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VITC track season extended; special 40, mile events scheduled

Sydney Snyder outduels Clara Miller to win her girls 100-meter heat at the Valley Isle Track Club meet on April 17 at Yamamoto Track & Field Facility. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Each of the Valley Isle Track Club’s three meets this month gained more and more interest among runners, jumpers and throwers. They now have three more opportunities to improve their times and marks at the Yamamoto Track & Field Facility.

VITC president Jesse Henderson said Monday morning that the club track and field season was approved for an extension starting this Saturday at 1 p.m. There will also be meets on May 8 and May 15, starting at 8 a.m. at the Wailuku facility.

“Doing only three meets was frustrating to an extent because it takes time to get race-ready and for them to get used to racing again,” Henderson said. “By having six meets, it really gives those kids who really want to run an opportunity to produce some quality times, to have some fun, to improve every week and to keep interested and excited about track and field.”

The running club is a state registered nonprofit and a USA Track and Field Hawaii affiliate. The track and field meets are open to middle school- and high school-age participants, and there’s a division for those 19 years and older.

“It’s been a learning experience with the timing system but other than that it’s been going extremely well, the kids have been having fun and it’s everything we were trying to do,” he said. “We get better at it every week so it’s all good.”

The events include the 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter runs, with the addition of the Maui’s Fastest 40-meter Dash on May 1 only.

Fields events include long jump and shot put.

May 15 will be the VITC Championships and begins with the Maui’s Fastest Mile event– there will be no 1,500. Henderson noted that the only other official mile ever conducted on island has been the Run Forest Run Front Street Mile.

VITC would like to provide medals at the final meet, but it’s a “fundraising issue.”

“We’d like to give the kids a little something special for the last week,” he said. “If anyone would like to sponsor that track meet, have their name as the sponsor of the meet, we’d love that.”

Those interested in participating at the track and field meets can talk to their current club coach about registering for the meet, or can create an account on athletic.net to sign up as an unattached athlete.

There is a $5 entry fee per meet and event entries for each meet will close on Wednesdays. All COVID-19 health and safety protocols must be followed.

“I couldn’t be happier with what we have going on,” Henderson said. “The result and the reaction from the kids, I’m absolutely thrilled. The support from the community, parents, volunteers, everybody. It’s just fantastic.”

Questions can be directed to vitcmaui@gmail.com. To donate, visit https://gofund.me/0732a5ac.

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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