GDS Men’s Varsity Track and Field won the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships thanks to the depth and unity of the team. Sprinters, distance runners, jumpers, and throwers pushed through a rainy Saturday in May to claim the title by an unassailable 89 points—only one year after missing the top spot by two points. Athletes set new school records in the 100-meter dash (Nathaniel Mintzer ’24 in 11.04 in prelims) and the 4x100-meter relay race (first place by juniors Zach Kovner, Kovan Smith, Nathaniel Romine, and Nathaniel Mintzer in 43.21). They also won the 4x400-meter relay race* as well as nearly sweeping the 110-meter hurdlesˠ, 300-meter hurdles⁺, 400-meter dashˤ, and the triple jump⁰. In each of the distance races, the men had three runners finish in the top seven, including second-place finishes in the 800-meter race (Nate Bazemore ’23) and the mile (Luke Cohen ’23).
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In the week leading up to the championships, senior Christian Freedman said he and hurdler teammates Milo Borek ’23 and Ashok Tate ’23 spent hours on their group chat planning together and motivating each other to dominate in those events. While their closest rival was faster over the ground, they agreed, they thought they could outmatch him in technique over the hurdles.
Plus, Milo explained, seeing the trajectory of the 4x100-meter team’s record-breaking performance, gave “a little bit of confidence, added a little bit more excitement,” to the team’s attitude for the championships.
“Every point truly does matter in a championship meet and that was a huge part of our mentality going into the races,” Luke said. “It's really about who's having the best day and who wants it the most.”
That mental preparation set the Mighty Hoppers up to put everything they had into their races and momentum built quickly as athlete after athlete put up a personal- or season-best record (i.e., PR or SB). “Seeing everyone PR before you really made you feel like you could do it, too.”
The Women’s Varsity team finished an impressive sixth place in the Independent School League (ISL) Championships considering that the team didn’t score in throwing events. The core group of distance runners, who won the ISL Cross Country banner in the fall, performed well in the hurdling events and the 3200-meter race—where three runners scored points. The young sprinters performed well against a dozen of the top sprinters in the country, who happen to be in the same conference as GDS.
At the time of publishing, the DC State Championships were underway. Several athletes have also qualified to compete in the New Balance Nationals in June. Go, Hoppers!
*Senior Roshan Natarajan with juniors Zach Kovner, Kovan Smith, and Abe Badji in 3:30.32.
ˠSeniors Christian Freedman, Milo Borek, and Ashok Tate finished first, third, and fourth.
⁺Seniors Christian Freedman, Milo Borek, and Ashok Tate finished first, second, and fifth.
ˤJuniors Kovan, Abe, and Zach finished second, third, and fourth.
ꟸChristian, Samson Lowenstein ’25, and Abe finished first, second, and fourth.