Despite a rainy day that included a lightning delay, the Broadwater Academy girls’ and boys’ track and field teams concluded another successful season competing at the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association meet in Richmond on May 19.  

Spearheaded by solid performances in field events and hurdles, the Broadwater boys placed 5th in state out of 26 teams and the girls placed 6th in the state out of 28 teams.  

A duo of Grade 9 students led the way for the boys. Gunnar Gustafson won the pole vault, setting a Division 2 State Meet record in the process. He also placed second in the 300 meter hurdles, setting a new school record, and seventh in triple jump. Clay Wardius placed 2nd in discus, improving his previous best by almost 20 feet, second in high jump, and 5th in shot put.  

Aside from Gustafson’s silver in the hurdles, the other Viking boys points on the track were scored by a fast 4×100 meter relay team comprised of Michael Brickhouse, Finn Kelly, Sawyer Coulbourne, and Gustafson, which earned 7th.  Coulbourne also competed in the 400 meter dash.  Andrew Hart placed 4th in discus, seventh in shot put, and ran a spirited leg of the 4×400 relay.  In addition to scoring on the sprint relay, Finn Kelly placed 8th in long jump.  Adam Buell ran in two relays.

Broadwater girls were led by Grade 11 students Kate Gomer and Carly Wardius, who piled up points in the field events and hurdles.  Gomer placed third in the 100 meter hurdles, tied for third in pole vault, earned 4th in the 300 meter hurdles, and hopped to 6th in the triple jump.  Carly Wardius tied for 3rd in the pole vault, leaped to 4th in high jump, 8th in triple jump.  

Courtney Floyd, competing in her last state meet threw a new school record to place 8th in discus and narrowly missed scoring in the high jump.  Mahika Patel posted a season best in the 3200 meter run and Samantha Coulbourne carried the baton in three relays.  

Four Grade 8 students made their debuts at the state meet.  Savannah Anderson, Ronnie Guinan, Carrie Watson and Ture Gustafson all gained valuable experience carrying the baton in various relays.  Up-and-coming Grade 9 thrower Jimmy Shockley placed 14th in discus.  Brandon Stubbs placed 9th in shot put. Brooke Wallace placed 9th and Emma Booker placed 15th in girls shot put.

“Our athletes consistently outperform at the state meet and this year was no exception. This competition always brings out the best in our kids,” said Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Eric Hack.  “We are a young team and from jumps to hurdles to sprints to throws the student-athletes improved each week, peaking at the most important meet.”  

Coach Hack will be departing the Eastern Shore at the end of the school year.  He ranks as the most successful coach ever in Broadwater Academy’s fifty-two-year history, leading three track teams to State Championships (Boys in 2014 and 2016 and Girls in 2016) and winning eight conference championships in girls’ and boys’ Cross Country.  He coached ten individual State Champions in Track and Field and one in Cross Country and has inspired countless student-athletes to achieve at the highest possible level.  Several of the athletes Hack coached have gone on to compete at the elite levels of collegiate track and field.  

Assistant Coach Paloma Hack (no relation), a graduate of Broadwater Academy, will serve as Head Coach of Cross Country and Track and field for the 2018-19 seasons.