The Running Aces enjoyed another brilliant season outside. To kick off the season, practices were scheduled even before the school year began. For their first meet of the season which took place this on August 31, the Aces participated in the St. Patrick’s 2016 Shamrock Cross Country Invitational. Competing with 18 different schools, consisting of hundreds of runners, and challenged with grass and a taxing hill–the pressure was on for our Running Aces, who handled their first race of the season successfully. For some runners, this race was their very first one. Freshman Hailey Jakofsky said, “Although there was tough competition, I still had fun and am looking forward see how the rest of the season unfolds.” Hailey is among 19 other new runners who make up an extremely talented freshman class. In fact, with 50 runners in total, the team is loaded with talent that has been evident at the recent meet.
This season featured the most jammed-packed schedules in Running Aces history, with four more races in just three weeks along with consistent practices. The team has been led by senior captains Nathan Edelman, Michael Edelman, Yitzy Wilens, and Sarah Russman, and junior captains Nechama Braun and Adina Trubnick. At the Niles West meet, the Running Aces competed in 90-degree weather, yet they still had a terrific turnout and the varsity boys earned third place and freshman Micah Cohen received a medal for sixth place in the boys open. When facing Rochelle Zell, the runners competed in beautiful weather and ultimately performed exceptionally well. ICJA’s very own teachers and faculty including Mr. Harris, Rabbi Fliegelman, Dr. Kahan, and Ms. Goldstein came out to support and cheer on the running Aces against their long time rival. In the end, girl’s open and varsity took home the gold. Hailey Jakofsky took first place in the girls open while Nechama Braun took third and Adina Trubnick took first in girls varsity.
Being a part of Cross Country means that working hard, running hard, and never giving up. As a Running Ace since my freshman year and current captain of the team, I do not simply run, but truly hustle and make a complete effort to do my best in every race I run– not just for the team but for myself. Being a team member means you are devoted to the team as well as to individual progress. Coach Ezra Jaffe stresses the importance of setting individual goals, such as personal records (PRs), that can be achieved through the means of practice. “With such high quality practices and a very dedicated group of students, there has been added intensity and motivation for everyone. We keep seeing more PRs and a strong middle pack that has been leading us to some of our best finishes ever,” said Coach Jaffe when asked how the team has performed thus far. At one practice, Coach gave out watches to encourage all the runners to keep track of their time so that they can improve their personal records. Captain Yitzy Wilens agrees with Coach’s method saying, “Having watches is essential to the sport of running, just as a a rackets are to tennis.” Doing well in Cross Country ultimately depends on your mindset. You must have a will to improve. While this determination is key to having the right mindset, practice will result in becoming a better runner.
This article is by Nathan Edelman, Editor-In-Chief of The Crown Prints.