Saint John Paul the Great blazes new ground, even in the snow

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With winds howling and snow on the ground, indoor track team members from Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries donned hats and gloves and headed out of the gym every day after school this winter to train. New this school year, the team boasted a healthy roster and many promising athletes. Under the leadership and instruction of coaches Mike Dobson, Michael Gotta and Gerard Anthony, the team included members of the outdoor track team, adding experience to a brand new team.

Experienced track athletes were excited to continue competing during the winter season, unlike in previous years before the indoor track team was formed. While practicing outside in the middle of the winter is not easy, the coaches appreciated the dedication of the athletes.

"I think the team was smaller than we had imagined because a lot of potential athletes could not see themselves running outdoors all winter," said Coach Mike Dobson. "The kids we had were great. They dressed warm and did not complain."

The challenges the team faced in their first year were relatively minimal. They were able to schedule an adequate number of meets despite a lack of available indoor track facilities in the area. Many meets ended up being long bus rides away. But hard work and dedication paid off with progression the athletes showed throughout the winter season.

"My favorite part was competing in the races and improving my time," said junior captain Andre Gallant.

"We compete as a team, but worry about each athlete getting better at their event," said Dobson. "We were very successful in this regard. The athletes worked hard, stayed healthy for the most part, and kept getting better."

Both coaches and athletes look forward to further success and growth in the coming years, promising a bright future for the John Paul indoor track team.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015