Ridgewood High School is known for having one of the best sports programs in the state. The track and field team falls nothing short of that reputation as Ridgewood’s top winning program, delivering multiple titles for the school each year. Not only are track members some of the most hard working athletes known to the athletic program, but the coaching staff is also full of dedicated individuals who truly love their job. Coach O, one of Ridgewood’s running coaches, won “Coach of the Year” for his impeccable effort and devotion.
Given that the track & field team is consistent in their efforts, it is worthwhile to consider the differences between the two different seasons, one being indoor track which takes place during the winter and the other being outdoor track which is in the spring.
Athletes face the same requirements and schedule for both seasons: they are expected to practice six days a week and weight lift afterwards. However, practices are sometimes run inside, and winter track meets are always held indoors unlike spring track. Inevitably, the change in atmosphere brings a different feeling to competing since “it is a different environment,” as stated by Ryan Goyenechea, a junior from Bergen Tech. “When you are competing outdoors, weather is a big factor in your success, whereas in indoor track, your only concern is yourself.” In addition, the indoor track team usually consists of a smaller team compared to spring track, mainly due to the attitude students have regarding the weather and timing. However, the challenge of the colder weather and size does not impact the success of the indoor track team as they compete to the best of their abilities and consistently bring home awards for their amazing efforts.
Spring track brings warmer weather, a larger number of participants, and higher intensity than the winter season. “For me, there is a lot more anticipation leading up to the spring season than the winter season,” shared sophomore Josie Maasarani. “The winter season is more like preparation for the spring season. The winter season is a chance to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the spring season, and making sure you are in the best shape right from the beginning of the spring season.” Although their reputation is not identical, the rigor of competition is still high and taken seriously among all athletes for winter track.
Both are often said to be a great way to make friends and meet new people as well. Another advantage each holds is the way that practices can put anyone in much better shape than when the season started, regardless of running abilities.
Despite the differences between indoor and outdoor track, one aspect remains the same: the welcoming track community continues to work incredibly well together towards their overarching goal. Although track & field is split up into two seasons, members of each are part of a dedicated group of athletes and coaches who truly love what they are doing.
Graphic: Caroline Wagschal