By Sophia Milla (‘20)
He loves to sleep. He loves R&B. He loves pineapple on pizza. He also won the individual Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) title and the Central Jersey Group IV title for cross country this season. His name is Vidhur Polam.
A cross-country rookie, the junior wasn’t always hitting miles and spiking up. He spent most of his high school athletic career playing soccer as a center midfielder and took notice of his exceptional abilities at running later on.
“When I was younger I was usually faster than everyone. I played with more of a stamina than what was required. When people got tired out, I wasn’t tired,” said Polam.
Even though it was tough to let go of the sport, he still loves soccer. In fact, a few of his soccer teammates joined him this year in running cross country.
Teammate Josh Gumber, a junior who also used to play soccer, said “He motivates me to do my best because I see him working so hard. You kind of feel bad if you don’t put in the amount of effort that he puts in.”
Being new to the team, Polam didn’t find himself facing that much pressure, even though he’s been leading the way. He has looked to his teammates when it comes to winning as well, knowing that everyone must do their part.
“I love how there’s not much pressure on me even though I’m the top guy but I do think that the team also has to do their best to win,” said Polam.
Currently, Polam leads the boy’s team with a 15:49 5K personal record on the classic Thompson Park course. Reaching this point involved putting in the hard work daily, and treating his off days as light shakeouts. Not only has he won a county and sectional title, but he has also come in fifth in the state section and eleventh in all of New Jersey.
Coach Wilfredo Rivera said, “I obviously think he is an extremely hard worker. I think he is becoming a student of the sport and I say that in the sense that obviously, he is talented physically, but I do think part of the sport is the mental aspect. He’s always trying to get better and always trying to learn.”
As his cross country season slowly wanes, he has not lost sight yet of his goals in the future and continues to work hard toward becoming the best runner in the state.