Track and field athletes triumph in their events

PHOTO BY LORS PHOTOGRAPHY Ssnior Renzo Pelaez competes at the Varsity Classic at the Armory Track in New York on Feb. 5.

Feb. 13, 2024

By Emily Reed

The track and field athletes continue to break school records and look to hone their skills.

Junior Gianna Scardino, who has been on varsity since her sophomore year, competes in the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter long distance events. Scardino said she enjoys these events because she runs long distances for cross country, and they help her build endurance. 

Scardino said she is looking forward to running more relays with the freshman distance runners. 

“We have a really talented freshman distance program this year, and we can do really great in the 4×1600,” Scardino said. “The team holds a lot of potential to do great in outdoor track and future indoor seasons.”

Scardino said it is challenging to pace herself and maintain the motivation to run long distances.

“Getting myself to run is really hard sometimes, but it really helps clear my head, and I love competing,” Scardino said. 

Senior Sofia Ospina, a first-year varsity member who competes in the shot put, said the throwers need to work on strengthening their technique and consistency. 

“In a glide, throwers should be able to basically toss themselves to the toeboard, all while keeping their body down and using that momentum to erupt and push themselves to throw the shot as hard as they can,” Ospina said. 

She said an especially challenging aspect of the sport is competing against her own teammates. 

“The best throwers make varsity and go to more meets, so you have to push yourself to beat the others around you,” Ospina said. “If you do not throw well, you do not go to the next meet.” 

Senior Samil Basci, who has been on varsity since his sophomore year and competes in the shot put, said he is looking forward to the rest of the season. 

“The team holds a lot of potential to do great in outdoor track and future indoor seasons.”

“So far our team has been pretty successful at its meets, and there are many talented kids who have medaled and won meets,” Basci said.

Seniors Rola Mustafa and Julia Tozduman broke the school record in the high jump relay at the Bergen County Relays at the Armory Track in New York City on Jan. 22. Both Mustafa and Tozduman jumped five feet, which combined to set a new school record of 10 feet. The school’s previous record of 9 feet, 6 inches was set by Class of 2021 graduates Maggie Fodera and Maryann Ijeh in 2020.

Basci said the highlight of the season was the meet at Garfield High School on Jan. 6 because five of LHS’ athletes broke personal records.

“After finding out about the PRs, I was glad since it meant that we all got better since the last time we competed,” Basci said. “Track can be competitive sometimes, but at the end of the day, we do it to get better as a team, and that’s why it’s fun.”

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