What do high school athletes think about prior to big events? Three days before the NYS Indoor Track Championship meet, M-W coaches gave the girls’ qualifiers a box of sidewalk chalk and encouraged them to express their feelings. “T – 3 to States” is what Kristin Lubeskie scrawled on the high jump apron. Then she and her teammates took pictures of themselves kneeling by the sign.
Ten Monroe-Woodbury athletes participated in the NYS Indoor Track Championship held at the Ocean Breeze complex in Staten Island. Four M-W athletes placed in the top 6 of their event and earned championship medals:
- Mathew Morales tied for third in the Boys 300m;
- Kristin Lubeskie placed sixth in the Girls pole vault; and
- Daniella Napoli and Annie Kurdziel were part of an intersectional relay that finished in 5th place.
Achieving excellence – being one of the best in the state – requires dedication and hard work. Most of the athletes had specific goals: Asya Jeune, a triple jumper, posts her goals on her phone screen to help her stay focused. Mathew Morales says, “I talk about them (goals) consistently and … remind myself of how to achieve them.” Ownership of outcomes is evident. Annie Kurdziel said she had a breakthrough when “I took control of my own workouts and became stronger mentally.” Lisa Jacobsen, a high jumper, imagines “What I see myself doing in the future and how I want the future to be.” Weight thrower Katie Casazza said, “You have to face yourself to break through” to achieve better performances.
What were these athletes doing and thinking in the days before the meet? Coaches emphasized eating properly and getting plenty of rest. The workouts in the last week tend to be light in intensity and oriented at building confidence. Mental preparation is the primary component of the final training days. “I’m just gonna have fun and focus on doing my best,” said Lubeskie. Asya Jeune repeats, “Asya, you got this! Do not stress out!” Vincent Depaolo tells himself, “Stay positive. Don’t think.” Annie Kurdziel said her mantra is, “Don’t think, just run!”
The indoor season will conclude this week when the Girls Distance Medley Relay (Daniella Napoli, Kristen Lubeskie, Jessica Pidgeon and Annie Kurdziel) run in the New Balance Indoor Track National Championships at the New York City Armory.
Congratulations to our hard-working athletes!