Varsity Track teams break personal records at Ivy Developmental

Hannah Becker , Staff Writer

Members of the Boys and Girls Varsity Indoor Track teams broke personal records at Wednesday’s Ivy Developmental III meet. It took place at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, where independent schools in New York competed in events ranging from 55-meter to one mile.

Delfie Bauer (10), who ran the girl’s 55-meter dash, was nervous before the race started, but her mind cleared once she started running. “As soon as I hear the gun go off, I focus on getting a proper start, moving my arms correctly and my legs as fast as they can,” she said. Bauer set a new personal record of 8.4 seconds.

Lili Frangenberg (10) also ran the girl’s 55-meter dash, earning a time of 9.03 seconds, she said. While this is a new personal record, Frangenberg plans on improving her start. “With my start, I popped up too fast and I didn’t move swiftly into my run. So I probably gained an extra two seconds there, and everyone else got a head start,” she said.

Nigel Haris (10) finished the boy’s 55-meter dash first in 7.25 seconds. Before starting the race, Harris felt anxious and intimidated by the other competitors around him, he said. His fear faded once he started running. “While I was running, my anxiety went away, just because when I picked my head up, I couldn’t really see anyone in front or to my sides. I saw that I was in the lead, which was really reassuring and felt good,” Harris said.

Before meets, sprinters focus on their starting positions, which can eliminate time wasted on accelerating at the beginning of the race, giving the team an advantage at meets, Frangenberg said.

Both teams practiced each day leading up to the meet. Their practices have three components. They typically warm up on Four Acres or in Van Cortlandt Park with laps, high knees, walking on tiptoes, and other dynamic exercises, Bauer said. Then, they break up into short and long-distance runners, where they complete specific workouts and drills fit for the distances they are running, she said. They use the final 40 minutes of practice to cool down, stretch, and work on other strength exercises in the Fitness Center, such as running on the treadmill and doing ab workouts.

One of Frangenberg’s favorite routines at meets is the group stretch right before races. “It really unifies and motivates us to do as well as possible,” she said. “It also really brings the team element into it and reminds you that you’re supporting and being supported by an entire group of people and representing Horace Mann.”

An important preparation tactic is getting into the right mindset, Girls Varsity Indoor Track Team Head Coach RJ Harmon said. While being physically prepared is necessary, having a positive mentality is key to improving times. He encourages the team with motivating words, though it is up to them to maintain an optimistic attitude, he said.

The team’s supportive and motivated culture pushes students to do better, Girls Varsity Indoor Track Assistant Coach Taylor Quilty said. “They bring good energy to practice and are always willing to work hard and to learn.”

The team is focused on self-improvement and hopes to make it to the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) championship and Ivy League championships, Ben Rafal (11) said. Since track is an individual sport, runners mainly compete against themselves, he said. “In the end, you can’t control how fast everybody else is running — you can really only control how fast you’re running.”