The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Winter Running Gets Off the Ground

Credit: Instagram

Due to recent success among Williston’s Track and Cross country teams, Williston’s athletic department has made the move to implement a Winter Running program for long distance runners, open to 10-12 graders, a decision that is making waves among waves among the student body.

2023-24 will be the first season of Winter Running in the school’s recorded history. This comes in response to recent success by the boys and girls distance teams, including undefeated Track and Cross-Country seasons on the male side, and back-to-back 800-meter girls champions, Abigail Touhey in 2022 and Catie Spence in 2023.

The team consists of 14 members, eight seniors (Jonah Berry Brown, Sophie Chou, Jeremy Dube, Jackson Estes, Katy Guo, Calvin Klumpp, Catie Spence, Jeff Warner), four juniors (Jackson Ayres, Carter Cleary, Jason Park, Olin Rose-Bardawil), and two sophomores (Brody Richardson, Sepha Schumacher).

In previous years, committed runners would find time to run in addition to their duties in other sports; take, for example, Jeff Warner, who participated in Arts Intensive last winter.

“[Arts Intensive] ended at 5:15, then I had a choice of eating, which was what I wanted to do because I was really hungry, or going out and running and by then it was really dark,” he said. Jeff ran mostly on the bike path, where he listened to Phoebe Bridgers’ “Punisher,” and “wanted to die.”

Many other runners did Athletic Performance or managed a team, two activities that take up a significant amount of time and effort in addition to running.

Carter Cleary, a junior from Westhampton, was initially deciding between Swimming or Athletic Performance, but eventually decided to do Winter Running because there would be “lots of opportunity for cross training,” and it wouldn’t just be running mindlessly in the winter, but would be planned and structured training, which Carter struggled with last year. He’s looking at the new program as an opportunity to get prepared for track and remain “fit” and “healthy” while “also being a good runner.”

Carter said Winter Running also appealed to him because it would give him “more free time in the winter trimester to study” and work on “Carter with a Cam,” his photography and videography business.

Chris Pelliccia, Head Track and Field and Winter Running coach, thinks that this decision was a long time coming, and credits a strong group of runners for finally getting the program off the ground.

“Mr. Conroy and I had been thinking about it for probably seven or eight years and there’s finally been the core of runners needed to justify it,” he said. Pelliccia also added that “building an identity as runners” will be an important benefit of Winter Running.

Mark Conroy, Athletic Director, mentioned four specific reasons for the emergence of the Winter Running program.

First, he pointed to the “very dedicated group of distance runners at the school,” many of whom run “both cross country and track.” Conroy described himself as “very impressed by their dedication the past couple of winters.”

Second, Conroy considered Winter Running as a possible solution to the “oversubscription” of programs such as basketball and squash, which have become popular options for distance runners in the winter.

Third, he thought if the Athletic Department “formalized the offering” and “provided guidance from an experienced coach,” Winter Running “could become a popular offering.”

Last, Conroy believes that “global warming has led to much more mild winters,” which is “key to training outside in the winters.” Ten to 15 years ago, he “never even gave this idea a thought” because there was regularly “lots of snow, making it nearly impossible to run outside on a regular basis.”

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    Jackson EstesNov 15, 2023 at 12:48 PM

    JSM would be proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!