The Greyducks Continue to Soar

Coming off a historic cross country season, the Greyducks continue to soar, hoping to prove that there is no limit to how high they’ll fly.

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The Greyducks, Stuyvesant’s girls’ track and field team, start their fifth and final 400 meters of practice. Their heads are pounding, and their backs are drenched with sweat. Continuing the familiar pattern of heavy breaths and rhythmic footsteps, they are brought back to their glorious races. They remember triumphantly dipping across the finish line and eagerly checking their times. That feeling of finishing reminds them of the medals around their necks. They hear the team’s cheers, and the sensation of running turns into the sensation of flying. The memory of victory after a successful year in the cross country season is fuel for the Stuyvesant Greyducks this indoor track season.

After finishing the cross country season with wins at the Manhattan Borough Championships and the PSAL City Championships, along with multiple qualifications for the New York State Federation Championships, the Greyducks continued to aim high at the start of their new season. While they were unable to medal in their season debut at the PSAL Jim McKay Games on December 4, they kept training in their workout groups, determined to regain their winning streak. Their first stint of success came at the Coach Saint Invitational on December 16, when senior Isabella Stenhouse won the team’s first medal, a bronze in the one mile, with a time of 5:19.87. This medal instilled hope in the Greyducks, as they finally saw their hard work begin to pay off. From then on, the Greyducks continued their campaign for victory. At the PSAL Holiday Classic on December 27, Stuyvesant brought home an impressive 11 medals, including gold medals from freshman Jiya Patel in the freshman 3000-meter, as well as sophomores Skye McArthur and Honora Muratori and seniors Pimada Phongsuriya and Stenhouse from the 4x800-meter team.

Yet, it won’t be an easy road for the Greyducks to accomplish their goals of winning Manhattan Borough’s and placing top 10 at PSAL City Championships. Stuyvesant’s toughest rival, Hunter College High School, has consistently challenged the Greyducks’ aspirations throughout the years. With strong sprint, distance, and field teams, they have been able to edge out Stuyvesant in the past two Borough Championships. While Hunter has been able to capitalize from the field section, Stuyvesant’s focus has primarily been on track events, often ignoring field events, which previously limited the number of points they could earn. The team has made a significant effort to address this concern by focusing on recruiting members for less common events, such as hurdling, while also working on training new members. With the aid of experienced seniors, these athletes have tested their strength in numerous events in an attempt to find the ones they are best suited for. As a result, multiple athletes in less common events have seen great success during the outdoor season last year and the indoor season this year. “It’s been nice to welcome new athletes to our team. We work to get them used to our routines and workouts,” Coach Carl DiSarno said. The team aims to continue this trend and train more athletes in field events, with hopes that they will win crucial points at Borough’s and City’s this season.

Though two of the team’s most prominent medalists, Phongsuriya and Stenhouse, will be graduating this year, they will pass the torch to the up-and-coming underclassmen who have already demonstrated their potential. During the Frosh/Soph Hispanic Games on January 6, freshman Emma Savonije won bronze in the freshman 1500-meter run with a time of 5:26.47, and the 4x800-meter team of McArthur, Muratori, Patel, and Savonije won silver with a final time of 10:58.74. With the underclassmen consistently placing in their meets, the team is optimistic that they will remain winners for years to come, even with the departure of many notable seniors.

As the Greyducks continue their season, they are staying motivated and training with their goals in mind. This undying motivation stems from their familial dynamic. “Since we’re a tight-knit team, the social aspect of the team is also something that keeps athletes motivated,” senior and co-captain Olivia Zheng said.

Adding on, Phongsuriya touched upon the way the team works together to push through the low parts of the sport. “I think my team and I recognize when it’s time to take a step back if the burnout is terrible. I like to switch up the workout at times by either running with someone new or by running a new route,” she said.

As February 12, the date of the highly anticipated Manhattan Borough Championships, draws closer, the Greyducks continue to soar, hoping to prove that there is no limit to how high they’ll fly.