The Gloucester boys and girls track teams came together before practice for a team warmup session.
It turns out that is now the norm for the Gloucester track program, as the program has merged into one co-ed team. Sure the boys side and the girls side will be competing separately in Northeastern Conference play this winter. Jeff Destino and Liz Moran are also officially the head coaches of the boys and girls teams respectively.
The practice regimen, however, has been overhauled. Instead of the teams splitting up into boys and girls, the teams are split up by event. Moran and assistant coach Joe Brancaleone will be coaching the distance runners, Destino handles the sprinters while Packy Fusco handles the throwers. Volunteer coach David Brooks is also helping out with the hurdlers and high jumpers.
Before practice begins both the boys and girls, who have a combined between 55-60 participants this winter, will gather for a warmup run and stretches. After that the athletes will break up into event, distance, sprint and throwing, and at the end of practice everyone meets up again for a cool down run and a team stretching session.
“It’s been good for everybody,” Moran said. “As coaches we can coach to our strengths and the kids get more attention with the way our practices are ran. It’s definitely more specialized and I think it’s worked for everyone and the kids are excited about it and have enjoyed it over the first couple weeks of practice.”
Destino has also enjoyed the new format and primarily coaching sprinters, he also praised the work of all the coaches and athletes for being on the same page.
“This is going to help both the boys and girls programs,” Destino said. “We warmup together, we practice together, we may race separate races but we will go into meets together as a team.