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Sunday, May 26, 2024

VPCC’s Track and Field Team Set to Make Debut

Back row, from left: Kennedy Taylor, Josiah Selby and Zach Baumgartl. Front row from left: Joshua Rivera, Cinthya Bates and Andrew Garner. (VPCC)

HAMPTON —  According to Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC), Andres McIntrye was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when the uniforms for the college’s new track and field team arrived last week.

It wasn’t so much how they looked, although he says they are sharp, but rather what they represent, something he stressed to his athletes.

“Seeing the jerseys come in is like, ‘Do you all realize? Do you all understand?,’” said McIntrye, who was named track and field/cross country coach in August.

Track and field is the latest sport to be added as VPCC expands its offerings.

The team of six will compete in four events this spring, the college said.

“We’re still looking to add as interest comes about on campus,” McIntrye said. “We will continue to add on so we can build a potential roster for the incoming seasons, such as fall cross country, and then, of course, looping them back into outdoor again for next year, 2025.”

While McIntrye’s long-range goal is fielding a competitive program, he’s taking it one step at a time, VPCC said. With a new program, health is his main concern, a reason his schedule is only four events, which is just short of his ideal number of six.

“With the first season rolling out, getting a good four is an honest start.” McIntrye explained, “Getting their feet up under them, getting them involved, getting them out there, competing against not only community colleges, but some of those schools are Division I, Division II talent. It gets them out there, gets them exposure.”

It seems straightforward that keeping the athletes healthy allows them to enter meets, but, as with the uniforms, it signifies more, according to VPCC. It allows them to make school history.

The team practices and workouts are mainly held on the Hampton campus.

While McIntyre is competitive, he said he will mark the success of his first season not by wins, but by keeping his athletes healthy.

“That will be the dictator of us having a good season,” McIntrye said. “(If) everybody competed, everybody finished. We (can) go home knowing that we’re starting things off for the school, starting history.”

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