Track races to victory


Courtesy of Barry Mason

Matthew Pruzan, Contributing Writer

On Wednesday, the Boys and Girls Varsity Track and Field Team competed in their fourth meet of the season at Icahn Stadium. Runners participated in sprints, long-distance runs, and throwing events against Dalton, Fieldston, Riverdale, Trinity, Poly Prep, Hackley, and Collegiate.

Varsity Boys Captain Jake Ziman (12) competed in the 200 and 400-meter sprints. Prior to the meet, Ziman aimed to break 57 seconds in the 400-meter, he said. Ziman beat this goal by .08 seconds, achieving a time of 56.92 seconds. This feat was especially meaningful to Ziman because it is his last season competing with the team, he said. 

To qualify for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Championships, students had to run times below a specific threshold, Boys Varsity Track and Field Coach Jon Eshoo said. “I hope that as many team members qualify for [the] NYSAIS as possible,” Eshoo said. So far, Ziman, Molly Zukerman (10), Zach Montbach (11), Imran Siddiqui (11), Aryan Palla (11), Ashley Coburn (11), Santiago Simonian (11), and Alexander Ment (12) have all qualified, he said.

While Zukerman didn’t qualify for NYSAIS in the 400-meter run, she bounced back, qualifying for the 800-meter race with a personal best of 2 minutes and 38 seconds. “I was about to leave but my coach told me I would regret not doing [the 800-meter race],” she said. “I was very happy I did it as all my teammates were cheering me on.”

The meet differed from past events due to its inclusion of the steeplechase, a 3000-meter long race for boys and 2000-meter race for girls, where runners jump over a combination of hurdles and water pits, Varsity Girls Track and Field coach Taylor Quilty said. “The steeplechase is very special for us because we don’t usually have it at our meets,” she said. 

Unlike more common events, such as the 100-meter dash, which Christine Tao (11) had practiced prior to the meet, Tao had never run a steeplechase race before, she said. “We showed up to the starting line, and we were talking to the girls there who had run the race before – we asked them for tips, and when we told them we had never ran it before, they said, ‘That’s actually really dangerous, what were you thinking,’” Tao said. “We said we wanted a pool party!” 

The team is looking forward to finishing off the season even stronger than they started, Quilty said. “The team has the best energy, the most positive attitudes, and they put forth their best effort in every single workout and meet.”