Boys varsity winter track runs through cold

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Josh White

Sophomore Matt Kramer (left) and senior Noah White (right) run around the track during practice. Despite cold weather, these runners were able to run outside with no problems.

Aaron Bosgang, Staff Writer

Neither snow nor rain nor polar vortex stays these runners. From the linoleum floors of the science wing to the red rubber of the track, the athletes of winter track brave both the elements.

Winter track may not initially seem to be as intense or competitive as its warmer season counterparts, yet some very elite races occur during the winter.  Many of the male athletes on the track team this season have one major goal in mind—state championships.

“We ideally want to make it to state championships.  We have a lot of talent on the team and I think we could go very far,” said sophomore Matt Kramer.

The focus on making it to the championships is something Kramer says is emphasized each day at practice.

The other week, the coaches gave some lighter workouts in order to prepare them for an upcoming meet.  Although they work hard throughout the season, the team agrees it is nice to have some time to cool off, and catch their breaths.  But besides that exception, the team works hard on most days.

Practices begin with a warm up followed by dynamic stretches.  After that, the team breaks up into two different workouts—one for sprinters, one for distance runners.  Workouts vary in terms of distance and rest periods.  One workout the team recently did was an 18x200m run set at a little faster than the individual’s mile goal pace.  In between each piece, the runners are given a brief two minute rest.  After that, the guys do what sophomore Matt Johnston refers to as a “strength session.”  These sessions consist of different calisthenics that help improve strength in important areas of the body, like the core.  It provides a good cool down while also focusing on some major parts of the body that need to stay in top condition in order for the runners to perform at their best.

“It is upsetting to think about all the potential kids who can get cut during the tryouts.  They are kind of like brothers to all of us.  But the guys who really work hard can set some major goals, for themselves, and this team,” said Johnston.

Goals are important to set for any team and especially in a sport like track.  Many players believe in what the coaches have to say because of the praise that they give the runners.  Some guys want to chip off some seconds on their fastest mile time, while others want to compete in top-tier races, and come out on top.  All of this can be observed through the hard work shown in practice from all the runners of the team.

It is very difficult to determine who wins and loses a track meet, which is unfortunate for its participants.  Because there are only a few relay and team events, winter track is heavily focused on the individual.  Yet, in the conference, Port Washington runners really come together as a team.  Each race is worth a set amount of points depending on where the team places in that race.  The team with the most points is declared the winner.

“Runners such as Taro Katayama and Peter Kirgis have been doing a very good job at all our meets lately.  Other noteworthy guys this season include sophomores Matt Kramer and Aidan Finnerty,” said senior Noah White.

In order to get into more challenging races, runners are required to have a fast enough time to qualify, along with how they have placed at other races.  While the states is a goal for many, winning the conference is the track team’s main goal because it can have a big impact on its advancement to other big races.

Throughout multiple practices in treacherous conditions, the track team has continued to work hard in practice every day.