Girls and boys track spring to success in postseason


Jack Lawerence

Junior Caroling Pangbourne and junior Sam Krayeski run the 1500m race during the Conference Championship at St. Anthony’s High School on Jan. 31.

Aphrodite Dimopoulous, Staff Writer

The girls and boys track teams are currently finishing off successful seasons.  This is especially true for the seniors, who are ending their high school track career on a high note.

The boys squad recently finished sixth in their conference, while the girls barely fell short of making it to the conference championship.  Track, being an individual sport that uses a team structure, succeeds through solo runners who train to improve their events in track and field.

Through countless hours of training and hard work, each runner on both the girls and boys teams are constantly proving that the Schreiber track team is not one to take a backseat to other Schreiber sports, given that a semester of relentless effort in the freezing cold can pay off in big ways.

Winter Track is not for the faint of heart.  Lasting from November to the end of January, students are expected to practice every afternoon in the cold weather.  Each practice is carefully scheduled to produce the best results and cultivate the successes that were displayed in the meets.

The boys team entered the 2018-19 season with considerable uncertainty of the future due to the drastic loss of all their senior sprinters.  This was a major loss for the team and had the potential to mentally bring down the team tremendously. 

Luckily, through amazing coaching and the maintenance of a positive mindset among the team members, the boys were able to work with the natural talent on their team, which has proven to be nothing less than a success.  They began the season rebuilding the sprinting team and focusing on the growth and development of the younger runners.  This was especially needed considering the fact that the entire boys sprinting team is mostly made up of freshman, with the exceptions of the junior leader and track talent Taiki Hirooka, and a few others. 

While Hirooka has led the sprinters to greatness in every competition they traveled to, senior Jacob Moy has led the team in rankings.  As of the 2018-19 season, Moy is the only boy on the Port Washington Team who is Top 10 in the league, being ranked fourth in high jump with six feet.  Furthermore, Moy is ranked third with the high jump in the county class and second in the conference.

For the boys team, each practice and workout is conducted in an interval style.  Certain distances were ran on repeat for the length of practices, and these exercises were mixed in with days in the weight room, as well as complemented by consistent stretching.  Repetition has become a key strategy for the boys and, despite being tedious, has proved to be one of the main reasons for Port’s success. 

More on the players’ practice schedules, efficiency is also essential for the Schreiber teams. During each practice, athletes are separated into three categories, which aided in making the practices the most productive and efficient they could be.  

The girl’s team practices in a very similar manner, focusing on hard work and constant dedication to the sport in order to conclude in success.

“Practice is not easy, but well worth the outcome,” said sophomore Samantha Radinsky.  “We do a long warm up followed by a thorough workout. We are separated but we sometimes do workouts together, allowing for growth in both teams.”  

As the season progressed, both groups showed tremendous improvement.  This season proved to be great for the teams as both of them made it to the Conference Championship during the week of Jan. 28.

In the conference, the boys team finished sixth overall.  At the conference race, freshman Colin Funk ran the 600m with a scoring time of 1:30.6.  This placed him second overall, and it also led to him being ranked All-Conference.  Through his impressive performance at this competition, Funk proved how the team’s difficult practice schedule yields amazing results. 

A couple of weeks before the conference race, Funk ran at The Armory, an indoor track in New York City, where he ran a 1:33.5 600 m.  This demonstrates just how much of an impact a couple weeks of hard work can have. 

The boys are also known for their 4x800m group, which is a relay team comprised of seniors Max Friedman and Nick Scardigno, junior Justin Hill, and sophomore Oliver Malera-Perez.  The team finished second overall at the competition with a time of 8:46, with Scardigno leading the way by clocking a 2:09.  

While the boys’ performance at the conference competition was very impressive, the girls team absolutely dominated the track.  The squad fell just two points short of a conference championship. 

The girls 4x400m relay took first place in the race, beating even the second place team by over 6 seconds.  This star studded team consists of three seniors, Brittany Nahas, Leah Taylor, and Jennifer Kim, and one junior, Sally Hirschwerk.

Adding on to the success of the team, sophomore Abby Hurt placed first with her high jump, and propelled the team forward points-wise.  Furthermore, junior Alison Turner placed first in the shot put event, an event where the athlete pushes a heavy spherical object, known as the shot, as far as possible.

