Marci Caporizzo, originally planned to coordinate with the American Heritage Museum in Hudson and have a World War II-era tank on display at the Town Common as part of her father’s big day. Phipps is a World War II veteran who still lives in the Winter Street house he built after returning from the war.

However, after some logistical challenges arose, a small gathering was held instead.

“We’ll see you at the 103rd,” Caporizzo shared.

Scouts trees

Members of Hopkinton BSA Troop 1 stand in front of Christmas trees they collected early this month.

Scouts take on trees

Hopkinton’s BSA Troop 4 had another successful Christmas tree pickup fundraiser, collecting more than 400 trees early this month for chipping at JB Sawmill on Fruit Street.

“This was an important fundraiser for the troop, helping to subsidize new gear and trip costs, which enable the kids to participate in a wide range of activities,” shared Troop 4’s Ray Fryer.

Anyone interested in getting information about the program for next season can email tree-collection@troop4hopkinton.com.

Troop 4 meets every Thursday at the YMCA Hayes Lodge and is looking for additional members.

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