Winter track goes for gold

Darius McCullough, Contributing Writer

The winter track teams have been excited to race into their new season and hope to repeat last year’s strong performance.

They have participated in two developmental meets so far, oppportunities for the team to practice and find its footing in the new season. “The goal is to try and work from the initial times and measurements from these events,” Track Coach RJ Harmon said.

After graduating several talented runners, the boys have 10 new freshmen to fill in the gaps. “We’ve definitely got some young stars like Logan [Dracos (9)] and Ethan [Waggoner (9)], so we’re in a good spot,” Charles Simmons (11) said.

“I think especially the freshman, including me, are working hard even though most had never run until this season,” Waggoner said.

Boys team captains Melchior Lee (12) and Solomon Katz (12) have done a great job in leading the team’s exercises during practice and have helped introduce new freshmen to the team, Paul Wang (11) said. “We have to thank them a lot for helping us grow closer as a team when there are so many new athletes,” Wang said.

Lee is at the top of the league for the high jump event, leaping five feet and nine inches in the Ivy League Championship last year.

Wang is one of the hardest working athletes on the team and spent the entire fall training for the winter season, Simmons said.

The girls team has a small roster of five members but that does not stop them from striving to improve in every meet.

“With a group of five, it’s hard to compete for team scoring without filling up all of the events, so we focus on our individual goals within a team concept,” Harmon said.

Currently, the fastest members of the girls’ team are Adriana Hernandez (11) and last year’s team MVP Lauren Gay (10). Gay is a standout sprinter in the Ivy League who became the first freshman to win girls team MVP last year. She is carrying last year’s success into the current season, winning the 55 meter dash on Wednesday.

“Lauren is extremely passionate about track and it shows in how well she performs at every meet,” Hernandez said.

“Lauren and Adriana make a huge impact on the team with their work ethic,” Maya Freeman (12) said.

“Being on a small team, all of the girls really get to bond with one another,” Hernandez said. “We all really love each other, and it makes track and the season that much more enjoyable.”

The team plans to work harder in practices to improve their individual times and measurements, Harmon said.

“[Harmon] has been making a big impact on the team,” Gay said. “He always motivates us to push ourselves and is always excited to see us do well in our events.”

The team’s goal for the year is to field more runners and win more medals at the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Championship, Harmon said.

The team excelled in its third meet of the season on Wednesday in Staten Island with both Gay and Freeman beating their personal records. They hope to continue this success through the rest of the season in order to make their mark on the league.