Track team triumph

Casey Schwartz, Staff Writer

The Winter Track and Field Team made history, as it was the first time the team has reigned victorious at the Suffolk County Large School Indoor Track and Field Championship, on February 5th. 

The meet consisted of several events, such as shot-put, long jump, sprints, and hurdles. 

Lead coach for both winter and spring track for 28 years, Steven Lurie celebrated his first county championship, right before retirement. Along with several other track coaches, Lurie uses specific tactics to ensure success. 

“The coaches really give the program their all. They eat, breathe, and sleep track. Them being so dedicated to making everyone better and the team better really helped everyone actually get better. Knowing that we really have coaches that are willing to put in the same effort as we do makes it easier to work,” said senior track runner Brett A., via text message. 

Juniors and seniors also take the responsibility of helping out the underclassmen. 

“In terms of being on the team, there’s more responsibility when you’re a senior. You have to show the younger guys how to do things. You have to be a good role model and a good leader for the rest,” said senior athlete Andrew R.

With all of the passion and leadership involved, another big ingredient of their win was pure athleticism. No matter how they got interested in track and field, whether through other sports or having a natural talent for running, many of the athletes worked hard to get where they are now.

“We practice six days a week. Now, since states is individual, I’ll prepare the individuals for their specific event,” said Lurie.

Commack track members cite unity as an important factor for their success. They practice together, compete together, and win together. Many players that participate in this sport feel they are a part of a group that is more than just a team, but a family. 

“This team is definitely a special team, in my opinion. Everyone really worked hard on the off-season and while every team is always committed, this is the most committed team that I’ve ever seen. Everyone really wants to do their best, everyone wants to win, and everyone wants to do what they need to do for their team. It’s also one of the most hardworking teams I’ve seen, so I think that’s a really big reason this team is so successful,” said senior and thrower Maks S. 

Not only do the players have to be interested in this sport, but it is helpful that family and friends support the athletes to motivate them. 

There are several other competitions, like state’s individual championships and spring’s county championship that the team looks forward to. 

“They show a lot of resilience, a lot of grit, at the county specifically. They clawed their way through any kind of top position and top six finish to get those team points. I think it’s something they went into the meet expecting, and accomplished,” said coach Dr. Matthew Cardinale. 🔳