After a successful cross country season, GDS runners completed a winter track season by competing in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) championships.
The Championships took place on Tuesday, Feb. 14 and were held at the PG Sportsplex in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Twenty-six schools competed, including GDS. The men’s varsity team placed fifth out of 17 teams, and the women’s varsity team placed ninth out of 14 teams.
“I liked the community,” freshman Alexandra Solomon, a first-time winter track runner, said. “I like that I get to know the upperclassmen, and it’s nice to get to know everyone at meets.”
“People are very invested this winter,” high school indoor track head coach Anthony Belber said. “Everyone on that team is taking advantage of their opportunities to train hard and to pursue their goals. There has not been a lot of coaxing or encouragement needed from the coaches. The athletes seem very driven from within, which is exciting,” he said.
At the DCSAA Championships, GDS placed fourth in both the men’s varsity 4×200-meter relay and the men’s varsity 4×400-meter relay race. GDS also placed second in the men’s varsity 4×800-meter relay race.
According to Belber, at an average winter track meet there are about 14 events. The events are very similar to those of the spring track season, but because winter track takes place indoors, some events are different. For example, the 500-meter dash is specific to the winter track.
The DCSAA Championships had many more events than an average winter track meet. There were 16 men’s events and 16 women’s events. GDS competed in all events except the women’s shot put and women’s triple jump. No female athletes were interested in participating in those events.
Senior Nate Bazemore placed third in the men’s varsity 800-meter race and senior Christian Freeman placed eighth in the men’s varsity 55-meter hurdles. Senior Luke Cohen also placed fifth in the men’s varsity 1600-meter and fourth in the men’s varsity 3200-meter races.
“I think we definitely have a really strong senior class right now,” Cohen, who is a team captain, said. “I think it’s really fun to have been together for four years and through COVID and everything. It’s made us really close,” he added.
Belber noted that every member of the cross country team trains similarly and runs the same races, which unites the team. He said that because the winter track team has so many different kinds of runners and practices for different events, it is harder for runners to feel connected to each other.
“The women’s team had a lot of new runners who came through and worked really hard this season,” junior Amelia Oscherwitz said. “Winter isn’t really a season we train to win; it’s more to set a foundation for the spring. I think we did a really good job.”
Four-year winter track runner and senior Milo Borek shared Oscherwitz’s sentiment, adding that the season was a success. “We did really well from start to finish, and I think everyone produced a lot this season and was able to run some of their best races,” he said.
“I think the relays were really fun to watch,” freshman and first-time winter track runner Zoe Maas said. “It was really cool to see the teamwork in play.”
When the seniors graduate, team captain and four-year runner Pilar Holder believes that the team will be in good hands. “We have a lot of underclassmen who are very eager to do really well,” she said.