Greyducks Look to Soar in Upcoming Season

Stuyvesant’s girls’ indoor track team, the Greyducks, are already powering full steam ahead for the start of their upcoming winter season.

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Stuyvesant’s girls’ varsity indoor track team, the Greyducks, are already powering full steam ahead for the start of their upcoming winter season. New athletes and veterans alike are anticipating the frosty months, ringing in another year of one of the most decorated sports at Stuyvesant. As they are retaining many athletes who ran for the cross country team in the fall, the Greyducks are eager to put their experience to the test. The girls have historically dominated the rest of Manhattan in a variety of events, albeit a tough season last year. Instead of focusing only on the Borough Championships, they are now setting their sights on the Mayor’s Cup, City’s, and State’s.

Last year for the Greyducks was one with many highs but also some lows. Even though the team performed decently, they didn’t live up to the reputation the Greyducks have held over their division for the past few years. The only meet they placed at was the Manhattan Borough Championships, which they have consistently won in the past. The team failed to place at the Mayor’s Cup and didn’t qualify for the State Championships either. A reason why the team didn’t do as well wasn’t due to the Greyducks’ lack of preparation, but actually due to an unexpected growth in opponent schools. “Competition like Cardozo and Millennium High Schools got exponentially better, and we weren’t able to improve as much,” junior Ester Suleymanov said. However, there were still some small victories, as the Greyducks performed well for their borough, especially on the track, and two people did qualify for the State races individually. “Even though we placed sixth, one of our newest members, [freshman] Alicia Yu, is rising through varsity and will definitely be someone to look out for. Sophomore Jessica Kwok improved by a minute and a half from last year’s cross country season,” said Suleymanov, exuding positivity. Though last years season wasn’t as exciting in terms of victories, every athlete on the team is expected to learn from all of their experiences.

The team’s roster has changed a lot from last season when they said a tearful goodbye to seniors. However, new underclassmen came in to join the team. “Our team has changed a lot in that many of the new members last year have really become much more confident in their skills and are going to be coming into the season very strong. Our newest members are very exciting, and it’s always amazing being able to watch new runners experience the ups and downs of track. Many runners are going to be testing out their distances to find their events, but coming off of cross country, many are ready,” said junior Liza Reizis, explaining the changes. With most of the runners on the indoor track team also part of the cross country team, the Greyducks are given less than a week between the two seasons, so efficient practices and preparation are key.

The athletes know what is required of them to perform at the best of their abilities and also know that there is potential to improve and expand beyond their limits. The Greyducks are known for their rigorous practice schedules, which are vital to their successes throughout the season. They are looking forward to daily practices specialized for each member based on their respective event. Long distance runners, sprinters, and field athletes will have practices specifically geared toward their needs. Additionally, the team is split into three groups based on their times to make sure everyone is properly integrated into the system: developmental, junior varsity, and varsity. Though the girls have began their preparation, the weeks before the start of the season are also a time for experimentation. “Our coach wants people, especially new members of the team, to try out different events,” junior Jing Su said. This approach will help the newbies learn their strengths and eventually close the gap between the faster and slower runners of the team. Many of the newest members of the team are ready to take off their training wheels from the fall.

The Greyducks are excited for a bounce-back year. Many of them are grateful that indoor season is finally here, with snow already falling in autumn! One goal the team has is to not only improve the runners with the best times, but also develop newer runners into fully trained athletes. “For our team, I really hope we see our team consistently getting better and really closing any gaps between our fastest runners and our developmental girls,” Reizis said. Each athlete has their personal goals in mind as well. “We’re really proud of our borough championship streak, so we’re going to do our best to uphold the tradition. For me personally, I’m excited to set some new PRs in the 3000-meter and 1500-meter runs and battle some fierce competition within our own team and our rivals,” she said.

As much as track and field is a team sport, it is also a very individual sport, with girls even competing against their own teammates. This individualism can provide motivation to do even better, which will overall help the team place at more meets. Their drive, along with the enthusiasm and love they have for the sport, will help the Greyducks come back stronger than before. “Even though we weren’t able to place at cities last year, we leave the season with big hearts, goals, grit, and ambition to perform even better for our upcoming season,” Su said.