The Great Neck North High School Cross Country team began the last week of August and still going strong. The boys team, coached by Adam McKenzie, and the girls' team, coached by Jeannie Grimm, have been training all season in preparation for the conference and county championships that took place on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 respectively. This year, both teams were extremely eager to perform their best, and go as fast as they can in each competition.
This year the captains of the girls team are seniors Lois Chang and Rachel Cohen. Both led their team with the utmost passion throughout the entire season that ended after the county meet. For the boys, the captains were seniors Dustin Emrani and Matthew Brumberg. Like the girls, they served as excellent role models and leaders for their teammates.
Captain Brumberg mentions that, "I am proud of the cross country team; they trained hard all season." This is easily seen as many of the girls and boys successfully qualified for the county meet. Of the members of the boys and girls track team the following competed in the county meet: Dustin Emrani, who placed first for Class B (fourth over all), earning him title of County Champ, Matt Brumberg, Giancarlo Giunta, Simon Frid, Robert Shames, Jason Li, and Evan Donin. For the girls it was Captain Rachel Cohen, sophomores Sandra Plasse, Ariella Katz, Jasmine Meyer and freshman Laura Cheri.
Although some athletes only began to train the last week of August, some, like boys Captain Emrani, trained all summer long and attended Running Camp. In order to become in the prime running condition, Emrani followed a strict workout regimen that left him at the peak of his career and a major prospect for college recruitment. On the average day, Emrani runs three miles in the morning, and then, it varies from six to 10 miles in the afternoon. Once or twice a week, his afternoon workout consists of 24 400m repeats at 73-5s intervals. In between each run he rests for one minute, except at the 10 and 20 mark where he gets a longer rest of five minutes.
For Emrani, "it has been a great season so far." Not only did he set a new personal record of 16:49 for the 5K, he also received the title of conference champ after placing first with a time of 17:35 on the rainy Oct. 26. Emrani feels that, "my training over the summer and throughout the season really pushed me to run faster than I ever have." He hopes to continue in the path he has already created, and aspires to make states or even nationals for the first time in his high school cross country career.
For Giancarlo Giunta, a junior on the boys team, the season was not full of fun and victory. Giunta began his season, discovering that the pains in his knee were a result of tendonitis of the patella. His condition prevented him from fulfilling his potential as he struggled through workouts and at meets. Finally, after taking some time off to recuperate, Giunta entered the Conference Championships, placing fifth and setting his new personal record at 17:57. Although Giunta currently suffers from tendonitis, he hopes to make a return for the spring season after a long winter break.
All in all, cross country 2002 proved to be an amazing and productive season for everyone. Emrani has yet to end his season as he heads off to State Qualifiers in his pursuit to make state and perhaps even nationals in the 5K race. Good luck Dustin and good job by everyone on the boys and girls cross country teams.