The Greyducks, Stuyvesant’s girls’ outdoor track and field team, rarely compete against teams outside of the Public School Athletic League (PSAL), due to the PSAL scheduling and the daunting strength of the competition. However, on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14, the female Greyducks met the challenge, as they participated in one of the most important invitational meets of the season: the Mayor’s Cup City Championship.
Because Mayor’s Cup is usually stacked with such a large number of athletes, the PSAL and Catholic High School Athlete Association established a qualifying procedure for the first time in meet history. Based on seed times submitted online before the meet, only the city’s top 24 individuals and relay teams of each respective event qualified to run in the meet. The female Greyducks qualified seven individuals, including sophomore Lily Lee in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes, as well as a 4×800 meter relay team.
Rather than settle at simply qualifying for the meet, the girls fought hard to leave their mark. Juniors Alicia Vargas and Bebe Legardeur set personal records in the triple jump with jumps of 34 feet, 0.5 inches, and 32 feet, 4.5 inches respectively. Junior Kineta Wahl and sophomore Vera Pertsovskaya also set personal records in the 1500 meter event with times of 5:07.49 and 5:18.39 respectively, earning them 11th and 14th place.
The female Greyducks’ 4×800 meter relay team concluded the meet. The team has been training with boys’ coach Mark Mendes since the beginning of the season. Mendes saw potential in Wahl, Pertsovskaya, junior Helen Nie, and sophomore Stephanie Liang during the PSAL Indoor City Championships and coached them to a third place finish with a time of 10:38.35 this meet. “The girls distance program has taken off in leaps in bounds. They’re doing really well,” Mendes said.
Mendes’ distance program has clearly had an immeasurable effect on the male Greyducks, as well. Mendes coached the distance medley relay team to a fourth place finish and a PSAL record in the New Balance Indoor Nationals. The 4×1600 meter relay team excelled at King’s Relays on Saturday, April 7, taking home a first-place trophy. The same relay members have their eyes on breaking the 4×1600 meter PSAL record in upcoming meets.
For Mayor’s Cup, the male Greyducks qualified 5 individuals and 6 relays. The biggest question mark for the male Greyducks was whether junior Jack Stevenson, one of the team’s elite runners, could handle the 1600-meter event after returning from of a tendinitis injury, which had him out for two weeks.
However, Stevenson was impressive for his first meet back by leading the pack for the majority of his race with the exception of the last five meters, when Sidgie Greene of Thomas Jefferson slightly edged Stevenson. Green and Stevenson finished with times of 4:21.43 and 4:21.26, respectively. Stevenson was disappointed more in his time than in his place. “I want 4:20, and I’m going to get it next week at New York Relays,” Stevenson said.
New York Relays, which took place Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, is one of the four non-PSAL meets in which the male Greyducks participate. It is recognized for producing several state leaders in New York and New Jersey.
The male Greyducks have their calendars marked for Friday, April 27, when a distance medley relay of seniors Konrad Surkont, Mark Schramm and Genghis Chau, and Stevenson will take place as one of the 17 best teams in the country at Penn Relays. The relay team is seeded 4th, and its members hope to break their own PSAL record.
In the eyes of female Greyduck senior and co-captain Emily Bram, the success of Mayor’s Cup is a good sign for the future. “I think we’ll see a lot of improvement in the upcoming season from last season, so I’m excited for that,” Bram said.