The winter wasn’t kind to Westfield senior Jon Henry and the rest of his teammates.
Trying to find a rhythm in the brutal winter – the snow, the cold, and the ice – was near impossible. But Henry endured in preparation for an outdoor season that promises to be memorable.
Henry is this week’s Westfield Patch Male Athlete of the Week.
He ran a season-best 50.91 in the 400 meters at Saturday’s Meet of Champions at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Center in Toms River.
Henry was fourth Feb. 18 in the state Group IV race in 51.04 and won the North Jersey, Section 2, Group IV 400 Feb. 13 in 51.96. He also won the Union County 400 in 51.31 Jan. 22. All of this done for most of the winter without a track to run on – since snow was usually covering it.
“I think that going through this kind of winter was good mentally for me and the team,’’ said Henry, whose personal best for the 400 is 48.21 in last year’s outdoor North Jersey, Section 2 Group IV meet. “When we had the track we took it for granted. Now I think we’ll appreciate the track more now.’’
Because of all the snow, the Blue Devils trained at different times in the school, in the parking lot at Tamaques Park.
The spring is on the way and Henry should be one of the better 400/800 meter runners in the state with a chance of running down Anthony Tiller’s school record in the 400 of 46.8 and Matt Elmuccio’s school record of 1:51 in the 800. Henry ran a personal best of 1:54.84 in the 800 last May 22 in winning the sectional meet. He also won Union County and Union County Conference 400 titles last spring.
“I think I’m capable of doing it,’’ said Henry of eclipsing both school marks. “I have to practice and get my hamstring right. The break between seasons will give a chance to recover.’’