Article by Angelo Tsassis, ’22:
The COVID-19 Pandemic that is currently facing the world has had many effects on the way we live. One of the main effects is not being able to do some of the things that make us happy. Luckily, for many of the students-athletes at Kellenberg Memorial, one of these activities has returned.
This activity is boys and girls varsity track. With masks being worn and social distancing rules being followed, the sport is certainly not exactly the same as it used to be. However, for the talented runners at Kellenberg, getting to run track in 2021 is a major victory in any capacity.
Practices for the boys and girls track teams began in December, and the athletes have been working tirelessly, as is the case with the girls team, often on the frozen shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Long Beach.
Their first meet was held on January 16th, 2021 at Chaminade High School. For the boys, it was the NSCHSAA Boys Winter Developmental Meet, and for the girls, they competed in the CHSAA East Polar Bear Meet.
A major change to this race was that it was held outdoors, as opposed to an indoor track. Competition was fierce, but the Firebirds put forth their best effort and produced stellar results, especially the girls.
For the girls, they performed extremely well at the event, winning 4 different events. Senior Ashley Minns was victorious in the 3000 meter run, winning by a whopping 22 seconds, while fellow seniors Grace Massillon and Margaret McLoughlin took home the hardware for the 300 and 600 meter dashes, respectively.
Junior Victoria Millisys also crushed the competition to take home 1st place in the Shot Put event. It was overall a very successful first meet of the year for the girls varsity track squad.
However, not to be outdone by the girls, the boys team did quite well at Chaminade as well. The boys had 3 runners finish in the top 5 of their event. Juniors Norbert Okoye and Jeremy Martinez both placed 5th in their events, the 300 meter dash and the 600 meter run, and senior Alex Scagnelli nearly won his race, coming in second place in the 600 meter.
In their first meet since before the pandemic, the Kellenberg track team represented the school well. Asked about how it felt to be out there running again, junior Jeremy Martinez said, “It felt great to watch my teammates and run in a track race again. It was a little weird, as it was held outside this time of year, but great nevertheless.”
For these runners, it’s about more than just racing. They miss being with their teammates, and simply just competing. The meet was a strong start to 2021 for the Kellenberg track team.