Boys Winter Track Nationals

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Thanks to the boys 4x800m relay team, the walls of Schreiber’s main gym will soon look a little different.  The boys have had high aspirations since the winter track season began in November, and with two new school records and a Nike National Championship win, the season has finally come to a close.  The 4x800m relay, led by seniors Colin Funk, Kevin Taylor, Terry McGinty, and Maxwell Meehan, placed fourth in the conference meet.  These four seniors had a phenomenal season and ran at the New York State Public School Championship, Nike Indoor Nationals, and New Balance Indoor Nationals. 

At the New York State Public School Championship in Staten Island, the group showed that they were a force to be reckoned with.  In the 1,000 meter race, Funk earned All-State recognition, finishing with the second best time in New York State and the top time in school history at 2:30.95.  Taylor placed seventh in the state and currently holds the third best time in school history at 2:32.64.

The boys then took their talents to the Nike Indoor Nationals, where they competed against top athletes from across the country.  Despite the national stage, they kept their composure and each member of the relay performed to the best of their ability.  They refused to let the importance of the race affect their mindset.

“We are so used to the grind and the pressure that it didn’t feel abnormal being there.  We saw it as a business trip, and we had a job to do,” said Meehan. 

As they lined up to start, the boys managed to maintain a clear head space.  To start off the race, McGinty ran his leg in two minutes and two seconds to keep Port in the race.  Competing against six other teams can make it difficult to pass other runners but McGinty had no problem, gliding easily around his opponents.  He then handed the baton off to Taylor, who saw an opportunity to advance his team up the standing.  Dialed in like never before, Taylor ran a season best 1:55; prior to this race, he had only barely broken two minutes.  With Taylor’s incredible leg, Port was in second place by the time Meehan took over; he ran the same pace as McGinty, splitting another two minute two second 800 meters.  

With the national championship on the line, Funk took the baton and blazed around the track.  Since he was coming off of an injury at the start of the season, there were doubts that Funk would return to peak form; despite the earlier adversity, there was no way he was going to let anything come in between him and a national title.  Funk ran a 1:56 split, securing the victory for Port Washington by a three second margin.  Their final time of 7:57 also broke the school record by an astounding eight seconds.

“The feeling of crossing that line was unreal.  There’s no other way to say it.  All four of us worked day in and day out to get to this point, and to have it all pay off is amazing,” said Funk.

In the last fifty meter stretch, with a considerable lead, Funk realized that he was about to become a national champion, and he struck a celebratory pose as he crossed the finish line.

“I knew the cameras would be out, so I had to be ready for them,” said Funk.

This final victory was years in the making.  The four boys had been running together since seventh grade, training and improving year round, through the fall cross country seasons and the winter and spring track seasons.  After so many years of practicing together, the boys had chemistry that could only be achieved through long, hard work.  However, it was during this season in particular when they realized they had something special.  In their first relay meet running the relay, they ran a respectable and quick 8:19, which they improved on enormously. 

“When we saw our final time, we were all surprised.  We knew we ran well, but we weren’t sure what to expect.  However, we also knew that if anyone was going to do that well, it would be us,” said McGinty.

Although the season may have been a huge success, it did not come without its share of difficulties.  In the state qualifying meet, the boys ran one of their best times of the season, yet were disqualified from the race for a lane entry violation.  Knowing how close the relay was to a State Championship win weighed on the group.  Luckily, the relay team had run a time that qualified automatically for the National competitions, so they were still able to compete.  With a new goal in sight, the boys put the past behind them and focused on the upcoming race.

Although the group did not place as high as they would have liked at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, their performances at the other meets did more than enough to prove their abilities.  The accomplishments of these four seniors will be ingrained in Schreiber sports history for years to come.