Boys’ Track Off To Slow Start
December 20th, 2006
After winning the Borough Championship Triple Crown for the past eight years, the boys’ indoor track team is off to a poor start after their first three meets this season. “We’re quite a bit behind where I thought we would be at this point,” said coach Mark Mendes. “It is hard to make a transition from cross country to indoor especially with 100 guys on the team. A lot of them don’t know what it means to be a member of Stuy track and they’re not dedicated enough.”
In the first meet of the season, the Jim McKay Games at the Armory in upper Manhattan, on Saturday, December 2, Stuyvesant only placed in the top 10 spots in three of the 13 events. Junior Gabe Paley, who Mendes said was the “only experienced high jumper,” placed third in the varsity high jump out of a grand total of six competitors. With a height of 5 feet 2 inches, he was 4 inches behind first place senior Arkil Straker of Thomas Jefferson High School.
Freshman Daniel Hyman-Cohen won his 1600–meter freshman race with a time 4 minutes and 59.97 seconds, more than nine seconds ahead of second place freshman Raul Avalos of Susan Wagner High School. He also helped the 4x400 meter relay team into sixth place.
In the second PSAL meet of the season, A Night At The Sprints, which was also held in the Armory, on Friday, December 8, Stuyvesant had a worse outcome. Not one athlete from Stuyvesant placed in the top 10 in any of the seven events. This was due in part to Stuyvesant’s “tremendous depth in distance in all grade levels from cross country,” said Mendes. Although distance is Stuyvesant’s strength, Mendes was sure to highlight the emerging sprint team. “[Senior and co-captain] Johnnery de Jesus and [junior] Matt Konigsberg will probably score in the 300 [meter race] at boroughs. We also hope to develop our hurdlers since we have only one distinguished hurdler, [junior] Corbett Hobbes.”
The third meet of the season, the Bishop Loughlin Games, was an invitational meet, not PSAL. It included over 6000 athletes from five different states including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts and took place on Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17. The team improved and Mendes was optimistic. “When all is said and done,” he said, “this year’s team might be better than last year’s.”