BOYS’ INDOOR TRACK
Hindered by various injuries and a taxing cross-country season, the boys’ indoor track team, the Greyducks, though successful, has yet to reach its full potential.
“The distance guys have just been basically training easily. We’ll do better later in the season,” coach Mark Mendes said.
The Greyducks need to recover from a strenuous cross-country season. “We also have a few kids who have been sick and hurt. [Senior] Mark Schramm has been quite ill. He’s getting better now. [Junior and co-captain] Jack Stevenson had a little bit of an Achilles problem, and he’s just rounding into shape,” Mendes said.
However, the relay team members, including Stevenson, Schramm, and senior and co-captain Konrad Surkont, are optimistic about their prospects this season. “We’ve had a rocky start,” Stevenson said. “But we’re looking to get back in shape in time to qualify for Penn [Relays].”
One bright spot so far in the season is the sprinters’ performance. “They qualified for cities really early. Again, you usually expect to hit those qualifying times in February,” Surkont said. “ But the fact that we’re hitting [them] now is a really good sign.”
Surkont has already qualified for the city championships in the two-mile run, as Schramm has in the one-mile run. The 4×800-meter and 4×200-meter relays teams have also qualified.
The upperclassmen’s strong start has been complemented by underclassmen success, sophomore Jeremy Karson’s in particular. “Jeremy has definitely run some very fast times. He’s also qualified for the mile. We didn’t expect him to do it so early in the season, so to see that in the first month of the season is definitely a great sign,” Surkont said.
Spectacular individual and team performances have highlighted the start of the season, with various school records broken in the process. The sprint 4×200-meter relay team has already set a school record, and Surkont set the two-mile record at nine minutes and 22 seconds at the Bishop Loughlin Games on Tuesday, December 17.
As the Greyducks continue to improve, they will have to count on more than just conditioning to win. “There’s been a mentality to persevere. If you have a winning mentality, good things are going to happen for you. So, I think that’s what we’ve adopted, and it’s worked out so far,” Surkont said.
GIRLS’ INDOOR TRACK
The female Greyducks have started out the season with some quick wins. “We’ve been doing really well so far, because it’s already this early in the season, and we’ve already had a lot of girls qualify for cities for multiple different events, and that didn’t happen last year,” senior and co-captain Yan Lin said.
The improvement from last year is evident in the performances of both underclassmen and upperclassmen. “We’ve already gotten [sophomore] Vera [Petrovskaya] and [junior Zhenqing Nie] qualifying for the 1500-meter run in cities, and have [junior] Bebe [ Legardeur] qualifying for the triple jump, and [junior] Alicia [Vargas-Morawetz] for the long jump, so I think we’re off to a good start, and I think it’ll only get better from there,” senior and co-captain Emily Bram said. The race walkers have also qualified for the city championship.
In some ways, the Greyducks are even more successful than they dared hope to be. “Our new girls are very good, and I think we have exceeded our preseason expectations, and I think we’re also setting the team up for some good seasons down the line in the next few years,” Bram said. “You lose the seniors as always, but I think the girls are really stepping up to take their places.”
The Borough Championship in February will be the defining meet of the season, but as of now, the Greyducks feel good about where they are. “We want to finish this year better than the last year. So you can ask me again after the Borough Championship, but so far girls are doing very well,” Coach Anna Markova said.