Captains’ Corner: Andrew Adelhardt, Peter Kirgis, Mike Colonna, Steven Lopez

Kevin Hazan, Staff Writer

Kevin Hazan:  Hi, I am here with the captains of the boys winter track team, Andrew Adelhardt, Peter Kirgis, Mike Colonna and Steven Lopez.  Coming off of a conference runner-up season, I am glad to have the opportunity to talk with them.  Thanks for joining me today!


Andrew Adelhardt:  No problem, thank you for having us.


KH:  Last season a lot of key senior runners graduated.  That team had won the 2014 division title.  Has the loss of those seniors impacted the team in any way this season?


Peter Kirgis: Yeah, kids like Shogo Yamamoto, Kwan Park , Yugi Choi, Mike Gennussa, Ben Moy and Leo Potters were excellent runners, and they contributed a huge amount of points to the team.  Without them, the team had to build up a new core of runners from younger grades.


AA:  It definitely has.  We lost about seven of our leading scorers from last year.  Our underclassmen really had to step up to fill the void.


Mike Colonna:  I’ll be honest; we lost a lot of great talent last year.  But the loss of talent doesn’t mean we did badly this year—a lot of underclassmen really stepped up.  We placed second in the conference, same as last year.


KH:  Like you said, with the loss of the key seniors, underclassmen had to step up to ‘fill the void.’  Were there any surprises this year from anybody who really stepped up and might have had a quiet year last season?


PK:  Aaron Siff-Scherr had a great season.  He made states and was All-Conference and All-County in the 1000m.  Alex Zsikla, a freshman runner, was also exceptional in the jumps.  Senior Steven Lopez was the conference champ in the high jump, and was all conference in the long jump and triple jump, which was very impressive.


AA:  Yes, sophomores like Aaron Siff-Scherr, Joey Levine, and Rory Owens have progressed to scoring athletes who had a dramatic impact on the success of our team this season.


MC:  Will Barnes, a junior who has never run winter track before this season, definitely stepped up, running the 55 and 4×4.


KH:  The team did not win the conference, but how do you feel the team performed this year overall?  Did you accomplish everything you set out to from the start of the season?


Steven Lopez:  The team’s performance this year was impressive considering we had such a huge loss from last year’s group.  It required everyone to step up, which many did.  We made major improvements this season, and hope to continue to grow stronger in the spring.


PK:  Yeah.  For this team, a runner up conference finish was pretty impressive.  I qualified for the state meet, which was my goal for the season, so I definitely accomplished what I wanted to.


KH:  The responsibilities of a captain can vary depending on the sport.  How did you run practices as captains?  Were you given that freedom, and expected to always work hard and be on top of guys to make sure they did what they needed to do in order to be successful?


SL:  As a captain, my goal was to lead by example and demonstrate how much effort and work is needed in order to achieve success, as well as making sure everyone else was on the same page.


PK:  For the distance team, Andrew and I tried to lead by example by working hard and showing the younger kids on the team what it takes to succeed.  We were definitely given more freedom, but were also given a lot of responsibility to help out everyone on the team as much we could.


AA:  As a captain, you always have to keep the morale up.  If the weather, the workout, or the race sucks, it’s always important to stay positive.  That’s what I really tried to do this year.


KH:  This question is for Steven and Mike.  As this was your last season on winter track, who do you expect will lead the team next year after you graduate?  Will there be anyone who could suprise the team next year?


SL:  I believe juniors Andrew Adelhardt and Aidan Finnerty, along with sophomores Aaron Siff-Scherr, and Joey Levine will be major contributors next year due to their hard work ethic.  They will be excellent leaders and also lead by example.


MC:  For long distance runners, definitely Adelhardt and Siff-Scherr will lead the team.  For the short distance runners, Barnes, Aidan Finnerty, Cameron, and Aiello will be significant next year for the team.


KH:  Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.  Congratulations on a great season.