Eyes on the prize: How the boys’ track team remains motivated

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For many students, the start of the school year marked a return to the academic “grind,” but for the boys’ track team, August and September marked a return to the grind on the track.

Last year, the team performed exceptionally well; the team ranked as one of the top three teams in Queens in each of the cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track seasons, while also qualifying for the Penn Relay: a prestigious meet to which only a few teams are invited to participate. Although they accomplished such feats, the team was somewhat disappointed since factors such as weather and injuries prevented the team from performing better.

Using this disappointment as motivation, the team went into the summer with a renewed focus. Senior Jesse Anderson reflected, “Over the summer, most, if not all, of the team [members] trained several times a week and ran many miles.” As a result, most of the members improved on their times from the previous year. This dedication has paid off so far, as the team ranked second in the city at the most recent meet, the Mayor’s Cup.

Nevertheless, the team remains hungry, especially since the team’s goals and expectations for this year are higher than last year’s. Jesse commented that the team wants to “achieve what is called the Triple Crown, which is winning first in Queens Borough Champs for cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track seasons.” They also want to qualify for state championships for cross country and compete in the Penn Relays again.

Track is indeed a team sport. Hence, for the team to accomplish its lofty aspirations all members of the team must continuously improve. Subsequently, the team is placing heavy importance on the progress of the underclassmen. “As co-captain, I will try my best to be a role model for all the members of the team,” said senior Matthew Neil. “I’ll make sure that we practice hard so that we can prepare ourselves for the big competitions… We want to make sure that our team is always ready.”

With the work the team puts in every day, they expect to achieve all of their goals. While winning is always of utmost priority to the team, they also hope to use the sport to strengthen their friendships. To the team, track is bigger than one person; it is about becoming part of not only a tenacious community of athletes, but a family.

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