Track hurdles through unusual season


Alp Torumtay

Sophomore Sidney Scale runs the 500 meters against Whitman, Churchill and BCC. Despite the temperatures reaching a high of only the low 40s, the meet was held outside due to the concerns over Covid-19. Such frigid conditions only compound the intensity of the competition.

The winter track season is in full stride and the athletes are locked in. The top level talent and relentless work ethic of the athletes, coaches and everyone within the program has helped them compete at such a high level.

One of the biggest strengths the team has to offer is relay teams. The boys team has 2 relays with top 5 times in the state; the 4 by 200 meter and the 4 by 800 meter, with the 4 by 200 meter placing fourth in the state and the 4 by 800 meter placing first in the state. To cap it all off, the girls 4 by 800 meter relay team also posted the best time in the state.

“This year, both the boys and girls are really dominating.” junior Sydney Morgenstern said.

Not only is the team dominating currently, but the future also looks bright as the team looks to train the next generation of track and field athletes.

“On the sprints side, we have a lot of new and talented female underclassmen and as usual the boys 4×200 is insane!” Morgenstern said.

Despite this success, the team still believes that they can do better. The grit and grind to improve by just half a second faster requires intense dedication and a strong commitment to training.

“The team overall has performed moderately well but we definitely still have work to do,” junior Quentin Williams said.

Training, however, has not gone without hardship. The influx of Covid cases at the end of December and start of January led to a two week shutdown of the program right before winter break and had many athletes worried the season would end prematurely.

“Omicron caused a lot of people on the team to worry about the season being shut down,” Williams said.

To compound the worries of shutdown, due to Covid almost all competitions have been outdoors, turning the “indoor” track season into a contradiction.

“This season has been very different than what we expected. The [Prince George’s County Sports Plex] was never able to host a meet, so all but one of our meets has been outside. It’s been amazing to see everyone step up and perform in these crazy conditions.” Morgenstern said.

On top of Covid, the training is exhausting and pushing oneself to the limit often leads to injuries. Injuries such as ACL tears can be incredibly taxing and could require months of rehab.

“This season I’m sure everyone is excited about the return of Hazael Magino. We ran a relay with him a few weeks ago in Virginia Beach and put up a Nationals qualifying time. This is all after coming back from a torn ACL,” Williams said.

Even with all of these hardships, the team persists for the love of the sport.

“My favorite part was the polar bear meets cause I felt it gave us a chance to demonstrate what we’d been practicing all season,” junior James Zogby said.

The team will continue to grind building up to the indoor division and state championships on Feb. 11 and Feb. 16-22 respectively.