By ROHAN ROY, sophomore
With the sun setting at five and the blustery winds kicking in, the thought of stepping outside of our cozy, heated homes immediately gives us anxiety. However, running in sub-forty degree weather is a daily routine for the J.P. Stevens winter track team. With the season in progress,the runners shared with us some valuable tidbits that allow them to succeed in such conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, their main difficulty is not slipping on ice or in puddles. The primary concern is the slower reaction times caused by the frigid temperatures. Experts say that cold weather conditions reduce reaction times by 45% and force an athlete’s body to use five times more energy to maintain his/her body temperature. Despite these hardships, both the boys and girls battle the freezing temperatures to achieve high results.
People tend to be believe that winter track and cross country only differ in temperatures, but, according to winter captain Aneesh Deshpande (11), “Cross country is a stretched-out grind, whereas track can come down sometimes seconds. However,those few minutes create an intense competition that is equally as rewarding as a twenty minute struggle.” The weather and pain are not alone on the list of adversities that the team must overcome. For the girls this year, there is an unusually low number of runners, but that does not deter them from setting out to achieve their goals. Even with a condensed team, captain Ashleigh Anderson (12) says, “the size of our team shouldn’t matter if each and every one of us contributes every ounce of effort and passion into this sport.”
Although the winter season introduces unique challenges for the athletes, the J.P. Stevens winter track team remains diligent and determined. Zoeb Mohammedshah (11) comments, “During practices and meets, we huddle together like penguins, tell each other to ‘man up,’ and share handwarmers,” a testament to the strong team spirit that has been driving the team toward excellence.