Girls and Boys track teams trump Queens competition

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The Girl’s Varsity Track team dominated Queens once again, adding yet another gold medal to Townsend Harris. The key event for them, as usual, was the 1500 meter race-walk. With eleven girls in the race, Townsend Harris took 1st through 6th place, a clean sweep. Sophia Mahin led the way, finishing first.

In Track and Field, there are 20 events for the boys, and an additional 1500 meter race-walk for the girls. Regardless of how many compete in an event, the top 6 finishers score.  First place scores 10 points, second scores 8, and third scores 6, fourth: 4, fifth: 2, and sixth: 1. The girls team scored 31 of their 108 points just in that event.

Sophia Mahin wasn’t surprised by the success at all, commenting, “I think our success was attributed to all of the hard work that the girls put in. Also, all of the girls are so supportive of each other, and help to encourage each other, which lead to better performances.”

Another key athlete was sophomore Nina Leeds, who finished third in the High Jump, third in the Pentathlon, and fourth with the 4×400 meter relay team. Nina’s teammate on the 4×4 team, senior Maria Gonzalez, was also instrumental. In addition to the relay, she came fourth in both the 800 meter run and the 400 meter intermediate hurdles. She commented, “It was really great to just see our whole team compete so hard and not give up. There was amazing support and comfort all around.”

In the Pole Vault Townsend Harris scored well too. Finishing first and second were senior Klaudia Garncarz and freshman Kellie Zestanakis.

Senior Captain Judith Suzuki double medaled, coming in 5th in the 3000 meter run and 6th in the 1500 meter. Judith said, “I’m proud and thankful that my teammates stuck through all the practices and meets. I can’t thank them enough.” Fellow Senior and Captain Katie Kang triple medaled in the race-walk behind Sophia, in the 2000 meter steeple chase, and the 4×800 relay, and is very proud of her team. “People may call us cults, mobs, but they are all my little sisters and everyone got closer this season through the freezing weather and pouring rain. We may be a big team, but we’re a close knit family. We have a great group of hard working girls on the team this year and they are all so dedicated. We all worked hard to score for our team and the results showed.”

Meanwhile, the boys team ended its season in a third place, bronze medal finish, pulling off a huge upset over larger schools such as Newtown and Bayside.

The team earned many of its points from throwing events. Senior TJ Mulligan and Sophomore Minhaj Rahman scored 2nd and 5th in the Javelin, respectively. TJ Mulligan also won first in the High Jump, and sixth in the 4×400 meter relay. Minhaj followed up his performance by scoring 2nd in the Discus throw, along with Stan Choi who scored 5th, and Ross Cimagala who scored 6th. Minhaj said, “The throwers changed their whole diet and were pushed by me, their throwing captain, everyday to work hard. Even when they had 3 tests the next day or a collateral due the next day they still came to practice. I’m very proud of my teammates.”

Sophomore Evan Mancini provided a major boost to his team with a second place finish in the Pole Vault. He said, “Self-motivated athletes can achieve much more than talented athletes.”

Many of Townsend Harris’s points came in the long and middle distance races. In the 3000 meter steeple chase, Sophomore Yash Sharma finished second, and junior Thomas Sullivan finished fifth.

Yash commented, “Although I’m just a sophomore, I think that this is the strongest mid/distance team we’ve ever had. We have phenomenal runners in events such as the 800, 1600, 3200, and 3000 Steeplechase.

Later, in the 800 meter run, Junior Kyle Su and Sophomore Zach Ooi finished third and fifth, respectively. In the mile, Townsend Harris athletes finished third through sixth, among them junior Christian Castro, and once again Yash Sharma and Kyle Su.

In the final middle distance race of the day, the 4×800 meter relay, Townsend Harris capitalized once again, running with two teams and scoring first and fifth.