Girls track team seniors complete the final stretch 

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world on pause, and led to the cancellation of numerous events and activities. On March 12, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that PSAL activities were to be suspended indefinitely, and on March 15, it was announced schools would also be suspended. With the decision to not reopen schools for the 2019-20 school year, PSAL spring sports are effectively over. These also represent the last seasons for graduating seniors, who are not able to participate in their final year.

The seniors on the girls Track and Field team are Jasmine, Vicki, Nancy, Maggie, Tina, Cathy, Nicole R, Nikki, Julia, Julianna, Emily, and Carine. They have been the team’s role models, and I know that the entire team can always talk to any of them if they want tips due to their experience here on the team. Unfortunately, our last season together was cut short and we weren’t able to spend the last few moments of this year with them, but I know that each and every single one of them are going to move onto college and do great things!

I joined cross country during my sophomore year of high school, doubting whether or not I was going to stay on the team. However, I can’t express how welcomed I felt to the team. I remember when they were juniors last year, they were the ones that made me feel like I belonged to a family. When I came to practice on the first day, all of them greeted me with their bubbly personalities and talked to me about practices and meets; immediately, I felt like I had a reason to commit. Although I was a bit intimidated by how well these athletes performed, they still made me feel comfortable since I wasn’t very good at it. At first, I was a bit worried that the team would be judgemental, but to my surprise, the upperclassmen offered many pro tips and healthy food options and suggestions aboutI needed to do to get better. During my journey to become a better runner, the seniors were always by my side for every step of the way, pushing me to do the best I can, picking me up whenever I was down, and always giving me a reason to never give up. 

During practices and meets,I truly see their leadership and support for us underclassmen. Our seniors always made sure that no one was ever left out and had built a strong connection with every member of the team. During races, they would go around, making sure everyone had their numbers and safety pins, checking for unauthorized jewelry, and making sure everyone was on time and no one was stressed. The seniors motivate us to do our best, even if we think we can’t do it. Before every race, they lead a chant that goes “H, A, DOUBLE R, I, S, HAWKS!” as a reminder that we do this for each other, for our school, and for ourselves. By working hard during practice and pushing that last 100 meters in a race, the seniors have set an example and taught and demonstrated the true meaning of hard work. 

After sweaty workouts in the sun, nice long runs in the fall, cracking jokes during cool downs, nap times in the van, cheering each other’s names from the sidelines, taking pictures with our trophies, picking each other up when someone was down, dance parties and karaoke sessions in the locker room, shaking hands and cheering each other on despite being in the same heat, walking around the school like sore penguins after hard workouts,  it is safe to say that we all have experienced every emotion together with the seniors, and they are the reason that the team is truly a family. 

From the entire team to the seniors: your personalities, leadership, and everything you’ve done for the team has brought us closer together, and we couldn’t thank you guys enough. We are really going to miss you, but we know that you all will do well in college and go on to do amazing things. We want to wish you guys the best of luck, and we know that you all will make us proud, and next season, we are going to make you proud. 

Photo courtesy of Riya Sapkal.