The Stuyvesant Greyducks’ distance medley relay team, consisting of junior Jack Stevenson, senior Genghis Chau, senior and co-captain Mark Schramm, and senior and co-captain Konrad Surkont, competed against the top relay teams in the nation in the New Balance Indoor National Championship on Saturday, March 10, at the 168th Street Armory. The team achieved an alltime record time for PSAL and finished fourth place. The boys earned the prestigious All-American title for finishing in the top six.
The distance medley relay is a four-leg event in which each leg runs a different distance. Stevenson started off the race with 1200m, followed by Chau with 400m, and Schramm with 800m. Surkont secured the fourth place finish with the 1600m, totaling the time to 10:12.24.
Of the thirteen teams competing, the top seven teams finished within less than three seconds of each other, including Stuyvesant’s. St. Benedict’s Preparatory School finished first with a time of 10:10.08, and the seventh place team, Monsignor Farrell High School, finished close behind with a time of 10:12.50. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh teams crossed the finish line within less than a second of each other.
In facing this tight competition, Surkont had to keep up with his opponents in the last lap to ensure a top place. “I felt good through my leg, and at the last lap I knew where I needed to be,” Surkont said. “I surged forward, and it worked out.”
By breaking the PSAL record, the members of the team achieved a goal they had set for itself in the beginning of the season. With each runner working to increase his time throughout the season, the finishing time of the relay dropped drastically from previous meets. “We just had to put in the practice. After we ran 10:19 earlier in the season, we knew we had to improve our time to really break the record,” Chau said.
Surkont’s time of 4:11 in his 1600m leg technically breaks the PSAL all-time 1600m record, as well as his own personal record. However, since it was obtained as part of a relay and not an individual 1600m event, it does not qualify as an official record.
This dominant relay team will run together again next month at the Penn Relays on Saturday, April 28 at The University of Pennsylvania. At this outdoor track meet, they will face many of the same teams they faced in this competition. “I just hope to keep improving and not get caught up in what we’ve already done,” Schramm said. “Hopefully we can do more and greater things in the future.”