Harris Hawks right on track

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Girls cross country team begins their race at Villa Bears. Photo taken <br /><figcaption id=Photo by Yash Sharma

On Saturday, September 14, the Lady Hawks opened their season at Van Cortlandt Park in the Villa Bears Cross Country Invitational.

The freshmen were the first to run. A total of one hundred thirty-seven girls from all over the city ran the 1.5 mile course.

“Although I was excited at the prospect of finally running my first official meet, I was getting more and more nervous,” said freshman Noreen Mohsin, who ran the course in thirteen minutes.

The junior varsity team finished eighth in their 2.5 mile run with all members completing the course in under twenty-five minutes. The varsity team, who ran a course of the same distance, all finished in twenty minutes or less. Senior captain Stephanie Loo led the team across the finish line, setting a new personal record.

“It’s scary but awesome being the first one from the team to finish, but knowing that I’m leading the girls makes me run faster,” said Stephanie. “Since it was only the first meet of the season, none of us is going to settle for the times we ran today, but we’re all going to keep working harder in practice.”

After the first meet, the girls and Coach Timothy Connor are hopeful and believe the team is strong. Nonetheless, they say there is room for improvement.

“We need to improve on foot speed,” Connor said. “The team average time is a minute off of what we need it to be. I don’t know if we can make up that time.”

“The team’s strong points are definitely our stamina and endurance.  We’re mentally tough and able to keep running even when it gets hard.  It’s really admirable how a lot of the girls are able to push past the pain and injuries they have,” Stephanie said. “I think one thing that we need to work on is running as a pack.  Although cross country is an individual sport, it’s also a team effort and we’re going to have to work hard at trying to stay together while we run.”

“We help motivate each other when things get tough,” said senior captain Maria Mahin, who could not run due to an injury. “I’m confident that as a team, we’ll be successful this season.”

Both under and upperclassmen are looking forward to achieving their goals this season. The Villa Bears meet is only the beginning of what they think will be a very rewarding year of track.