While many relaxed and recovered from a strenuous school year this summer, others made headway on their goal to run as fast as they possibly could come September. Unlike a test that can be crammed for, these runners had to maintain a steady but demanding regimen throughout the last few months.
Coach Tim Lengel leads the team, entering his fifth season as varsity head coach. He helped bring the team to its first Inter-Ac title in fifteen years back in 2016, and he looks to do it once again. His experience as a runner and a coach puts the team in good hands.
Sixth Form captains Vincent Scauzzo and Lleyton Winslow held practices at school and various other sites, working on running hills “because EA’s course is the hilliest of them all,” Scauzzo said.
The regimen did not end with scheduled practices, as each runner was expected to make gains on their own time. The coaches provided each runner with a packet that mapped out the schedule.
Fifth Form 800-meter specialist A.J Sanford described the summer regimen as “nothing short of challenging. It included ten mile runs, 1000-meter intervals, intense hill days, and more.”
With strong upperclass leadership and work ethic, the team attracted many motivated runners.
“Our strength has grown in numbers. This year we have fifty guys signed up to be on the team, a record amount,” Scauzzo said.
While a large turnout is great, the captains and coaching staff believe the number is too high. Therefore, everybody’s commitment will be monitored to determine who stays.
“We’re not trying to cut half the team,” Scauzzo said. “We just don’t want to burden ourselves with the few kids who consistently don’t put in the effort or desire to improve.”
The team’s strength is not limited to upperclassmen, as a few underclassmen have proven themselves through dedication and leadership among their peers.
Scauzzo praised Fourth Former Ben Szathmary for “really stepping up into a leadership role.” Not only does Szathmary motivate his fellow runners, but he “brings a lighthearted personality while putting in maximum effort every day.”
Another young runner to emerge was Jeffrey Yang, making the leap to the varsity squad. Scauzzo is “looking forward to seeing him during the races. I might even be looking ahead instead of behind.”
Like every fall sport, the season can be defined by a single day. The team believes that all the hard work over several months leading up to EA Day will be worth it, and there’s reason to believe it will be.
“This is by far the most competitive we’ve looked since I’ve been here, but we’ll have to wait for race day for the results to speak for themselves.”Captain Vincent Scauzzo ’20
With a year of leadership already under his belt, Scauzzo knows how to motivate his fellow runners to beat EA.
Sanford believes the team “stacks up well because [EA’s] third runner graduated and our younger guys are stepping up.”
Sanford defeated their first runner last year in a spectacular finish in front of the student body. He is confident he can do it once again.
“This is by far the most competitive we’ve looked since I’ve been here,” Scauzzo said, “but we’ll have to wait for race day for the results to speak for themselves.”