By Sydney Rosenthal
Training for the winter track season requires a certain mindset and stamina, but the Port Washington Lady Vikings have proven themselves willing and able to claim another championship season. While they did not win the county championship title last season, they represented Port Washington with a creditable fifth place in the county, still winning the conference one title. Since previous conference titles have made them top competitors, this year looks to be another close race to distinguish themselves as champions. Coach of eight years, Jeremiah Pope, has led the team and pushed them hard to succeed on and off the track. “Every year we expect our team to be extremely competitive and 100 percent committed. Our goal this season is to win another conference title, finish in the top five at County Champions, and to get as many athletes as we can to the NY State Championship meet.” said Jeremiah Pope.
The team of girls, ranging from freshman to senior, puts in over hours a week to train for meets and become a “championship caliber team,” said Pope. The cold, brisk weather of winter does not hinder their ability to run outside. Whether there is snow on the track, or it is a frigid 34 degrees Fahrenheit, the team is steadfast in its motivation to carry on. “For track, we’ve never used any weather condition as an excuse. We take advantage of the things we can control and utilize the space we are given. We train our kids like any other Champion would train, which is leaning how to deal with being out in uncomfortable situations but be able to adapt and perform. We’ve used the hallways, stairwells, Monfort Hill, tennis academy, and the weight room to train for the meets,”said Pope. The indoor track meets are held at St. Anthony’s High School in Hicksville and are often held once a week. Track meets are coed and Port Washington’s ardent fans shout encouragement from the stands.
Captains Lucy Hurt, Celia Christake, Saige Gitlin, and Megan Bazzini, have been supportive, eager and determined to lead their teammates to victory. Each caption has been on the winter track team for four years and have given their all to ensure a strong team. “The team has been working really hard this season and we hope that the hard work pays off at Conferences and Counties,” said senior Hurt who will be competing on the Cornell University track and field team in the fall.
The boys winter track team has been no different as far as successes are concerned. Last season, they won the conference one title and plan to do the same this year. Despite the fact, the graduating class was filled with outstanding runners that was the base of the team, Coach Ronald Donado, has been working with the boys to gain strength and conquer another conference title.
Both varsity winter track teams have shown excellence and perseverance in their desire to perform at their greatest ability. It takes a certain mentality and attitude to be a part of such a well-known and outstanding team.