Six Flags, more flags, more runs

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Racers get ready at the starting line. Photo taken <br /><figcaption id=Photo courtesy of Sophia Mah

On Saturday, the Lady Hawks Cross Country team attended the Six Flags Wild Safari Cross Country Invitational.

The freshman team began the afternoon by placing eighth in the 3200 meter event.

In the JV 5k race, senior captain Tahsin Akanda led the team across the finish line. She and juniors Hannah Jang, Natalie Gomez, Eleni Sardina, and Sarah Iqbal all completed the course in under twenty-six minutes. The team placed seventh overall.

The entire varsity team finished their 5k event in under twenty-five minutes, placing twelfth overall. Sophomore Joanna Huo set a personal time record, running the course in just twenty-four minutes.

Like every other course the girls have had to run on, the course at Great Adventure presented its own challenges.

“The terrain is flat with only two major hills, so it’s a refresher compared to the monsters that are Van Cortlandt and Sunken Meadow,” Tahsin said. Sophmore Joanna did not feel the same way saying, “The course was harder than others in my opinion because although this course was pretty flat and easy to run on in the case of elevation, there was sand everywhere”.

Sophomore Hannah Yoo agreed with Joanna saying that she had “a newfound hate for sand.”

The team felt as if everyone had performed well, but there were things that they could have definitely improved on. It didn’t help that many members of the team were feeling sick.

“We walked to the starting line with stuffy noses and sore throats,” said Sarah. “A lot of people are injured or ill so I just think we need to focus on recovery, we’ve got some pretty strong runners, especially some of the upperclassmen.”

“Last week I personally had a less effective week of practice and so it resulted in a very average performance in yesterday’s race. Plus, I and a lot of other people were feeling sick but overall I think everyone performed well,” Eleni said.

“This was my first meet of the season and I have to say I was a bit shell-shocked from not having run with the team for a while,” said Tahsin. “I know I still have my endurance, but I can definitely work on drawing away from the pack earlier on in the race. This meet actually isn’t my fastest one of the season, but it helps me identify issues with form. This year, I need to train to stay on my toes going uphill-especially with championship season and indoor coming up soon.”

“I could have pushed myself to run faster towards the end of the race but I still did fairly well. I believe I’m on the right track for the season,” junior Gaby Kluzinski said.

Sarah added, “Before the meet we’re kind of just trying to get each other to calm down, telling whoever’s worked up to take it easy. And at the end everyone tells everyone that they did a great job, because it is an accomplishment, you finished and gave it your all. And that’s really the point of cross country.  It’s not about the medals (though they are nice); it’s more of doing your best and putting in all your effort even after your body wants to quit.”

The girls will attend the second Grand Prix meet at Cunningham Park on Wednesday, October 2.

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