By: Chris Crean
WEST CALDWELL- Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, the James Caldwell High School Cross Country team has been able to proceed with their season under tight regulations. All athletes must wear masks at all times in which they are not running, and a limit has been set for the amount of runners that can participate in meets. These regulations result in a smaller number of opponents, which can have a negative effect on the overall player morale. Regardless of these necessary changes, junior captain Jude Bazerman stated that “the team spirit is through the roof, and everyone comes to practice wanting to improve.” Captain Bazerman’s words are backed up by the team’s 5-1 record so far this season.
Junior Aidan Dickson has led the team toward their winning record with his astonishing race time of 18:30. Dickson stated that this year’s boys varsity team is “a well rounded group with lots of potential.” This is the captain’s second consecutive year as the lead runner of the team, which speaks toward his thoughts on the team. The varsity team has been able to excel this season with the help of a few new runners: freshman Jack Goldbach, sophomore Brendan Healey, and senior Joseph Norton. The new additions to the crew have created the first varsity team to be entirely under 22 minutes.
The girl’s varsity team makes up for its lack in numbers by showing up with hard work and dedication. Sophomore captain Hannah Morgan, who leads the girls group with a swift 20:50 race time, stated that “we encourage each other and push one another to be the best runners that we can be.” To add onto Morgan’s statement, Juniors Kate Porcello and captain Jenna Goldbach have achieved their own personal best runs this season, while freshmen Grace Krisinski and Grace Stozack are making a great first impression on the team by joining the varsity group in their rookie season as well.
This Cross Country season is shaping up to be one for the books, even amidst a pandemic. With the guidance of all five admirable captains (Jude Bazerman, Tyler Nicosia, Aidan Dickson, Jenna Goldbach, and Hannah Morgan), the improvements seem to be getting more and more noticeable. However, I would be remiss if credit were not given to head coach John Timan for this excellent season. He has done a great job in coaching us while upholding all guidelines that were put into place in order to stop the spread of the virus. Captain Tyler Nicosia spoke for the team when he commented, “Runner’s cadence is the name of the game when it comes to John Timan.” You will not want to miss a single update on this promising team and its season status.