Runners race back to work


McDaniel’s Photography

FIGHT ON. Senior Jodie Lawson races at the 2017 spring track GMCs. Not all of the track team qualifies to compete at GMCs, so this is an honor Lawson hopes to earn again.

For runners of winter track, Mon. Dec. 4 marked the start of a new season. Winter track is, in essence, a predominantly indoor version of spring track, including classic events from the 4×800 meter relay to high jump.

Still, competing indoors can be an adjustment for runners transitioning from the sidewalks that line Cornell road and beyond to air-conditioned, walled-in tracks.

“The transition from XC [Cross Country] to winter is difficult due to the change in the team dynamics and just getting back into running after time off. The most difficult part of winter track is the meets. Indoor tracks are shorter and the stuffy air can make it hard to breathe,” said Jodie Lawson, 12, distance runner.

Lawson, who plans to compete in the 1600 and 3200 meter races this season, has run cross country, winter track, and spring track at SHS.

For avid runners like Lawson and senior Ashwin Chidambaram, winter track is a way to practice their sport through the cold months between cross country in the fall and spring track at the school year’s conclusion.

“I’ve been running winter and spring track all four years of high school. Deciding to run was one of the best decisions that I made in high school. It’s an excellent sport that trains you physically and mentally,” Chidambaram said.

In addition to the fierce training of being a member of the track team, running for SHS admits one to the camaraderie of the program.

“Winter track has been a season to get stronger and get closer as a team. Running in really cold weather has always been a bonding experience,” Lawson said.

Both have made perennial friendships through the program.

“Through running, I have made some of my closest friends and met many new people. The main goal of winter track is to train and get conditioned for the spring season, but because of the smaller numbers, it feels more like a tight group of friends. This year, there are more people signed up to run winter track than ever before,” Chidambaram said.

As returning team members, both Lawson and Chidambaram are taking time for meditation on the season that awaits them.

“My hopes for this season are to focus on strengthening and base miles, along with getting a faster mile time,” Lawson said.

Ultimately, contemplation like all of the above reflects on the season the runners prepare to commence. Being part of the track program means being a supportive and respectful teammate as well as an athlete who cares for and pushes themselves.

“Even though the team is quite young this year, many of us upperclassmen have been running together for years, so the expectations remain high. I’m excited for this season to see what we can do,” Chidambaram said.