Girls’ JV cross country holds title of Queens Borough Champions for 27th year

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On October 26, the THHS girls’ junior varsity cross country team earned the title of Queens Borough Champions and kept their 27-year title streak alive. 

As a team composed of freshmen runners and returning sophomores, they worked tirelessly to achieve everything that they had accomplished this season. Freshman Erica Lee said, “Practice is a large commitment, and though it’s really tiresome at times, you know that you have your friends by your side. There is no such thing as regretting going to practice.” Freshman Jaiden Del Rosario added, “Being on the team, I feel like there isn’t a lot of pressure put onto us because naturally we already put pressure on ourselves, so it’s more of just doing the best we can do, and just working and improving on ourselves.” With their daily practices, they prepared not only to win but to better themselves and the people around them. 

The junior varsity race at the Borough Championships was a longer distance than what the runners were normally accustomed to, a 5- kilometer race. Many freshmen struggled with keeping a steady pace. Freshman Janaya Sydney said, “A struggle I faced while competing was the urge to stop running and walk. When running, the thought always crosses your mind to walk a lap or two instead of running, but the feeling of pushing through those urges and realizing that you ran ‘x’ amount of miles without stopping is ten times better.” Erica added, “While racing, I felt at some points that I was not moving or running in place. But the girls that I was surrounded by pushed me to run my best.” Through all these struggles, the runners were able to persevere and push through their mental obstacles to win. 

Although cross country runners don’t physically work together, they still collaborate with each other to do their best. Freshman Lana Yepifanova said, “Competing wise, the upperclassmen gave lots of inspirational and motivational speeches beforehand and even if you did bad, afterward they hug you and you have a shoulder to cry on. During the start and end of the running, most of the team is cheering you on so it’s really amazing.” 

Senior captain Jasmine Shum said, “It has been a great experience working with the incoming freshmen. I found it to be a really rewarding experience to guide them and bond with them. I felt extremely proud of the team at borough championships. After seeing them work hard at practices and meets since August, I was confident that they would perform well.”

The dictionary definition of achievement is “a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill,” but this team had done so much more than that. With many new friendships built and long-lasting bonds to come, they came together and worked hard; with their effort, courage, and skill to reach new goals and carry on titles, which are going to continue to live on. Jaiden said, “It feels great knowing that I was able to contribute to our team being able to keep the title of best in Queens. We worked so hard all season, and it definitely paid off.” The legacy of the Townsend Harris Girls’ Track Team has and will endure, as many new Harrisites join and contribute their love, teamwork, and piece of heart into this sport and team. 

Photo courtesy of the girls’ JV cross country team.