While this section of track and field is often not recognized, Turner truly made a name for herself and admirably managed to dominate the section.

 “I think that supporting our fellow teammates and cheering for each other is a key part of our teams success,” said senior Sophie Roth.  “I always try to cheer for my teammates whether they are practicing and doing a workout or if they are competing at a meet.  Supporting one another helps us to push ourselves more.”

The girls team has had many personal records set throughout their season.  Taylor ran a 1:46:03 in the 600m, while junior Caroline Pangbourne ran a 3:14:11 in the 1000m.  These results placed each of them third in their respective conferences.  

Junior Sam Krayeski ranked fourth in the conference with a 3:14:37 in the 1000m, and junior Jasmine Kaypour ran a 7.82 in the 55m, which placed her seventh in the conference. Junior Grace Livio ran a 7.90 in the 55m, putting her in the top ten for the conference.  Hirschwerk and Kim ran a 1:46:52 and a 1:49:52, respectively, in the 600m, placing them both top ten in the conference. 

“Everyone truly deserves to do well and I am so proud of how much everyone has improved.  It is so incredible to see the how much athletes, both freshman and seniors, improve each season,” said Roth. 

One of the team’s main leaders is senior Ava Gellis.  While every member of the girls team puts in constant effort and hard-work, Gellis has always stood out as a star track athlete since her freshman year; she is a real driving force for the team.  

She ranked first in the conference with a 42.04 in the 300m, only 0.12 seconds from the school record.  Furthermore, at the conference, Gellis won third in both the 55m dash and the long jump.  Although it is Gellis’ final year running for Schreiber, her track journey is not ending.  Her constant and relentless dedication has paid off, and she announced in October of 2018 that she committed to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for Women’s Track and Field.

Along with Gellis, Sophie Roth has led the way in motivating every girl on the track team.  Roth is a senior who has competed in every season of track and cross country, making this season her eleventh.  She claims that this has made her both physically and mentally stronger.

In addition to the sportsmanlike behavior that every team must posses, Roth is convinced that hard work is the key to success.

“I think that focusing on working hard during our workouts, eating right, getting enough sleep, and staying motivated are all crucial parts of our daily routines as athletes which help is during meets,” said Roth.  

For both the girls and boys, age is something that plays directly into each team’s daily struggles.  Both teams are mostly made up of young talent and while that can be concerning in competing against older athletes, it also proves that the Schreiber teams are going to prosper for many years to come.

“The secret to success is hard work, dedication, and perseverance,” said coach of the boys track team Mrs. Sandra Jozefowski.

On Feb. 6, both the boys and girls competed at the County Championship. While the boys did not place, there were standout performances by their athletes. Hirooka placed seventh overall in the 55m dash, freshman Kevin Taylor placed ninth in the 1000m, and the 4x800m ran by Funk, Scardigno, Hill, and Malera-Perez placed fourth. 

The girls team came to the county meet strong, holding second place until the last minute, and ultimately ending with a fourth rank overall. Individually, Krayeski ran fourth in the 1000m, and Roth and Feigin placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 1500m race walk. In addition, Pangbourne placed fourth in the 1500m. Meanwhile, the reals also performed well. The 4x800m, with runners junior Carolyn Stoller, freshman Bethany Ekezie, Pangbourne, and Krayeski, finished fourth. Furthermore, the team of Nahas, Taylor, Kim, and Hirschwerk finished sixth in the 4x400m. In the field events, Gellis placed third in long jump, getting a personal record of 17 feet and 2.5 inches. Moreover, Hurt placed fourth in the high jump. Tuner and junior Madison Prince also took first and third, respectively, in the shot-put, and Prince took third in the weight throw. 

The team will proceed on to state qualifiers and then hopefully to states, which take place during the first weekend in March.  

Mrs. Jozefowski emphasizes the fact that most runners who run winter track continue in the spring, which enables them to utilize the end of the winter season as a sort of preseason, keeping them constantly in great shape.

Over the years, both boys and girls track have proved to put Schreiber’s name on the map.  With a seemingly endless supply of talented athletes, both the teams are putting forth their best effort in races and training year-round.