BRATTLEBORO – The Brattleboro boys’ track team racked up 51 points to win the 1959 state championship on Stolte Field.
With racing star Art Freeman graduating the previous year and Lyndon having been Vermont’s dominant team, this one was unexpected.
“It was a surprise for everyone, even for us,” said Frank Barrett, co-captain of the team with Joe Jacques. “We all worked hard that season.”
It was the school‘s first track title since 1942.
Brattleboro won two individual events at the competition, with Bry Jones winning the pole vault and Marshall Wheelock winning gold in the discus. Finalist Bob Johnson ran a 4:36 mile to break the school record.
“The ball has always been the day before the state championship game,” Barrett said Sunday at his home in North Carolina. “I went there that year and then I didn’t do well in the quarter-mile run.”
He led the Colonels with 11 points overall, including silver in the 220, bronze in the 100 and fourth in the 440. Jacques contributed with second places in the 100 and 440.
“Coach Frank Kenison had a great way of explaining things to us,” Barrett recalled. “I’ll never forget him sitting on a stool and saying, ‘I don’t know if smoking will hurt you, but I know it’s not helping you.'”