Upcoming Sports: Boy’s Winter Track & Field

Valeria Lopez, Contributing Writer

As the cold months approach and most people start staying indoors, there are dedicated athletes who embrace the frigid conditions and practice their skills: CB South’s Boy’s Winter Track & Field Team.

This year, head coach Mr. Gable and his assistant coaches will work with the boys day after day. Coach Gable ran distance in high school and then ran for Lock Haven University, leading him into what he calls the “natural progression . . . [of] coach[ing]”.

According to Mr. Gable, the Track and Field coach since CB South’s opening, this upcoming season should be a good one for the seniors since “last year was a growing year” in which the juniors practiced a lot to improve for their final year.

In order to prepare for the season, the boys have been “lifting [throughout] the fall,” said Coach Gable.

Senior Adam Smoluk, who has been involved in the sport since eighth grade, said he’s been preparing by lifting two days a week and will then be practicing every day when the sport officially commences.

Jack Stedge, another senior, said he also prepares by doing “drills and short sprints.”

“I’ve been running and lifting with the team and on my own,” added Oleksander Hryckowian about the preparation.

This year the athletes and the coach have established both personal and team goals. “I would like to make districts, go to states, set personal records and see improvement for the whole team,” said Smoluk, who has excelled in the 200m sprint and triple jump.

Hryckowian’s overall goal would also be to see the whole team succeed, but he added that his personal goals include “set[ting] a record for the 400m sprint and reaching the state level for the 4x400m relays.”

“Placing at districts in the 300m hurdles is one of my personal goals,” said Jack Stedge, who has already placed seventh at leagues.

However, being dedicated to a sport doesn’t mean there aren’t setbacks. In fact, it is sometimes the people who have been through the hardest times that later go on to succeed. Coach Gable stated that the national record holding 4x800m relay team a few years ago started as a group of “somewhat average” ninth and tenth graders who later transformed into a team that broke a thirty two year old record.

Adam Smoluk reflected on a setback he had to experience in “freshman year when [he] was injured for half of the season and missed out on dual meets.”  He had injured his Iliotibial band (otherwise known as IT band) and “could only do short runs or bike.”

Although “blessed” to not have been out of the sport for long like Smoluk, Hryckowian recalls a time when his team needed to reach eleventh place to medal but only got to twelfth.

Jack Stedge encountered a setback when he had to adapt to a new team after he moved to Pennsylvania because he was “worried about continuing [track] in a new school.”

However difficult the boys’ experiences on the team has been, there’s always something that keeps them motivated to continue; for Smoluk, he finds his motivation in the loyalty he has for the team. “I don’t want to let the team down.”

Similarly, “contribut[ing] to the legacy of CB South track” has been part of Hryckowian’s motivation along with the inspiration from his coaches. Stedge says it’s the “adrenaline that comes from winning a race” that makes him want to continue in the sport.”

The boys shared their advice for those considering joining the team.

Hryckowian recommends that those who are “serious about track put in work in the winter season to get better for spring.”

“While it is time consuming and extremely hard to become one of the top, the track community is really tight and we are all really good friends,” said Stedge.

“Although it’s a lot of dedication,” Smoluk added, “[boy’s winter track and field] is a great experience to be a part of.”

The seniors commented about the rewards and advantages of choosing track, but it is Coach Gable who feels rewarded by “seeing the athletes grow athletically and as people.” He said he sees that this sport prepares the competitors for athleticism and life by showing them “leadership, personal responsibility and team work.”

Gable also adds that although there are always certain “physical limitations . . . anyone can do anything but to what level, comes down to physicality and dedication.”

So if you think you will make the perfect addition to a dedicated and unified team, consider Boy’s Winter Track and Field for a future sport.