Winter track and it’s hurdles

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Photo Credit: Photovia: Hillsborough High School

This is a photo of what is known as the “Bubble” to many runners. Here, many teams (not all) compete against other teams, over the course of the season.

By: Haley O’Neill, Reporter

Winter track is a sport that many teenagers all over look forward to . . .  a sport that allows time for friendships and improvement. The pandemic has delayed the start of Colonia High School’s winter track season. The pandemic has not stopped the season completely. 

Winter track

For many years students who participated in winter track have always looked forward to the season. From the practices full of laughter and training to the meets that included fun bus rides and nerve-racking events. Winter track gave students a chance to meet new people and have a great time. All until COVID. The pandemic that changed everything so suddenly. The hugs and the high fives now turn to socially distanced cheers. The busses packed with runners, now are distanced far from many of their friends. The masks being worn throughout practices and meets, preventing everyone from seeing the wide smiles that lie across many faces. All has been changed, but that hasn’t stopped the team.

The determination

Starting the first week of February, there was a huge decrease in participants. Rather than starting in December, the season was off to a much later start. With practices after school and lasting for quite some time, their hard work and practice truly paid off. With their first meet on March 9, both events (sprinting, distance, and jumping events) all did very well. Their first meet was away against South Plainfield. The pandemic did not stop CHS’s winter track team and only helped them do better. With supportive coaches, Coach Quick (girls coach) and Coach Hennessey (boys coach), it truly made such a difference in their spirit and their progress.

First-hand experiences from a senior

Over the course of 4 years, a Senior at Colonia High School, Courtney Negra has participated in not only Winter track but also Spring track and even Cross Country. She says, “I honestly believe without Winter Track this year I would have been a very sad, and miserable person.” Negra participates in both the 1600 (4 laps/1 mile) and the 3200 (8 laps/2 miles). Recently winning first place in the 1600 and the 3200, she says, ” when I finished I was so happy and was greeted by my entire team.”

Negra then says, “Then the following competition I ran in the 3200 and came in 1st place but this time it was on our turf and not only did I win the 3200 but I lapped a girl which was exciting because I can’t remember the last time I ran a 2 mile and lapped someone close to 2 times.” Overall, Courtney loves winter track, and although this is her last season, she is hoping to continue running in college. 

First-hand experiences from sophomores

After interviewing a Sophomore at Colonia High School, Christopher Coutinho,  he feels as though the team is much smaller. With the fact that “the track team last year was way bigger than the team this year,” and that the boys team did not have any freshman on it, it was much different in his opinion. He then says, “Winter track has helped me mentally by giving me something to commit to and by giving me something to better myself at.” Especially during the pandemic, the mental health of students has declined. Therefore, the continuation of sports has helped students turn to it and get out and socialize.

After interviewing another Sophomore at Colonia High School, Daniel Guerreiro, he begins to say, “Out of the three meets we had, we have won.” This shows that the dedication and the practice that many had truly paid off. With their season still going on, Colonia High School still has high hopes of them winning future meets.

Aubreigh Newman was asked a few questions. She is a sophomore on the girls team. She feels that “the schedule has not really affected my schedule at all. It has only made me realize how much I missed the sport.” Newman then proceeds to say, “the team is like my second family. I have missed it so much because there is just so much support and so much bonding that occurs at practices and even meets. It was because of the delay that helped me realize that without track (both winter and spring), I wouldn’t know what to do after school.”

Conclusion

Overall, the Winter track team has approached many struggles. Between the delay in schedule, the mask mandate, and the decrease in the team; it has not helped at all during the stress everyone underwent during the pandemic. However, the team as a whole was able to overcome many of these obstacles. With the supportive teammates, from both the girls and boys teams, together they were able to come together, socially distanced of course, and achieve greatness together. Together they were able to win two out of their three meets, which says a lot about the team. All in all, the team was able to maintain positivity, and get through the hard times together.

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