Salesian at the Races

By Gabriel Woods ’22

Among the many great things Salesian has to offer, there is a particular sport called “Cross-Country.” Some people think Cross-Country is easy. A few, even, say it’s boring–they’ve never seen Van Cortlandt Park on a Saturday morning in the Fall. And then there are those unfortunate few who don’t even know what “Cross-Country” is.

Cross Country is long distance endurance racing that takes place across fields, country-sides, and any other terrain. In the tri-state area, the center of Cross Country racing is at the world famous Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Races, typically measured in meters, can be anywhere from 2500m (1.5 miles) to 10,000m (6.2 miles), and are raced in any weather, rain or snow. Cross Country isn’t really about speed, at all. Cross Country is about endurance, being able to push through when your tired and when your body hurts.

As a member of the Cross Country team, I’ve found that this sport can be related to life: when something is going wrong, and you feel you can get your all, you have to push through–you can’t give up. In life, just like Cross-Country, when you will get to the finish line, when you make it to the end of a difficult trial, things will be right again.

Here at Salesian, our Cross-Country team is doing very well. With captains Jimmy Ascencio and Mark Nilaj, this season also every kid medalled in at least one race. Our two season best runs in the in the 2500m were Shayne Dunleavey (11:23:19) and Joe Lembo (11:43.84).  For the varsity 4000m, Mark Nilaj running ran a season best 16:28.67, followed closely by Jimmy Ascencio (16:53:89). Athletes that medalled in races this season include Mark Nilaj, Jimmy Ascencio, Edwin Soliveras, Darrell Thomas, Ricardo De Jesus, Vincent Cavigliano, Shayne Dunleavey, Elijah Woods, Gabriel Woods, Hamid Malik, and Syed Abdurrahman. With the best coach, Mr. Bruno, every race we have gotten faster and stronger.

For more information about meets, times, and scores, check out New York Milesplit: TUsC-ZOfU.

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