On January 20, the girls indoor track team traveled to the Armory in Washington Heights to participate in the Martin Luther King Relays, where they finished in 23rd place.
The morning began with the varsity 4 X 200 meter relay, with only one team finishing in the top half of the competitors. In the varsity 4 X 800 meter relay, a team comprised of sophomores Yasmeen Ally and Joanna Huo and juniors Sarah Iqbal and Nina Leeds placed ninth out of 44 teams. The second team, made of all juniors, finished in 19th. Senior captain Stephanie Loo led the final team of underclassmen to a 22nd place finish. The final team finished in 27th.
Next came the field events. Sophomore Rachel Kim placed fifth in the high jump. Sophomore pole vaulter Kellie Zestanakis jumped a height of seven feet, earning her third place in the varsity event. In the varsity long jump, sophomore Faheema Syahbal set a personal record of twelve feet, five inches. Senior captain Esther Jou placed 22nd out of 50, jumping a distance of twelve feet. She also participated in the varsity triple jump, where she placed eighth with a distance of 30 feet. Yun Ping set a personal record of 26 feet, 4 inches in that same event. According to Yun Ping, “Even though I did improve, it was without practice. I think with practice, I would be able to improve much more.”
In the varsity 600 meter run, junior Nina Leeds led the Hawks across the finish line, placing 21st out of 210 with a time of 1:48. Yasmeen followed, placing 33rd and setting a personal record. Sarah and Joanna placed 39th and 48th, respectively. Their freshman counterparts, Erela and Brianna, competed against 84 runners. Erela finished 13th with a time of 1:59 and Brianna placed 21st, with a new personal record.
The Lady Hawks’ last event was the 1500 meter run. In the freshman event, Noreen Mohsin placed thirteenth out of 58 with a time of 6:02. For varsity, Elaine was the first Harrisite to finish, placing 35th out of 126 with a time of 5:48. Stephanie finished shortly after with a time of 5:58, which earned her 45th place.
“The 1500 was tough for me,” said Stephanie, “I went out too fast in the beginning and just got progressively slower and more tired as the race went on. I found it hard to move my arms and everything just burned while I was running. It wasn’t a good race.”
Despite having some strong runners, the majority of the team was not pleased with their performance at the meet. “I don’t think our team did well as a whole,” said Esther. “Our team definitely needs to work on our endurance and stamina.”
Stephanie agreed with her fellow captain, adding that, “There were very few PRs [personal records], if any, and no one qualified for cities. Some girls, like myself, have a tendency to start out way too fast and then don’t have the energy to finish strong.”
Despite this, both captains remained positive and have high expectations for the next meet, Queens Championships, which is less than a month away.
“I’m hoping that all of us will do better then,” Stephanie said. “If everyone works hard and feels confident going in, we’ll see great results.” Esther added, “I expect nothing but tough practices from Mr. Connor these next few weeks so I expect every girl on the team to PR and definitely some more individuals to qualify [for City Championships]. I think that our team definitely has a chance of placing in the top three,” added Esther.