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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Sum comes within 2 seconds of course record

Sophomore Steven Sum ran a time of 9:50 for the 2-mile Saratoga Invitational on Sept. 18, only 2 seconds away from breaking a 29-year-old course record.

The win came on the heels of several dominant performances for the young athlete. Behind Sum’s performance, the team ended the first third of the season with excellence.

The meet, which invited Homestead and Lynbrook to the school’s home turf, produced several impressive performances. Sophomore Andrew Harter won the freshman-sophomore race with a time of 10:46, and juniors Daniel Johnston and Sam Guy both finished under the 11-minute mark.

On a more recent note, the team originally planned to race at the nationally renowned Crystal Springs course on Oct. 2; however, 100-degree temperatures forced the indefinite postponement of the meet.

Although many of the runners were excited to get their first crack at the difficult course, coaches throughout the region decided that the athletes would not perform their best in such conditions.

The runners said that the precautionary measures are understandable, given that an athlete fainted at the 2011 meet after experiencing heat exhaustion.

“I always look forward to running Crystal, but it’s way too hot for a race right now,” senior co-captain David Zarrin said. “Last year someone passed out, and it ended up delaying the progress of the meet for almost an hour.”

With the team’s immediate meet schedule currently unclear after the postponement, the team is focusing on building on its promising first third of the season. For example, at the Rainbow Park Invitational on Sept. 5, the team received contributions from the entire varsity squad.

Sum won the varsity race, and Guy and Johnston were the next from the team to finish.

“As a team, we ran very well,” Guy said. “Usually Stevie carries us, but we all ran very well today. Every runner contributed from one to seven.”

The seven-man varsity team this year is very strong with many returning runners such as Guy, Harter, Zarrin, Sum, Johnston and senior Aasim Naqvi.

The team is relatively young, but they have plenty of experience. Harter and Sum were both varsity runners last year. Sum not only competes for the school, but he also races at the national level.

With the high level of experience and talent on the team, the future is bright.

“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Guy said. “Along with that, we are willing to work hard and push ourselves to the limit.”

This sense of dedication and hard work had often been the missing key ingredient in the past, runners said. According to Guy, the talent has always been there, but this year, everyone is working together to help each other improve and succeed.

With the season steadily approaching its halfway point, the team continues to train and improve. Zarrin believes that there is still plenty of room for improvement for the entire squad.

“There’s a long ways to go in the season,” Zarrin said. “We’re just looking to get better every day so that we can all run strong races at every meet and eventually at CCS.”

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