Beach Channel Indoor Track Runs For The Gold
By Elio Velez
The balmy temperatures in early January might have led people to believe that winter had never arrived. Wearing t-shirts and no jackets in 70 degree plus weather would sadly turn out to be a shortlived phenomenon.
As the calendar flips a month ahead, Mother Nature has come back in full force with inclement weather and freezing temperatures. Indoor Boys Track Coach Jeffrey Kramer, also an assistant coach with the varsity men's soccer team, has had to make adjustments on the fly on where to best prepare his roster.
The choices of training for the Beach Channel indoor track team were already limited to begin with so they have had to find other means of preparing for their scheduled weekend meets at the Armory in Washington Heights. With the freezing temperatures becoming a hindrance to train at the outdoor track facility located behind the back of the school, he moved the team indoors.
They trained throughout the building after school by climbing the stairs or running the halls.
But after one member accidentally knocked over a glass pane window in the second floor of the building, Kramer was told that the team had to train in the smaller auxiliary gymnasiums because of the damage incurred. It's not the most effective way to train his runners for long distances such as the 4x200 meter or the 55 meter dash, but he says the team has made due.
"The principal (David Morris) has been supportive of us and told us that he would support us finding another place to train at," Kramer said.
I've told the kids that they will have to train on their own but it pushes some of the kids to train harder and I will know who is dedicated or not. There is a discipline in showing up every day to run."
The team may not be regarded as one of the higher echelon teams such as Campus Magnet, Transit Tech or other schools but Kramer is having fun with his small tight knit roster. It's a young roster who has continued to make progress and clinched a berth in the 104th PSAL Championships to be held at the Armory on February 23.
The team will compete in the 4x200 meter and 55 meter dash. Kramer says his enjoyment in coaching the team is personified by his starting 4x200 meter team. They finished 5th out of 17 teams in the Queensboro Championships on February 11 with a time of 1:39.88 but were only one second away of claiming a silver or bronze medal. "Our sophomores Terrence Sutton and Devon Moore are best friends. They're the jokesters on our team and they have fun but they and the team get serious when it's time to train for a race," Kramer explains.
He was also impressed with their performance in the citywide Mayor's Cup finishing eighth out of 42 teams on January 27. With only senior on the team, the ten man roster has gained improvement and is working toward next year to have even better results says Kramer. "This team is going in the right direction. All of them are good kids who are motivated to train. It'll be nice to finish in the top ten."