Boys winter track athletes stride to nationals

By qualifying for nationals, boys winter track athletes ended their season by racing at The Armory in New York. The team broke many school records throughout their journey to this championship.


Todd McDonough

Pass the baton…Finishing his leg of the 4×800 meter relay, senior Nathan Fickert (right) hands the baton to junior James Kuduk. Boys winter track athletes competed in the Nike Indoor Nationals from March 10-11.

As a testament to their hard work, members of the boys winter track team competed in various events at the Nike Indoor Nationals from March 10-11 at The Armory in New York City.
In order to race at the national level, athletes must fulfill a time requirement set by Nike Nationals.
This year, Souderton sent runners to compete in the 4×800-meter relay, sprint medley relay and freshmen-only 60-meter dash.
According to boys winter track head coach Jim Stevenson, Souderton only sends student-athletes that are prepared to compete at a high level, especially those on a relay team.
“It’s so important for these guys to have a unison amongst them that brings the relay team together and enables them to compete as one team, not four individuals,” Stevenson said.
During the winter, the team engages in different workouts to improve their athletic abilities.
These workouts often focus on tempo, form and repetition.
“You prepare for [nationals] the way you prepare for any other meet: just doing the basics,” senior Johnny Argueta said.
Junior James Kuduk said consistency is an important aspect of training.
According to Kuduk, runners should strive to have good workouts often and “run their life like a clock.”
Beyond practice, athletes maintain a healthy lifestyle to prepare for meets.
According to senior Nathan Fickert, this includes stretching, staying hydrated and eating enough calories.
To boost their performance on the track, runners adjust their daily routine to find the right balance.
“It’s the little things that I try to correct and perfect,” Argueta said. “There’s no room for error in track because any little thing could mess up your whole race.”
From running personal records to competing at nationals, the athletes agree that the indoor season was full of wins.
“It’s been an extreme success,” Kuduk said. “We’ve broken a lot of school records and qualified for meets that we haven’t for in the past.”
Stevenson said these achievements are a “fruit of their labor” because of the boys’ dedication to the program and level of coachability.
While setting records is exciting for many, Stevenson preaches the importance of selflessness in hopes of helping his athletes grow into responsible men.
“Track and field will come and go, so let’s not put stock into an asset that devalues and fades away,” Stevenson said. “Let’s put stock in something that will hopefully grow to your dying day.”
With these principles in mind, the runners foster a positive team environment, which helps them find the motivation they need to push themselves as athletes.
“We’re racing against each other, but not in the way that we want to be better than each other. It’s in the way that we want to better each other,” Argueta said.
Many of the runners form friendships through their sport, allowing them to have a balance of work and play.
“We all joke around and have fun, but we also all know how to work hard together,” Fickert said.