WESS Runners Cross Their First Finish Line of 2021


WESS cross country team runners post-race at Ocean Breeze on September 12th. Photo taken by Coach Robert Dice.

Daisy Koffler

Eleven WESS cross-country runners waited readily behind the starting line. A man ahead of them raised his arm up and shot the gun, signaling the start of the race. The pack of young runners darted ahead, racing against each other and the clock.

On Sunday, September 12th, the WESS cross-country team returned to racing for the first time since the fall of 2019. The team ran a four kilometer race through USA Track and Field at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island. 

Covid-19 put a halt to sports for high school students for the previous year and a half. Fortunately this year, WESS athletes, and others in New York, will be able to compete again this year.

For senior Madden Shuffler, the Ocean Breeze race was a bittersweet start to his last season of cross country at WESS. 

“It feels great to be back after Covid…It is nice to get back to running and feel better. Something that I missed about sports, especially cross-country, is the community and being able to compete with my friends,” said Shuffler.  

For freshmen, including Daisey Marciano, this race was an exciting introduction to competing in the sport with the WESS team.

“I’m so glad I get to run with WESS this year. I love running and it’s amazing because I feel like a lot of other schools don’t have this opportunity to continue running after Covid,” stated Marciano.

Staff members Robert Dice and San Tripathi are coaching cross-country this year and are thrilled to welcome students to the team. 

This race was just the beginning for the 2021 fall season of cross-country. WESS runners are practicing Monday through Thursday every week after school as they prepare for upcoming USATF races at Ocean Breeze and Van Cortlandt Park. All the Wildcat runners can’t wait to cross the finish lines this season!