Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". We wanted to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time as well as invite those seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. We will be posting this series through July, and already have a number of submissions, if you would like to submit check out this article for how to do so.
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What was your most memorable race or moment?
My most memorable race was the 4x800 from this past sectionals. I led off and handed off the baton in eighth with a split of 2:01 (which is my personal best). We ran 8:12 as a relay but missed out on going to Groups by less than half of a second. The thrill of running a personal best followed by the agony of defeat will make me remember that race for a very long time.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
This year, I had the privilege of lining up next to our new freshman phenom Rowan Cassidy, and we had some battles. I did not have any immediate rivals, but I did enjoy seeing what my former soccer teammates (Zach Simon, Robert Lee, Noah Lee) and training partners (Joseph Cicoria) were capable of.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was being the leader on a cross country team that advanced to Groups. From June 15th to Sectionals we had that goal in mind. While plenty of teams advance to Groups, we were in one of the most competitive sections in the state, Group 4 Central. Not to mention that the last Manalapan team to advance to Groups had Robby Andrews on it.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?
I could have worked harder my freshman year. After my freshman year, I decided to go "all-in" and I attended every summer practice. This amounted to me working myself too hard and getting a severe case of shin splints during the most important training weeks of the year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
During Spring of my sophomore year, I got sick. It started out as being exhausted all of the time, and evolved into pounding headaches, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat. What made this different though was that it never went away. I never took any time off because I thought it would put me too far behind my teammates so I struggled through practice everyday for six weeks. I had some of the worst performances of my career, like running 2:31 for an 800 in our divisional meet. Finally, I got some medicine and had a great summer of training and was back to normal for cross country.
What will you miss the most?
Easily, I will miss my teammates the most. When times were tough, seeing them was the only motivation I would have to go to practice. More specifically, I will miss Malav Mehta, Mike Wroblewski, Kyle Gorelik, Jonathan Yuen, Rishi Sharma, Kyle Spector, Katie Adler, and the entire Goon Squad.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
I would tell a younger athlete two things: 1) Maintain your body because training at a high level does a number on your legs and health 2) Make sure to have fun. This is a very stressful sport, and I have seen and experienced not thinking about anything other than running. It negatively impacts whatever performance they are worrying about.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
All of my coaches have positively impacted me, but Coach Bob Andrews and Sam Moran stand out among the rest. Big Bob gave me a real mind for the sport of track and field and helped me develop a strong work ethic. Not to mention that he helped me drop my 800 time by 22 seconds. Moran was the throwers' coach, but also the head coach. The biggest lesson I learned from Moran was how to be a captain and a leader.
What are your post-high school or college plans?
I will be attending the Rutgers University New Brunswick and running for their club team while studying at the Business School.
Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to thank my parents for introducing me to this sport and for their love and support for the past four years, as well as all of my coaches. This includes Big Bob, Coach Moran, Coach Clark, Liz Spector, Alan Spector, Coach Redmond, and Coach Neill.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Watch out for Manalapan in this upcoming cross country season, they are going to do some damage. #GoGetIt