The 4 x 800 meter relay team of Ella Gillespie ’21, Ruby Kaplan ’21, Annie Rosenman ’21, and Ziyah Holman ’20 ran away with the gold medal and two new records, blazing past a GDS school record and a DCSAA State Championship Meet record in 9:49—26 seconds faster than the previous record!
Ella Gillespie ’21 battled back from an injury absence to lead off the relay. “I am especially proud of what our team did this year. Dealing with illnesses and injuries made it a little more difficult to meet the time we had hoped for. It’s really nice to be able to be part of such a supportive and fun team.”
EXTENDING THE LEAD
Ruby Kaplan ’21 took over the baton, running the second leg of the relay. “The 4x800 was my first race of the day. I was a little nervous it would make me tired during my other races that day, but I decided to just think about each race one at a time. Also, the race was super exciting because we were trying to qualify for Penn Relays. We all did exactly what we needed to do. Hitting the target time doesn’t guarantee us a spot at Penn, but we can now be considered among other top times.”
LEAVING IT ALL ON THE TRACK
Annie Rosenman ’21 ran the third leg, passing teams for a second time as the GDS team stretched out to a full lap lead. Recovering from an illness just days before the event, Annie relied upon a season’s worth of hill workouts, tempos, pickups, and track sessions and focused instead on “feeling fresh for the relay.” “We came into the meet with the mentality that we were going to leave it all on the track for all our races. I just focused on getting the baton to Ziyah as fast as I could. Delivering this [record-setting] time and big win at the first running event of the day really kicked off a great day for the team.” For Annie, one of the highlights of the team’s success was the outpouring of enthusiastic congratulations from the community. “Knowing that the school is proud of us is the most rewarding part of the experience.”
BRINGING IT HOME FOR THE TEAM
Ziyah Holman ’20 has had plenty of success already in the 200, 300, 400, and 500 meter sprint distances, and she has demonstrated her commitment to team events as well. Ziyah stepped up to run the anchor leg for the 800 meter race, a distance—not sprint—event. “The 800 distance is new for me, but I enjoyed experiencing something new—yet not without its uncomfortable moments. Still, my teammates pushed me to do my best with unconditional support.” Running a full lap ahead, Ziyah delivered another of her well-known fast finishes, then staggered into the waiting arms of her teammates. “The 4 x 800 set the standard for the rest of the meet. It showed us how strong we were as Hoppers and how we should not be underestimated in our future races.”
While the winter track season is wrapping up, we have not seen the last of these runners for the year. Spring track and field is just around the corner. And from what they’ve demonstrated so far, it’s unlikely anyone will dare underestimate these Hoppers.
Staff writer Danny Stock tells the stories of teaching, learning, competing, creating, and performing at Georgetown Day School. He is a former GDS second grade teacher and current parent.