Boys track team off to a hot start after months of training

Olivar+Melaria+Perez+competes+in+the+3200m+race+at+St.+Anthony%27s+on+Jan.+10.
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Boys track team off to a hot start after months of training

Olivar Melaria Perez competes in the 3200m race at St. Anthony's on Jan. 10.

Olivar Melaria Perez competes in the 3200m race at St. Anthony's on Jan. 10.

Kyle Wong

Olivar Melaria Perez competes in the 3200m race at St. Anthony's on Jan. 10.

Kyle Wong

Kyle Wong

Olivar Melaria Perez competes in the 3200m race at St. Anthony's on Jan. 10.

Aphrodite Dimopoulos, Staff Writer

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The boys track team, for a sport team that tends to fly under the radar of most of our student body, has had a successful season thus far.  Although this season seemed challenging from the start, namely due to the loss of many important seniors, the team has managed to persevere and prove their worth to the track community.  

At the start of the year, it may have seemed as though track had perhaps taken a backseat to other winter sports at Schreiber. However, the boys have set out to prove that they are still a successful and important team to our school.  In doing so, the team has allowed many of their players to drastically improve as runners. 

“There is a lot of competitiveness because of the good competition we have to face.  However, our tough workout schedule prepares us for it,” said junior Justin Hill.  “We’ve had a lot of guys, especially underclassmen, step up this year because of this.”

Hill has been running track since his freshman year.  As a freshman, Hill ran for only one season during the spring.  By his sophomore year, though, he was participating in track during all three seasons.   

During these seasons, including this school year’s winter track, Hill has been running for the varsity squad as a distance runner.  He usually competes in either the 1600 meter or the 1000 meter races.  

At the first meet of the season, Hill ran a 4:59.88 1600 meter race, earning himself a fifteenth-place spot.  In the Nassau Coaches Invitational on Dec. 8, Hill ran both the 1600 meter race and the 1000 meter race, scoring a 02:52.51 in the latter.  This score put him in twentieth place in the race and first for Port.  

In order to breed and cultivate this success, the team goes through a  rigorous practice schedule.  

“The team’s main workouts consist of intervals.  Certain distances are run with a decent amount on repeat.  For example, someone would run 400 meters and repeat team organizes its athletes into three categories to improve efficiency, allow for the most productive practices, and prepare for races,” said Sophomore Oliver Malera-Perez.

The team is constantly practicing and striving to get better.  The squad spends countless hours at practice, and then they run on their own on top of the mandatory practices.

“After our warm ups, we break into sprinters and distance runners and Coach Donado gives us each a workout for that day. Practices are tough mostly because of the cold weather but we know that if we practice hard we will run better in meet,” said senior Nicholas Scardigno. 

Scardigno has been running for Schreiber’s track team since his sophomore year.  During this season of winter track, he has already set two personal records, the first being a time of 02:53.37 in the 1000 meter race, and the second being 04:55.93 in the 1600 meter race.  

Both of these personal bests were set during the Nassau Coaches Invitational last December.  In addition, while every player on the track team has seemed to learn how to become both a better overall athlete and runner, Scardigno noticed that athleticism isn’t the only thing to be gained from being on the track team.  

“We are always pushing each other as hard as we can in practice in order to perform well in meets.  I’ve learned teamwork and sportsmanship from being on the team,” said Scardigno. 

While the Schreiber team breaks up the team into distance runners, sprinters, and throwers, Nassau County divides the athletes into six divisions broken up into groups labeled letters A through F.  If a meet calls for Groups C and D, as the first meet of the season did, it would be those divisions that must attend the meet. 

Going into the 2018-2019 season of winter track, tensions were high within the team.  This was mainly because the team lost all of their senior sprinters last season.  Although this was a major loss for the team, it did not stop them from surging forward in their success with stars such as Hill and Scardigno.  

After the loss of seniors, the team immediately went into a phase of rebuilding for the sprinting team, which has helped the team significantly in terms of growth and development.  

The sprinting team consists entirely of freshman, and is led by the talented junior Taiki Hirooka.  While it will be a long road of work ahead, the team is hoping for a top two placement at the conference championships on Jan. 31.  

As for the distance team, the future seems quite promising, especially since the team is mostly filled with some young talent and strong senior leaders. 

This season, the boys winter track team has big shoes to fill; there is no doubt about that. The seniors from the previous team set a high bar, but, gladly, victory seems inevitable for this hard-working, talented, and dedicated sports team.

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