Triton Vikings Boys Track and Field '08

Colbert has Triton track program on top of CAL

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Deanna Latham was one of four Triton girls runners to qualify for the New England Championship Meet last year and could play a role in the team’s success this season. » Katie McMahon, Staff Photographer

Monday, March, 31 By Dan Guttenplan
Staff writer

Joe Colbert has shaped one of the area's most dominant powerhouses in his eight-year coaching stint as the Triton boys outdoor track coach.

His Vikings have won four of the last five Cape Ann League regular-season titles and five of their last six CAL Open championships. The team has grown to the point where it annually turns out 70-plus athletes and seems to replace every key senior leader with a talented freshman waiting in the wings.

And now Colbert appears to be in the process of installing the same formula for success with the girls team.

After he took over the head-coaching position for the girls team last spring, Colbert's Vikings saw immediate results. The girls went 7-3 with a young, freshmen-ridden team. Now the girls are nearly equaling the boys as far as turnout (there are a total of 140 Triton outdoor track athletes). And the CAL titles may be soon to follow.

"It's become a thing where the best athletes in the school want to be involved in self-sustaining things," Colbert said. "We get good young athletes, and they keep coming out. I hoped to get that going with the girls. I can see it coming."

The girls team put itself on the map at a state-wide level last spring by placing second overall at the Division 3 Championship. The boys, on the other hand, placed 11th.

Four Triton females | Keely Maguire, Deanna Latham, Nicki Wurdeman and Rachel Bourque | qualified the New England Championship meet. Of the other three River Rival schools' boys and girls teams combined, only one other athlete qualified for New Englands | Pentucket's Eric McDonald.

"Our boys and girls train together," Colbert said. "They do everything together. So it's a real tribute to our assistant coaches and the 130 kids. There's no way it's one person. Overall I think we're so well-coached by the assistants. Our kids respect them, they work hard for them, and they feed off each other."

The one aspect the girls team has not had a chance to master is the ability to sustain being on top. Since 2004, the girls team has record of 5-5 (2004), 7-4 (2005), 8-2 (2006) and 7-3 (2007). The boys, during that time, have logged records of 9-1 (2004), 10-1 (2005), 9-1 (2006) and 10-0 (2007).

"It gets harder and harder to do," Colbert said. "We like to think we have a shot of winning every year. But every year, we see a couple of new teams. We see a lot of good eighth- and ninth-graders coming in. But I don't know if we can keep winning like we have."

0 Story Comments