Boys Track Sprints Toward Championship Trials

Joseph Antoine ’20 races in a relay at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex  Photo Credit: Dimitri Gamkrelidze

Joseph Antoine ’20 races in a relay at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex Photo Credit: Dimitri Gamkrelidze

By RONITH MUDHUGANTI

The Boys Track team is sprinting into action in preparation for the Brooklyn Championships, which start February 10. The Ocean Breeze invitational race on January 26 helped the team rev their engines to bring Midwood glory.  

The armory where the invitational was held is a massive indoor stadium where hundreds of athletes competed in runs, dashes, and relays. 

Kumar Wise ’21 placed #15 with a lap time of 2:09.24 out of 66 runners in the 800 Meter Run Sophomore Red. 

In the 800 Meter Run Varsity Blue, Midwood’s Angel Cortes ’20 ranked #32 with a 2:16.84 lap time, and Henry Tang ’20 ranked #50 with a 2:19.23 lap time out of 102 runners. 

“I felt tired after the long race,” said Tang. “I was satisfied that I finished, but hopefully I’ll get a faster time next race.”

Cortes, who has been running for three years, said, “It’s painful since it’s like a sprint, but you’re holding it for four laps.”

With a lot of new and returning talent, the team is excited about their chances.

Coach Marc Cohen said, “This year we got Ermiyas Harper ’19 and Joseph Antoine ’20, who does the sprints. Ermiyas looks like a Division I athlete, one of the best in the city, beats states every year. Right now, he is one of the best distance runners in New York City.” 

Practice is grueling for these hard-working athletes. They can practice for hours after school. It becomes difficult during the colder months, but they still manage to do their activities. Some students even push themselves to run longer or faster laps, testing their limits.

The teams trains six to seven days a week.

“We have our speed days and distance days,” said Mr. Cohen. “After our speed days, we do about half an hour to 45 minutes of weight training. It’s a lot of training, but that’s what it takes to be a good athlete.”

“Sometimes we have workouts at the armory or at the Midwood track, where we run intervals,” said William Smith ’19. “They could be fast, like 200 meters, up to even a mile sometimes. We do it over and over again, then after that we cool down.”

Cortes said, “On recovery days we do a long run. Sometimes, I go a bit hard to get the mileage in.”

In the recent history of Midwood track, the boys have won three city championships: Indoor 2008, Outdoor 2010, and Cross Country 2013. In addition, they won the Brooklyn Championship last year and the Mayor’s Cup during the 2016-17 season.

Track practice and games vary by season. Cross Country starts in late August and ends in November, Indoor starts in December and ends in March, and Outdoor starts in late March and ends in early June. 

The team has come a long way from where they began.

“We’ve had guys who, when they started to run, couldn’t run for more than ten minutes,” said Mr. Cohen. “After three to four years of training, we’ve now got some guys on this team who are breaking five minutes in a mile, so that’s pretty good stuff right there.”

“They’re young, they’re upcoming, they’re learning every single practice, every single race,” said Mr. Cohen. “They’re developing; our main goal is the championships, so every day we’re just looking for some progress.”

SportsCasey Levinson