Running in a Pack Will Be Key for Greyducks in Borough Championships

After a promising start at the Mayor’s Cup, the Greyducks are looking to change their tactics on the track to compete for the borough title.

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It was a brisk Saturday morning in Van Cortlandt park on October 13. Members of the Stuyvesant boys’ cross country team were excited about running in the cold weather. Without having to deal with the heat and the extra sweat, they could finish the race in less time. This turned out to be exactly what happened for many of the Greyducks. Senior co-captain Caleb Hoo ran a time of 14:58.3 at the Manhattan Invitational’s 4k race, beating his time from the Mayor’s Cup on September 29 by 33 seconds. Even without the cold weather, the Greyducks look poised to win the Borough Championships on October 27.

At Manhattan Invitational, the Greyducks performed to coach Carl DiSarno’s liking. “I was very pleased with how the team did at Manhattan [Invitational],” he said. In the varsity 4000-meter race, senior and co-captain Justin Zhang led the Greyducks, finishing in 88th with a time of 14:45.6. He was followed by Hoo (101st), junior Alex Li (105th), junior Jackson Zou (136th), and junior Devin Lin (140th). Junior Jacob Olin placed 158th and Andrew Smsaryan 162nd.

Even though the places do not seem too high, there is much to be said about how the Greyducks ran at the meet. “There were many personal bests set,” Hoo said when asked about the relevance of these numbers. Zhang added that things “are very promising for the Borough [Championships]” for the Greyducks, who are looking to further improve their times.

The Borough Championships are the next challenge for the Greyducks as they work toward the City Championships. The team expect to qualify for the City Championships. “Unlike last year, I think we actually might be the slight favorites, but it’s really anyone’s race. HSMSE and Hunter will give us a good challenge and will be waiting to pounce if we slip up,” DiSarno said.

Both the captains and coaches agree that there is one thing the Greyducks need to work on in order to reach their potential in future races like the Borough Championships. “We need improvement on the gaps between our varsity members and have more of a pack,” Zhang said.

Running in a pack is beneficial because it allows team members to motivate each other and block other runners. In the Manhattan Invitational, the 1-5 split (the difference of the 1st and 5th finishing times on a team) was one minute and 54 seconds. Stuyvesant improved in pack running at the Section 1 Coaches Invitational on October 20, with a 1-5 split of one minute and 23 seconds.

Coach DiSarno hopes the team can do even better at the Borough Championships. “Our strategy will be to key off of certain guys on those two teams [Hunter and HSMSE] and to have our 3-7 guys run in a big pack.” If the Greyducks can execute their game plan to the t, then the Borough Championship is well within reach.