Cross Country Preview


Anthony Kopatsis

Senior Derrick Simmons (captain), junior Gabe Cannavo, senior Julien Hinz (captain), and junior Jett Williams compete in Woodland, New Jersey.

Gabe Cannavo, Sports Editor

As the leaves change color and the season quickly turns to fall, one team that is sure to be seen outside is Cross Country. The small but mighty group is composed of 16 boys and nine girls who range from grades eight to 12. This band of disciplined and committed athletes is coached by the wise Adrien Ricci, Alex Plasencia and Richard Nolan. All three of have been coaching for years and hope to use their knowledge from their own running careers to produce talented runners.

Captains Julien Hinz, Derrick Simmons, Kate Kenny and Shania Smith also play a key role in the success of the group. Always leading from the front, whether at practice or during meets, the team can rely on these runners to ensure that the cross country team will be in top shape when championship season comes around.

Hinz, who is now a senior, has been a member of the team for over five years. He has participated on the varsity team for each season since eighth grade and has improved dramatically over the years.

“This team is showing great potential. We have a great mixture of younger classmen and the depth of the team has really grown,” Hinz said. “We now have a very competitive top seven [runners]  that can really do damage in the big meets later on in the season.”  

Last season, the girls finished first at the NYSAIS championship, granting them a position in the State Federation Meet. The boys, although finishing in third, hope to work even harder this year to eventually qualify for the meet that all New York runners strive to attend.

This past week, the team attended their first cross country meet of the season. Located at Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island, this 5k course has proved to be one of the most challenging courses in the city. Despite the challenge, Poly finished in one of the top positions. In the boys’ varsity race, the team had three members finishing in the top 20 positions. The girls had their top three finish in the top 12 positions of the race.

Under the instruction of such experienced members and veterans of the team, Poly Prep’s Cross Country team is certain to become one of the top teams in the Ivy and NYSAIS Leagues.

Although many of the meets that the team competes at are either in the Bronx or outside of the Tri-State area, all Poly students should go and support them during their practices as the season goes on.