CHS Track and Field Team
PUTTING CLIFTON ON THE NATIONAL MAP ONE LAP AT A TIME
It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining over the ocean when the buses taking the Clifton’s Track & Field team to Ocean Breeze, in Staten Island, pulled up by the athletic complex for the Big North Championship last week. Little did anyone know that that day was about to become even brighter for a couple of our distance runners, who were about to put their name and the name of the city on the national map.
Many athletes did great during that meet, many new PRs were reached and many medals, including several gold medals, were brought back to Clifton that night, but two of our seniors, both distance runners, got to enjoy a special moment when their stunning performances in the 3200m had them join the USA Top 50. Hisham Ettayebi, still uncommitted for next year, took 1st place for the boys in the Liberty Division with a time of 9:33:57, while Remy Dubac, committed to Bucknell University, took 1st place for the girls with a time of 11:19:13. Following these amazing results, Hisham was ranked 5th in NJ and 33rd
in the US while Remy was ranked 5th in NJ and 25th in the US! Definitely an achievement that deserves to be acknowledged and recognized.
Track and Field athletes often feel like they belong to one of the “forgotten sports” in their school, not as popular and not as recognized as soccer, football, basketball, or many other athletic activities. And yet, these students work extremely hard to always push their limits. Distance runners for example, are usually students who are also part of the cross-country team, which means that they practice almost all year long, outdoor, 6 days a week, be it in 95 degrees in the summer, during pre-season, or 15 degrees in the winter, be it in the sun or in the rain or in the snow. Let’s try to remember them when they achieve great things.
Coach Pontes, who has been a key element, on so many levels, in these distance runners’ lives since their freshman year, regularly reminds his athletes of a quote by Steve Prefontaine displayed at the Stadium’s field house: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”. Last week, on a great day for these students, for the track program and for the school, Hisham and Rémy sure did not sacrifice the gift! All we can wish them now, and wish all the other athletes representing Clifton on the track and on the field, is to keep giving their best, keep pushing their limits, and keep making their families, their school, their city, but, above all else, themselves proud!
Let’s go Mustangs!!!
Photo Credit: Ian Matthew
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