Girls indoor take eighth in City Champs

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On Saturday, February 22, eleven members of the Townsend Harris girls indoor track team competed in the PSAL City Championships at the Armory in Washington Heights. For the juniors and seniors who competed, this meet marked the end of the long indoor season of jumps, sprints, and relay races. After competing in several events against the best track and field athletes from all over the city, the Lady Hawks placed eighth out of 33 teams.

Senior captain Sophia Mahin followed up her first place victory at Queens Championships by placing first in the varsity 1500 meter race walk, completing the race with a time of 7:41. Placing third, junior Karen Su finished with a time of 8:02. Senior Tahsin Akanda and sophomore Wendy Liu also ran in the event, but both were disqualified. Freshman Dulce Cervantes, the only freshman on the THHS team to qualify, was the next to place. She placed ninth out of fourteen runners with a time of 8:36.

Sophia described the race saying, “The race ended up being a lot more different than I had expected. Everyone went out slower than I had expected so I took the opportunity to take the lead myself. Based on what other girls were screaming, I knew a girl from MSIT and another girl from Brooklyn Tech were fairly close behind me and the gap was getting smaller with each lap. During the final 100 meters, I couldn’t help but look back and saw that they were right behind me and had a good chance of passing me. Although I tried to pick it up, the girl from Brooklyn Tech passed me a few meters from the finish line. She ended up getting disqualified though for running the final straightaway so I ended up taking first.”

Senior captain Stephanie Loo competed in the varsity 3000 meter run. She placed fourteenth and finished with a time of 12:18, beating the time she ran in Queens Championships by three seconds.

In the varsity triple jump, senior captain Esther Jou placed eighteenth out of 22, jumping a distance of 29 feet and 8.00 inches. The Lady Hawks were not able to place in the varsity high jump, where both sophomore Toni Alexander and junior Nina Leeds were unable to clear the height. Senior Chloe Chai was unable to clear the height in the varsity pole vault, but her teammate, sophomore Kellie Zestanakis placed third. Kellie came close to qualifying for State Championships by jumping a height of 7 feet, 6 inches.

Sophomore Kellie Zestanakis places third in the varsity pole vault. Photo Credit: Jackson Loo.
Sophomore Kellie Zestanakis places third in the varsity pole vault.
Photo Credit: Jackson Loo.

With these performances, the girls accumulated 22 points, earning them their eighth place victory. While the upperclassmen are already looking forward to outdoor season, which will begin in mid-March, the underclassmen are more focused on doing well at the Freshman-Sophomore City Championships, which will be held at the Armory on March 2.

“Today was a good ending for indoor,” said Karen, “I feel that we all worked to be where we were today, and I’m really proud of my teammates for all of their hard work and dedication. I’m really looking forward to starting outdoor track and field on a great note with my team.”

“I was really happy to have won today. I have had so many great memories in the Armory and am glad that my final indoor city championship ended on a good note,” said Sophia, “Timewise, this indoor season hasn’t been a great one. I think there are many factors that have contributed to this but I’m going to work on improving for outdoor and ending my senior year on a good note!”

Sophomore Yasmin Ally, who will be competing in the final meet of the indoor season, said, “We came in third at frosh-soph cities during cross country, so I expect the same for us as a team if not more. Because it’s the last meet of the season, I know my team will give it their all. As for myself, I hope to PR and place in the 1000 meter run and the 4 X 800 meter relay.”