Girls freshman and sophomore cross country teams finish strong in Queens Championships

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The underclassmen of the girls cross country team are really making their way over. Improving on last year’s performance, the freshmen triumphed with a first-place victory, while the sophomores rejoiced over their runner-up trophy.

Due to a fallen tree, the traditional Cunningham course had to be altered.  Instead of the usual lap (two laps for sophomores) in the hills, the girls ran extra loops around the flat part of the course to account for the lost distance.

The freshmen, led by Juliet Vasquez, ousted Young Women’s Leadership School by a narrow margin of two points for the championship. Juliet won bronze in the 1.5 mile race, running a time of 10:28.  She said, “Even though 2nd place is still great, we would have been heartbroken if we lost by only two points. We were absolutely ecstatic [about winning first].”

Isabel Laus placed eighth in the race with a time of 11:15 with Fiona Au finishing close behind in ninth at 11:38.  Both Isabel and Fiona beat their previous bests in the course by over a minute. Oluwafisay Adeoye and Sybil Wang rounded out the scoring members of the freshmen team, coming in 18th and 24th place respectively.

Like Juliet, sophomore Neisa Yin scored the first point in her race, which in cross country terms, goes to the top finisher among qualified teams in a race. Neisa took fourth in the 2.5 mile run with a personal record of 18 minutes and 3 seconds. She reflected on her performance, saying, “I was consistent with my pacing. I know I’m not a phenomenal sprinter, so on the last lap I had to pick up the pace and ended up getting fourth.”

Isabel Yagerman finished in 12th place, achieving a new personal best of 19:04, and Lisa Sakai ran a time of 19:20, good for 14th place and a medal. Tamara Takalov and Leslie Huang finished back to back in 18th and 19th, both with PRs.

Continuing the team’s coveted legacy, the freshmen and sophomores did not disappoint at the borough championships, taking home two team trophies, many medals, and personal records.  They adapted to a different course with flying colors.

Attesting to the team’s accomplishment, Neisa said, “People say running is an individual sport, but everybody on the team has the same goal in mind. We always want to push ourselves, whether it’s in time or distance, and our efforts are all assessed in the end.”

The girls will use their success as momentum for the few remaining meets in the cross country season, which include the city championships.