Girls Track Races to the Finish Line

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By Natalia Wiater ’16

In the interest of full disclosure, Natalia Wiater is on the track team.

Every year the indoor track season ends the same way: three championship meets full of stress, excitement, and adrenaline that are the final test the Lady Hornets must pass.

And they did.

The girls’ track team was in the top three during Brooklyn Champs, second only to Brooklyn Tech, with 90 and 109 points, respectively (Medgar Evers came in third with 80 points). There were many strong performances: the 4x800m team finished first, seven seconds in front of Brooklyn Tech, Jadah Tappin ’16 won first place in the triple jump and third place in the long jump, and Gabrielle Wilks ’16 and Brianna Bennett ’16 were second in shot put and weight throw respectively.

Tappin also won first place during City Champs in the triple jump, which earned her a trip to the state championship meet held at Cornell University in Ithaca.

“Winning triple jump at cities wasn’t a big surprise, but even though I won, I didn’t reach my goal. I was looking forward to PR-ing [making a personal record] at states, but when I got there I felt very ambivalent,” Tappin said. “I knew what I had to do but my nerves got the best of me, and I didn’t improve on my jump.”

Tappin was also nominated by the PSAL for the Sportsmanship Award at states, which she described as the highlight of her trip.

Only a few girls qualified for City Champs, but that doesn’t mean others slacked off.

“I can’t put speed or strength dust on the girls, there is no instant gratification. They have to be willing to do the work,” Mr. Cohen, the head coach, said.

The girls practice four times a week, either at the Park Slope YMCA Armory or in the cafeteria, and always leave practice feeling tired. They prepare for regular meets and championships alike, and their time efforts pay off.

Everyone has a chance to prove themselves, even the freshmen and sophomores, that have a whole meet dedicated to them: Freshman/Sophomore Champs. Both ninth and tenth graders had a successful meet; the freshmen placed third best in the city, and sophomores were fourth.

Many girls broke previous personal records or placed in the top three in their events. Simiana Carter ’18 was second in the 600m run, Shi Lei Wu ’19 placed first in the triple jump, the sophomore 4x800m relay was first and the 4x400m run was second, and the freshman 4×800 was third.

“I put in so much work, and when it payed off during freshman/sophomore champs I was exhilarated. However, there’s always room for improvement.” Maddie Paterna ’19 said, one of the runners on the freshman 4x800m team.

“I feel like I could have done better this indoor season, even though I beat my previous record by five feet and made it to cities,” Melissa Gallo ’18 added.

After all of the indoor championships, the girls are ready to start their Outdoor Track & Field season that will last until the end of May. While the indoor track is 200m, the outdoor track is 400m, and the girls will have to face the open air while running, including rain, wind, and rare cold days.

There are also different events available, including the 100m dash, the 4x100m relay, 400m hurdles, the 2000m steeplechase, as well as the javelin and discus throw.

“I’m excited for discus during outdoor; you can definitely expect more personal records, and not just from me,” Gallo finished.

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