HARSHA GOPALAKRISHNAN, sophmore
Most of us quiver and shiver simply at the thought of having to go outside and face the piercing cold — let alone, of being able to frantically run a few miles while our toes freeze off. The winter weather, however, does not deter the resilient winter track athletes of JP Stevens. Bundling up with thermal Under Armour and track pants, these winter warriors are running outside on the track everyday, rain or snow. Said senior Alykhan “Alg” Gangji, “Some people call us crazy, but we can’t help it — we just love to run, even if it is in the cold. As a track athlete, the adrenaline rush and thrill I get from running are what keep me motivated.”
The boys’ distance team began its season with a second place finish at Leon Bailey Liberty Relays in Jersey City on December 14. The boys competed in the Distance
Medley Relay, a relay race requiring runners from each team to run distances of 400, 800, 1200, and 1600 meters. The boys’ 55–meter shuttle hurdle team, consisting of juniors Jaashir Morris, Jong Lee, Mark Anthony, and Alg Gangji, finished in fourth place. Alg noted, “The results from our first meet were promising. We proved that we had a lot of heart and determination, but we also learned that we had work to do in order to become a better team. We showed the other schools that we could compete against them, and by the end of the season, those teams will all know that we are a force to be reckoned with.”
The girls’ track team is making its own markon the sport, most notably by successfully placing fourth in the 4 x 800 relay during the Leon Bailey track meet, and placing sixth at the GMCs and State Tournament. In the first dual meet of the season against Edison High and South Plainfield, the girls particularly performed well, garnering top-notch results: senior Connie Yu and sophomore SoumyaKarne finished in first and second place, respectively, in the mile event. Freshman Jamina Morris currently holds the fastest time on the team for the 400– and 800–meter events. These results at track meets reflect the team’s overall diligence and passion for the sport.
During a season in which many of us like to stay indoors in the warmth, the runners on the winter track team are out in the freezing cold, constantly striving to take their skills to the next level. Both the girls’ and boys’ winter track teams have begun their season with a list of achievements to be proud of, and are well on their way toward many more victories throughout the season.