Track battles through cold weather


Atoms distance runners wait to start the 1600m race during a meet at Thomas Jefferson.

Atoms track has faced a lot of adversity in the past several weeks.
Snow and freezing cold temperatures have caused cancellations of several outdoor meets. However, the team competed in an outdoor meet at Edison High School on 1/22, with temperatures in the teens and twenties paired with severe wind-chill.
“The wind made it pretty hard to run, especially during long races like the 3200m race,” sophomore distance runner Semir Ali said.
The Atoms pulled out of last week’s meet due to similar cold temperatures, but decided to stick with running this past meet because it was the last chance for the runners to improve their times before the district meet at Edison High School.
It was crucial for the runners to stay stretched, warm, and dressed properly for the cold because competing in these temperatures makes it very easy to get injured.
The meet consisted of relays and individual races of all distances.
Although running personal bests was quite difficult in said conditions, the meet served as a good practice for districts, when times are extremely important for placement and medals.
Some notable times and placements at the meet include the boys 4x800m relay finishing fourth with a time of 10:45, A top-10 500m dash placement with a time of 1:18.00, and 7th and 9th place finishes in the 1600m run from Terry Moreno-Valeriano and Daniel Befekadu with times of 5:36.54 and 5:47.00.
Along with the distance runners, the short distance runners performed well at the meet in the 55m dash, the 4×2 relay, and the 300m dash.
Despite the lack of meets this season due to a combination of weather and the pandemic, the runners feel like they still have a lot of room to grow.
“This season, it is very unfortunate that we do not have a lot of meets indoors because of Covid-19,” junior sprinter and jumper Miles Lanham said. “To prepare for districts, regionals, states, and nationals, I have been working hard doing as much work as I can in the cold weather and making sure I stay in shape, hoping for my second school record soon.”
Lanham achieved the Annandale school record for the triple jump in December with a distance of 46’8 and ¾, shattering a 40 year record. Lanham’s distance qualified him for the state championship and the championship division of NB Nationals. “I am very happy with my performance at the last meet [in December]. I broke the school record and ran pretty well but I know I can do better,” Lanham said.