Winter Track Started with a Bang


Photo: Twitter

Sophia Dongaris and Ismail Khassa

Hearts racing. Palms sweating. People scattered all over the 200-meter track. The athletes who step onto the line mentally prepare themselves for their race. On your marks, get set, and there goes the gun.

This is all routine for Tenafly’s track and field teams. Tenafly’s women’s team has had great successes in many events throughout the season. With about a month left, the girls are ready for the high-competition championship meets rolling around the corner.

The girls’ team came in a close second at the league championship last month, only forty points behind Tenafly’s rival, NVD. With a strong field team, the girl jumpers and hurdlers dominated on the infield. With seniors Natalie Ha and Sophia Dongaris leading the underclassmen, they have tried to make sure that they are treading in the right direction so that once they graduate, the team will be in good hands.

“In the beginning of the season, I was nervous because it was my last Winter Season doing track and field and I wanted to do well,” Ha said. “ It was a slow start at the first few meets, but when I competed at Leagues, I began to get back into the loop of jumping as I did the previous spring season. After Leagues, my jumps became more consistent, I started to break my personal records, won Bergen County Relays with Sophia Dongaris, and qualified to compete at Eastern States. Overall, I am very happy with how my last winter season was and I am excited for the upcoming Spring Season.”

Some of the girls are ranked top in the county, and even the state. Dongaris is ranked fourth in the state for triple jump, 12th in the state for hurdles, and 15th in the state for long jump, with top rankings in the county. Ha is ranked 5th in the county for the triple jump. Sachi Williams (’21) is ranked third in the county for high jump. Norina Khanzada (’23) is ranked seventh. Julia Smolyak (’21) is ranked 12th in the county for hurdles. As for the runners, we have some speedy girls on the track, with Lexi Mogensen (’21) fourth in the county for the 1,000-meter run and 15th in the 800-meter run.

As for the boys team, it is standing out for its strong jumping and distance teams, with four solid jumpers, Ismail Khassa (’20), Andy Park (’20), Daniel Joung (’21), and Kenny Uchida (’22) helping to lead the team in points. The distance team is made up of very solid milers and two-milers.

This group of boys consistently place in the Long Jump, Triple Jump, and High Jump events. Currently the the boys are fourth in the county in long jump, third in high jump, and seventh in triple jump.The boys’ team also has a strong pole vault squad, led by Elan Krakow (’20).

“I think I had a pretty decent season overall,” Krakow said. “Took my vaulting training more seriously this year and was able to improve my personal record to 12′ 6″ and place in the top five for vaulting in the county.”

The distance team is currently in recovery mode because senior captain Carmel Ohring is coming off of a minor injury. Despite this, the spring season seems to promise better results.