For the Townsend Harris trackies, the final days of cross country season mark the start of indoor track and field. Soon, the runs at Van Cortlandt and Cunningham Park will be no more and the Lady Hawks will begin competing at the Armory New Balance Track and Field Center in Washington Heights. There, they will not only participate in running events such as relays, sprints, and hurdles, but also in field events such as the pole vault, long jump, and triple jump.
“Indoor season is very special to me because all of the girls are so passionate about the events they do. I see the large amount of determination coming from the girls to improve in their respective events,” said senior Sophia Mahin, who will be a captain this season along with seniors Esther Jou and Stephanie Loo.
Last winter, the girls had an incredibly successful season. At Freshman-Sophomore City Championships, the THHS sophomore team placed third. The girls, under the leadership of former seniors Katie Kang, Klaudia Garncarz, Judith Suzuki, and Maria Diaz Gonzalez, also won the Queens Borough Championships. At that meet, Katie broke the PSAL 1500 meter race walk record with a time of 6:44. She, along with several of her teammates, qualified for City Championships, where THHS placed eighth. This season, the girls expect to build on last year’s accomplishments, which will be a challenge due to the loss of last year’s seniors.
“The seniors from last year definitely contributed a lot to the team’s success. They led our practices with diligence and discipline, and they were the role models for the entire team. They set goals for our team to achieve and hopefully surpass,” said junior Karen Su, who also qualified for City Championships in the race walking event last year.
At the 2012 Queens Borough Championships, the girls triumphed both as individuals and as a team. In the 1500 meter distance run, seniors Linda Wu, Annika Joeng, Stephanie Loo, and junior Stephanie Geier all placed in the top eight. Sophomore Yasmeen Ally and junior Sarah Iqbal placed first and third respectively in the 1000 meter run. The two, along with junior Nina Leeds and former senior Klaudia, made up the quartet that won the 4×800 meter relay. The relay team’s victory led them to qualify for the 2012 City Championships.
“I definitely want to qualify for cities again for the 1000 meter run and the 4×800 meter relay,” said Yasmeen. “They’re both my favorite events so I truly enjoy running them.”
The girls have many different reasons for why the indoor season is so special and important for them.
“I personally just want to improve at every meet, since it is senior year,” Annika said. “I just want to do the best I can, and have the best times out of all the four years I have been doing track.”
While for some, it is about improving their performances, for others, it is about contributing to the team’s achievements.
“Indoor is special to me because it has the one thing I can bring the team in success: pole vaulting,” said sophomore Kellie Zestanakis. “I expect myself to help get the team points and just continue and improve each and every meet.”
The girls have high hopes for this upcoming season, and each girl is looking to beat their personal records. They want to qualify for City Championships again, and maintain their history of success.
Nina said, “I expect us to have a successful season. We have a lot of talented veteran members and a lot of promising newcomers.”
The Lady Hawks expect to succeed just as they did last year this coming indoor season. They plan to, in the words of Karen, “leave it all on the track – the sweat, tears, and blood.”