Expectations High for the Greyducks This Winter
Previewing the boys’ indoor track team’s upcoming season as well as pinpointing the struggles they have had to adapt to since last season.
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The Greyducks, Stuyvesant’s boys’ indoor track team, are looking to continue their recent success, hoping to repeat last winter’s victory at the borough championships. The Greyducks will face the challenge of replacing a strong senior class that heavily contributed to their success. “We lost seniors John Choi and Anthony Hom, two crucial members of our 4x100-meter relay school-record breaking team. Hom was also a very good jumper who made it to the city championship in the triple and long jumps,” senior and co-captain Joseph Lee said.
In fact, seven Greyducks qualified for the city championships last year after a convincing victory in the borough championships against opponents like The High School for Math, Science & Engineering and Hunter College High School. Two senior sprinters who graduated, Eric Chen (‘18) and Alex Shevchenko (‘18), had crucial first-place showings in the 55-meter dash, significantly contributing to the Greducks’ borough championship victory. Furthermore, last year’s team gave a lot of credit to their new coaches, gym teacher Mankit Wong and Carl Disarno, who were able to adequately fill the gap left by long-time coach Jeffrey Teta when he left the team two years ago.
Nonetheless, with a strong class of seniors this year, as well as underclassmen talent, the Greyducks are poised for yet another successful season. Last season, seniors and co-captains Jeffrey Wu and Richard Peng placed second borough-wide in the long jump and hurdles, respectively. Junior Harper Andrews will look to repeat his first place finish in triple jump from last year, and other juniors and underclassmen have a solid chance of top finishes this year as well. Junior Baird Johnson has had repeated success in long-distance events over the past two years, and his success in cross country this fall could be an indicator of another successful year as he looks to place first in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter run events. “We have a lot of potential in the underclassmen and are looking forward to a better season than last year,” Peng said.
The biggest unanswered question for this year’s team is coaching. Last year’s coach, Mankit Wong, has stepped down from the head coaching spot to focus on other commitments. The Greyducks will be led by new head coach Daryl Warfield, who has been absent from many of the team practices due to personal health issues. Coach Wong has returned as assistant coach this year, looking to help out and coming to practices and leading workouts whenever he can. Still, Wong has not been able to come to all of the team’s practices. As a result, many of the responsibilities of the coaches have fallen to the captains, who have stepped up effectively in leading the team. In preseason workouts, the captains have worked effectively to bridge the gap between the coaching staff and the rest of the team. “It’s mostly been on the captains and the rest of the team to really work together without a coach,” Lee said. The captains can regularly be seen leading team workouts on the fifth floor, hoping to prepare the team for another first place finish in the borough championships.