Track and Field Season Wraps Up Historic Season

The Virginia Peninsula Community College track and field team finished its inaugural season April 27, but coach Andres McIntyre isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

“Offseason is probably going to be the most important season for the program in order to aim for growth,” he said.

Late spring is a crucial time, McIntyre said, because school is winding down, leaving the athletes with one less thing to worry about.

“It opens up some more avenues to have a free mind, to focus on just our sport; not having to necessarily stress about academics all the time, just being able to take something off their plate without having to deal with school,” he said.

He noted even if the athletes are in school in the summer, their academic load usually is much lighter.

For him, this is a key period for recruiting, and he’s expecting three members of the track and field team to participate in the fall cross country season.

“We’re also getting some new students that are enrolling that have shown interest,” said McIntyre, adding he has reached out to prospective student-athletes so they can participate in summer conditioning.

The Gators participated in four events, concluding with the Virginia State University Invitational in Petersburg.

“Those current athletes got to see what they could do,” McIntyre said of the importance of that first season. “From our throwers down to my sprinters to my distance runners, they were able to set a mark for themselves. They can look forward to incoming seasons, starting with cross country in the fall, in order to pursue their new goals.”

One of the strengths of the team, said the coach, was their camaraderie.

I saw some friendships grow on the team, which I think is the first important piece. I saw family support. I think that was very important,” he said.

He avoided using the term “weaknesses,” instead saying there was room for improvement. Maturing and learning fell into that category, both especially important with a new program and with athletes of varied backgrounds.

“I want them to understand growth is still among us,” he said. “It’s not going just all of a sudden be like ‘I don’t have to put the work in’ … or ‘I don’t have to show up.’ The importance of being there will continue to show itself.”

In addition to improving their performances throughout the season, the athletes increased the visibility of the College. People are learning about VPCC.

We definitely started to create some relationships with the other teams, both coaches and athletes,” McIntyre said.

Competitors and officials are learning VPCC has a track team after asking, “Who are you guys?”

“Virginia Peninsula Community College, the old Thomas Nelson, and we have a track team,” McIntyre would answer. “That was a good feeling. They’re seeing us.”

He’s making it his mission to make sure the Gators continue to be seen.

“My biggest goal is to create avenues with four-year institutions, so the athletes have the opportunity to continue somewhere else on the next level,” he said.

The team members this year were: Cinthya Bates (distance runner), Zachary Baumgartl (distance runner), Andrew Garner (shot put and discus), Darrin Hayden (middle distances), Joshua Rivera (sprints), Josiah Selby (shot and discus), and Kennedy Taylor (sprints).

Students interested in joining the cross country or track and field teams can email McIntyre at or athletics director Chris Moore at