Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Training for varsity sports is a difficult enough challenge. Training for a varsity sport when you don’t know whether there will even be a season is dedication on a different level. But the student-athletes on Kushner Flying Cobras track team did just that—and were rewarded when the school announced that track was reinstated for competition. It seemed only a matter of time before their previous efforts would pay off.

It came together for the Flying Cobras at the second track meet of the season, at Leonia’s Overpeck Park on the evening of May 12. Competing against three other local yeshiva high schools, the seven-person RKYHS squad captured three gold medals, and 10 medals overall, in the eight events that were run.

Right off the bat, the Cobras made a clean sweep of the boys’ 100-meter dash, with juniors Hanoch Elkin, Matthew Mendelsohn and Josh Teich finishing 1-2-3 respectively. Elkin finished in 12.1 seconds, the fastest time in either meet so far this year.

“Hanoch is everything a leader should be,” observed the Cobras’ Coach P, Yank Poleyeff. “He encourages his teammates, sets an example by putting in the hard work, and when it comes to race days, he simply goes out and wins.”

No sooner had RKYHS fans settled back in their seats when junior Maya Weisberg came out of nowhere to win the next race on the program, the girls’ 100-meter, defeating an 18-person field with another yeshiva season-best of 14.8 seconds. Maya was the only female student representing RKYHS at this meet but she more than held her own. Later in the evening, she finished third in the girls’ 400 meter. Not bad for her first track meet in two years!

In the boys’ mile, senior Eli Novick posted his second straight sub-6:00 performance, barely missing the bronze by one second to Frisch’s William Goldsmith. Teich came back to win his second medal with a second-place finish in the boys’ 400m, followed by junior Samuel Cohen in third. Junior David Reich then placed third in the boys’ 800m.

The final boys’ event was a mirror image of the first. Mendelsohn and Elkin finished 1-2 in the boys’ 200-meter dash, trading places from their earlier finishes in the 100m. Matthew’s 27.2 also gave him the best yeshiva time to date. The performances in the 200m clinched the team overall victory for RKYHS on the boys’ side, as they edged out Frisch 21-18, using the standard 5-3-1 scoring system for quad meets.

Assistant Coach BB Bazinsky, a former star runner for the Flying Cobras, credited the team’s work ethic and determination. “I see improvement in our guys even from two months ago, when we started working out in the cold weather. Whether it’s stretching, drills, intervals or time trials, they attack practice like it’s the championship meet. I’m not surprised at this performance one bit.”

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