Track team sweeps Mayor’s Cup

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The boys and girls outdoor track teams participated in the NYC Mayor’s Cup Championship meet, claiming several top-10 finishes in their respective events.

The renowned annual meet took place in Randall’s Island at Icahn Stadium on April 8 and 9. The competitors ranged from public, private, and charter schools from all over New York City.

Weather conditions were not optimal for the team, but the boys made the best out of the situation. Senior and co-captain Abdoulaye Diallo commented, “Conditions did not favor any sort of running. As a result, neither the sprinters nor the distance runners did particularly well.” Abdoulaye himself finished in first place in the 400 meter dash with an impressive time of 51.38 seconds.

The Townsend Harris boys placed fifth in both the 4×400 meter sophomore relay and the 4×100 meter varsity relay, with times of four minutes four seconds and 45.1 seconds, respectively.

Senior Owen Larosiliere described the track’s team perseverance during the competition. He stated, “We fought through [the weather conditions] and gave it our all, because we weren’t going to let those conditions hold us back.” Owen went on to say that he wasn’t content with his performance, but he did all he could, which was most important to him.

Furthermore, boys Coach George Rio added, “The weather was absolutely terrible; it was cold and windy, which led to some poor times and distances. But we competed and we’re proud of the kids; they were out there that day and tried their very best.”

Co-captain and senior Matthew Sullivan also stated that the team performed relatively well in “extremely adverse conditions, mainly high wind, rain and very low temperatures.” Regarding expectations for the future, Matthew, who has faith in the boys, expects “more success from the team in the upcoming meets because the weather is supposed to get better.” Matthew placed seventh in the 3000 meter steeplechase, trailing junior Agastya Vaidya, who finished sixth, by a mere 2.5 seconds.

As for the girls’ performances, only one relay group participated in the 4×400 meter relay at the Mayor’s Cup because of weather. Senior and captain Yasmeen Ally stated, “Due to weather conditions, we were unable to put together another relay. However, the freshmen were extremely tough and performed well, placing ninth out of 20 teams (with a time of 4:59.27).”

In field events, freshman Patricyja Lis cleared a height of six feet six inches on the pole vault, placing in tenth. Senior Kellie Zestanakis placed first in the pole vault, clearing a height of eight feet, and also placed third in the javelin throw. Junior Noreen Mohsin placed 11th in the 3000 meter run with a strong time of 11 minutes 28 seconds. Regarding her performance, Noreen said that she endeavored to run “with a really positive mentality” and tried to take away the pressure and put “her head in the race.” Although she did not beat her best time, Noreen was content with her performance as she overcame several obstacles, such as pain and the weather, to finish strong.

With the outdoor track season still far from over, the boys and girls look to focus on future meets and competitions and preparing for them as best as possible. Noreen remarked, “I think we can definitely improve as a team if we put in the hard work and have a better ‘in the moment’ race mentality, where we focus on the race and nothing else.”

Furthermore, Abdoulaye stated, “We’ve been training hard and being able to run times very close to our personal bests in unfavorable weather conditions just shows how much we are improving.”