The L.I.O.N.

The L.I.O.N.

Runners in the Cold

Dylan Antonelli, Writer

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When it comes to the cold days of winter, it can be very hard let alone impossible to stand the cold weather that comes during this time, with temperatures getting as low as below 20 degrees. With this many people instead opt to stay inside and don’t have to deal with the cold. Yet the athletes of winter track are not as fortunate. Most of the time the team has to run outside even when it gets to as low as 30 degrees out, making it a very hard time for many of the athletes on the team, as they run while fighting the cold winds of winter.

Back in some of my earlier articles, I discussed how in sports such as Cross Country many of the athletes have to deal with the brutal heat in the summer and fall. Now however, it’s the opposite as now they have to deal with the cold days of winter, which to many is even harder to deal with, and there are very few days were it warm out. I even asked one of the senior distance captains Will Rapsas, a regular veteran of both Cross Country and Track whether he felt it was harder to deal with either the heat or cold. “Probably the cold,” he said “because of the fact that the cold hurts your bones and your body in general while the heat just makes you tired, but still doesn’t hurt you as much as the cold does.”
Indeed with the brutal cold it is hard to continue to keep running even in the cold, as Coach Geiger of the boys distance team, who always helps out the girls team explains; “It’s hard to continue to be motivated when dealing with things such as the cold and rain, it’s harder to be able to continue to go out and continue to improve your time.”

Yet even with the cold weather, people like Rapsas still seem to continue to run no matter how cold it feels, even if they really don’t want to. “We do a lot of complaining, but we go outside anyway, and I’m proud of that. We even did time trials when it was 30 degrees out.” Rapsas explained.

Many people would wonder just how is it that many of the runners on the team can be able to continue to run not matter how cold it is. When I asked Rapsas just how is it that he can continue to keep running in the cold he explained; “Eventually I realized that the only way for me to get better is to go out there and run. No matter how cold it is, I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.” With that, Rapsas continues to run, no matter how cold it can get.

Even the boy’s team seems to deal with it pretty well, and often joke about it. In fact when I asked one of the senior captains of the boy’s team Alex Schemel how they are able to deal with it, he simply replied, “Leggings.”

It is this sense of humor that is one of the key things that enables the boy’s to deal with the cold, and keep morale up. In addition to Schemel I also asked the senior head captain of the team, Will Rose how they manage to deal with it, and he manage to explain just how well everyone on the team is able to deal with the cold; “We deal with it pretty well, we don’t wear long pants, we run in shorts. You have to wear sweaters, gloves and a funny hat, you don’t have a funny hat, you can’t run. Also got to wear regular socks since we sometimes play speedball after practice, can’t play it if you don’t wear socks.”

When I asked Rose a more serious question about just who is it that helps the boys continue to improve, he immediately pointed coach Edens. “We’ve improved thanks to Eden’s workout, we shed fat and run fast,” Rose explained.

Schemel also seems to strongly agree with Rose’s statement and said that it is “the daily grind of doing workouts daily,” that helps the boy’s team improve over the season. And this has proven to work well not just with the spirits, but the distance team as well with veteran track athletes such as Alex Lytle breaking a new school record on the 800 meter run.

Rapsas also seems to be very happy with the distance team, many who also happen to be Cross Country veterans like himself, “We’ve seen great improvement from our guy’s, including those from Cross Country, to see those guys continue to improve themselves is really something that I am glad to see.

Yet it’s not just the boy’s side of track that continues to improve, but the girl’s team as well, with senior captain Alexia Bove seeming very pleased with the progress her team has made; “Definitely,” she said, “we get got a lot of PV’s (an athlete’s personal best time), we even had 14 PV’s in one meet alone.

I later asked the Boy’s distance Coach Geiger who also frequently helps the girl’s team if there’s any room for improvement for the athletes and he said of course. “There’s always room for improvement, even with our faster runners, however the key here is the ability to continue to improve on those long goal’s in order to get better.” Geiger also appeared to be very confident in the team’s ability to improve in the spring.

After getting a few weeks off, the team finally began their spring season. For the seniors on the team, it will be the last few months they will have in track, with many having done the sport ever since their freshmen year. Yet many of them are proud of all the progress that they made over the years, as well as the progress of their teammates as well, as they are looking forward to the spring season, and hoping to make it their best one yet.

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Runners in the Cold