GDS Track and Field at the DCSAA Championships, Spring 2021

Coach Anthony Belber
The sport of track and field demands consistent practice and preparation. With the COVID restrictions of the past 15 months, those were two of the hardest things to achieve; and yet the GDS student-athletes who chose to train on their own when in-person practices were restricted and then did everything in their power to maintain a sense of team unity and purpose, showed that the running program's strength has not been daunted by the effects of the pandemic. The team and coaches are very proud of what they accomplished in this truncated season and are optimistic about the future, especially after seeing the 9th and 10th graders carrying the team through the final day of the State Championships! This deep and committed senior class—which missed their junior year spring season and their senior indoor season and then barely had a senior spring competitive season—has done the next generation a favor by passing on the culture, expectations, and attitude that breeds champions. Despite all the challenges faced over the past 15 months, this team "Ran Good!"
Highlights from the DCSAA Championships

Our men's team finished 4th in the city despite the fact that the majority of competitors were 9th and 10th graders. Most juniors and seniors were unavailable for the majority of the meet as it conflicted with prom.
 
Our women's team finished 8th and managed all that without a single junior or senior participating on the final day of the meet due to prom. In fact, only 10 of the 22 women on the spring team were involved in the meet.
 
Jalen Friday ’21 set a new school record in the boys 100 meter dash. His time of 11.22 seconds edges out the old record of 11.23 by fellow senior Matthew Mintzer ’21 who was unable to defend his title due to injury, but whose younger brother Nathaniel ’24 posted an impressive 11.26 in the preliminaries.
 
Ruby Kaplan ’21 closed out a career full of highlight reel races with three events showing her incredible range, all on the first day of the meet. She started off anchoring the 4x800 meter relay squad to a 3rd place finish. Later, after a 2 hour rain delay, she finished 3rd as an individual in the 3200 meter run, and came back within ten minutes to anchor the 4x200 meter relay team to a surprise 7th place finish!
 
The highest overall finish for GDS in the meet was spring MVP Charlie Baar's second place finish in the 3200 meters on the steamy first day of the boys' competition.
 
GDS scored at least a top 7 finish in every relay race they entered, earning the bulk of their points in these depth-requiring events.
 
For the men, the Hoppers' top relay teams all finished in third place. They were the all 9th grade 4x100 squad (Nico Greene ’24, Nathaniel Romine ’24, Zach Kovner ’24, and Nathaniel Mintzer ’24), the 4x200 grouping (Nathaniel Mintzer ’24, Chandler Marshall ’24, Zach Kovner ’24 and Jalen Friday ’21) and the distance runners who formed the 4x800 (Benji Fleurence ’21, Thomas Ogada ’24, Luke Cohen ’23, and Daniel Otto-Manzano ’22).
 
The women's team nabbed a 3rd place finish as well in the 4x800 (Ellie Kessler ’24, Ella Gillespie ’21, Lucey Holley ’24, and Ruby Kaplan ’21).
 
In track and field alumni news, Ziyah Holman ’20 will compete in the 400 meter race at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Friday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. EST. Let’s go, Hoppers!