The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Opinion: Winter Track is Underrated

Winter track often gets a bad rep. What critics fail to see is the exciting and rewarding season that comes along with the sport.

Winter track is not only the overlooked winter sport, but also running season. Compared to spring track, there are significantly fewer athletes, as many do not dare to try out because of the cold weather. 

“People don’t really appreciate the work that goes into training for winter,” said senior Yasen Yanchev. “Training outside in the cold is difficult, but in a way that’s what makes the sport interesting.”

Fun on the track! (Credit: Ella Shamash)

Out of the three running seasons that I compete in— cross country, winter track, and spring track— winter track has a special place in my heart. Some of my favorite track memories have taken place during this season, and though it can be difficult, it is both rewarding and worth it. 

“It will test people’s will, commitment, and dedication, but things like humor, friendship, and camaraderie pull us through,” said Coach Dr. Cheng.

The shared struggle against the elements in this season creates lasting memories that make the winter track community a special and tight-knit group. 

“I think winter track is underrated because you get to spend a whole season with these guys who go from being friends to being a whole family,” said sophomore Samuel Da Silva. “I know a lot of people complain about the weather but it really isn’t that bad because eventually you get used to it.”

Despite all of the harsh conditions, runners still feel that same glorifying feeling of racing as any other season. Da Silva said, “It’s really rewarding seeing yourself progress and seeing your time drop every race.”

The only acceptable hat to wear on the track (Credit: Lily Adzhiashvili).

The cold doesn’t take long to get used to, and if you layer up and wear the right clothing, you’ll be surprised to see that you’ll be sweating in no time. Despite the cold temperatures, athletes end up wearing shorts and t-shirts many times throughout the season.

While sports like basketball, fencing, wrestling, cheer, and gymnastics are confined to the school building, track athletes get to practice outdoors. I’m not going to lie, practicing through snow, wind, and freezing rain is not for everyone, but winter track is a nice way to get outside and get fresh air even in the winter. I’ll take the cold over hot and humid runs any day. It’s also important to stay in shape even through the winter. 

“Anyone who enjoys running should make use of this incredible opportunity to get in better shape for spring track,” said freshman Liz Sheydina. “When you go from winter to spring you’ll appreciate running in the warmth even more and overall be more committed to running.” 

Although in winter track we practice outdoors, our meets are held at indoor tracks. One of the most notable distinctions is the size of indoor tracks, being 200 meters as opposed to the standard 400 meters found on outdoor tracks. With the track being half the size, there are different race lengths offered that are specific to the indoor season. 

“If the 400 is too much for you and the 200 is too short, then the 300 is perfect for you,” said junior Janeidy Da Silva. “You can only get this event in winter track.”

The Armory indoor track and field center in New York City (Credit: The Armory).

Additionally, winter track athletes have the amazing opportunity to attend meets in New York City at The Armory indoor track and field center. The Armory is recognized as one of the fastest tracks in the world because of the multitude of records that have been set there. 

“The armory is so cool because the Olympic trials were there, and you get to run on the same track as professional athletes,” said senior Sophia Hendizadeh.

Competing at a venue with such an electric atmosphere and history is inspiring for high school athletes. The Armory track also has banked turns, meaning the turns are bowl-shaped rather than flat, which helps with performance.

The girl’s gather together post-practice (Credit: Lily Adzhiashvili).

Furthermore, in winter track, you get to test your limits with others who share the same drive to succeed even through the coldest weather.

“Winter track is the hardest season because it is the coldest and we don’t get the credit that we deserve for what we endure,” said junior Lily Adzhiashvilli. 

Even when the weather is extremely unforgiving, we learn to never give up. 

“When your shins feel like they are being slapped with a baseball bat and bleeding in the cold rain you still do it,” said sophomore Lea Eshagoff.

There are so many little moments that make me appreciate this season and my team. For example, as a measure of safety for when it gets darker earlier, some days we have to wear reflective vests for runs on the road. As our coaches rummage through the shed to find the neon yellow vests, what begins as an embarrassing moment transforms into a source of laughter. We all exchange knowing glances, mentally preparing ourselves for the questionable fashion statement.

As the reflective vests make their debut for the season, winter track athletes seize the opportunity for a memorable photo (Credit: Ella Shamash).

Finally, we cannot forget the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky during practices. We all look forward to the fact that the sun is setting earlier and that we get to enjoy the beautiful view together. The sunsets are one of my favorite parts about winter track, and they make the hard workouts worth it.

“Quick! Take a pic!” (Credit: Lily Adzhiashvili).

If you just read this article with no intentions of running winter track (many on the team would applaud you for this fact), let this be a reminder to look at the positives in life, and not to let the little things stop you from becoming a better version of yourself.

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About the Contributor
Ella Shamash
Ella Shamash, Associate Editor
Ella Shamash is one of Guide Post’s associate editors. She is a passionate runner, and a part of NHS’s cross country and track teams. In addition, she actively participates in many clubs including being an officer for Key Club and entrepreneurship club, and participating in Letters for Rose. She is determined to accomplish anything she sets her mind to and strives for success. When she isn’t focused on school, she loves spending time with friends and family, working on her business, doing ceramics, going to the beach, and of course writing.  

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