Winter track leaps over hurdles

As the winter chill sets in this December, most sports teams make their way indoors. Outside the field house, though, one cohort of athletes forges on through the cold for many of their practices: the Winter Track and Field team. 

Preparation and training in winter track are dually important. While athletes must prepare for indoor track and field meets, they must also be prepared for the rigor of the subsequent season this spring.

Training combines targeted workouts with practice in teammates’ respective track and field events. For some athletes, this preparation began before the winter sports season started.

“In the past, I’ve done cross country to help me build endurance. This year, I went to the gym,” Fifth Former Anthony Carter said.

Regardless of prior preparation, training this season pushes athletes to not only excel in competition but also to better understand the mental side of the sport. Competitors often switch between vastly different competitions.

“Training is harder mentally than it is physically,” Fifth Former Jey Brown said. “For me specifically, it’s always an interesting week because I’m going from shot put to long jump to hurdles and then a sprint day. I trust all our coaches though, so it’s easier than it sounds.”

Heading the team this year is Coach James Hawkins, a veteran AAU and USATF coach of over 15 years who is returning for his second season with the Winter Track and Field Team. Alongside are the recently announced captains, Sixth Former Jaiden Shuchman and Fifth Former Andre Inniss. 

Much of this work is already starting to pay off. At the team’s first track meet of the season, several competitors placed in medal positions.

“We had a lot of medalists. Jey Brown won two medals—one for shotput and one for hurdles,” Carter said. “We had Andre and a couple other people win a medal for the 4×4 [relay], and [Fifth Former] James Gates placed for pole vaulting.”

And with this success, the team hopes to set its sights high for goals this season. Brown looks forward to the State Championship. 

“We got a lot of guys who can qualify and who can probably bring some points. [It will be] the final exam of the season,” Brown said.