Bronx runners battle to capture borough championships
By Andy Gross
The Bronx High School of Science Wolverines dominated Saturday’s girls varsity Bronx Cross Country Borough Championships, placing six runners among the top 10 finishers to win yet another crown.
But is was DeWitt Clinton’s Aliyah Regg Wajid in red and black with her short blonde dreadlocks bouncing behind her who shined brightest at Van Cortandt Park.
Wajid blazed the five-kilometer (3.1 mile) course in 19:55, almost a minute faster than second-place finisher Grace Adams, a High School of American Studies student.
Clinton finished second to Bronx Science among 16 competing high schools on a brisk October morning, when some runners complained about staying warm and getting loose.
“She’s a small person with a big heart,” said Clinton coach Cornel Johnson. “She’s still rounding into shape. She’s on pace for the city championships in two weeks.”
Wajiid, who is a shade under 5 feet tall and weighs roughly 90 pounds, said her time was good, but not a personal best. “It was cold out there,” she said while catching her breath. “It was a good run.”
Bronx Science defended the title it won two years ago. Last year’s borough championships were cancelled by superstorm Sandy.
“I’m proud of them, I knew they would do well,” Wolverine girls coach Ken Miller said.
Sophomore Olivia Lesiczka, junior Lili Tobias and senior Elena Anderson finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Clinton senior Dypna Jmunakwe came in seventh, followed by three wolverines — senior Elena Rohner, freshman Nessa Fox and senior Helen Zou.
Kijara Sumter Cline of John F. Kennedy High School (JFK) finished 26th as JFK took fourth place among all teams.
In the boys race, the High School of American Studies edged out Bronx Science for championship, with six of its runners placing among the top eight finishers.
Mott Haven Educational Complex’s Mouctar Kaba won the race with a time of 17:50.
Overall, seven Bronx Science runners finished among the top 17 finishers, including junior Samuel Maeglin, who placed fifth.
Wolverines’ boys head coach Mike Mei said the squad’s best runner William Jarinski could not run because of a leg injury.
Yarinski’s teammates picked up much of the slack. In addition to Maeglin’s strong showing, Erich Wohl and Jacob Solomon finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Tyttus Douglas of the David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, MS/HS 141 finished 24th for his fledgling cross-country team.
Mott Haven Educational Campus finished third overall followed by RKA and JFK, which placed sixth.
The cross country season concludes Saturday, Nov. 9 with the Public School Athletic League City Championships at Van Cortlandt Park.