Winter track fights back the weather

The+girls+on+the+Winter+Track+%26+Field+team+have+pushed+through+all+the+struggles+theyve+faced+this+season.+With+their+determined+attitude%2C+they+have+been+excelling+in+their+meets.+

Photo Credit: Photo used with permission from Mr. Quick

The girls on the Winter Track & Field team have pushed through all the struggles they’ve faced this season. With their determined attitude, they have been excelling in their meets.

By: Katherine Albuquerque, Reporter

Winter track is the sport dedicated to testing speed and endurance. However, this past season, Colonia High School’s team had to slow down a bit. With frozen tracks and snow on the ground,  Winter track became more like spring track. 

Season Delays

These past few months in New Jersey have been rough in terms of the weather. There have been several big snow storms that left more than a foot of snow on the ground. This, coupled with dry conditions, made it more difficult for the snow to melt. And when it did start melting, it was so cold that it would freeze, leaving the ground slippery.

These circumstances are not so great for athletes in winter track. A sport that’s all about running, but with these conditions, it would be more like slipping. This was the big enemy for the CHS Winter Track & Field team. 

Their season was supposed to start on December 1, but the tracks were so slippery, wet, and frozen, that the NJSIAA pushed back the season to February 1. Mr. Quick, the head coach for the winter track & field team at Colonia High School, expressed the difficulties his team faced with this adjustment. He stated, “I think the hardest thing for the program to face was the fact it took more than five weeks for us to get down on the track because of the snow.” 

Challenges

Since the season was delayed for over five weeks, Mr. Quick had to come up with plans that would keep their athletes motivated and in shape.

Mr. Quick noted how they practiced in the CHS parking lots, however, “it is tough for the athletes to get a true feeling of a distance without being able to visualize it on an actual track.”

Another obstacle they faced was training. Although the parking lots made a decent substitution for the track, they couldn’t be used when weather conditions were harsh, as that would put the athletes at risk. To replace their usual outdoor conditioning, the coaches did virtual workouts that strengthened their athletes’ endurance and speed. 

As Mr. Quick put it, they did “high-intensity interval training and other various cardio workouts.” He added that this helped keep his team motivated since, “we had a large turnout each day.” 

Stats

This season has been going well for  Winter Track & Field team. So far, the team has had five meets- three against South Plainfield High School and two against Edison. The girls have competed in the following events: the 55-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, the 800-meter run, the 1600 meter run, the 3200-meter run, the 4×200 relay, and the 4×400 relay.  The girls team placed first in each event at least once this season according to Mr. Quick. He also added that the team is working really hard each day to better themselves. As a coach, he is really proud of the camaraderie and dedication they have all displayed.

Reflections 

Although the team had several setbacks, including dealing with the pandemic, they seemed grateful regardless. Mr. Quick mentioned how he will never forget this season. He expressed his admiration for his athletes’ determination and dedication to the sport.

Specifically noting, “I am forever grateful for the opportunity to coach such a spirited group of athletes. With every new season, my expectations are for each athlete to compete to the best of her or his ability… I am proud to say that, day in and day out, these student-athletes give it their all.”

The athletes felt the same way. Valerie Covert, a winter track athlete for CHS, expressed her gratitude for this rough season regardless of the setbacks.

She stated, “With covid already shortening our season, it was sad to see it get even more delayed because of the tremendous amount of snow and bad weather. I wish we would have been able to compete in more meets but I feel that it gave us more time to prepare and to work on our speed.” 

All winter track athletes should be extremely proud of themselves. Their motivation and passion were what kept the team going. Mr. Quick could not be more proud of his athletes, “Honestly, that is the type of mentality that I have grown to love from our Patriots. They have overcome so many struggles and challenges this past year, and I am proud and humbled that our team has had the opportunity to showcase their talents this season.” 

 

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