Hitting the ground running

Winter Track begins practice

December 2, 2014

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Junior Jon Hedrick warms up on the track before his event, the 200 meter sprint. For him, the races themselves are not the most exciting part about track, but all the preparations beforehand. “There’s this whole atmosphere before a race: you’ve got your hood up, the rain’s drizzling on your hood and you’re getting all pumped up because of your music. You can’t hear anyone else. That’s my favorite moment,” Hedrick said. Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography

The snow day on Monday, Nov. 17 delayed most events around school, including the start of winter track conditioning. The first practice was moved to Tuesday, when the team met in the Commons on the coldest Nov. 18 since 1880.

Though head coach Mr. Hank Ray hopes to increasingly workout outside to help prevent injury, the below-freezing temperatures did not give him the option. The solution? Warm-up, introduce track dynamics, and then 20 minutes of tag.

Tag, with its changing speeds and unexpected “races,” is not just a childhood memory brought back to life; it can be considered an alternative to a distance run as well.

Tag was also an activity set for Fridays during the weeks of unofficial pre-track conditioning, in which a small group of runners gathered after school to get themselves in shape for the season.

“The conditioning before practice has helped in so many different ways because it’s easier for me to keep a pace and to know what my body can and can’t do. I can push to my limits,” junior Jeremiah Hunter said.

The unofficial practices, led by the seniors, set a different workout for each day. A typical week would include a day of running up and down stairs, another day for short sprints, and another day for a long slow run.

“I felt like the seniors really stepped out to get everyone ready. This year is going to be fun because there are more people stepping out to run track. There’s people talking about track around school,” senior Jah’cionce Ramsey said.

For some, the transition into the track season has been harder, especially for those who participated in fall sports. Junior Eugene Sychugov came to track conditioning the day after his last game with football.

“It was rough transitioning between football and track because the track stretches and drills are so much harder. We had a lot fewer stretches in football. Even so, everyone here is my family,” Sychugov said.

As official practices start, runners have begun to look toward the competing in the indoor meets, which will happen starting in January.

“I am most excited for the meets because I’ve never been to one. When it comes to competing against the upperclassmen, I’m not intimidated. I can be just as good as the upperclassmen,” freshman Jamin Luke said.

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