Added Pages

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Off and Running! – Flatbush Track Team Debuts at HODS 5K Race in Central Park

Members of the Flatbush Track team get ready for the start of their first-ever competition
The Yeshivah of Flatbush Track team made its debut with its inaugural event this past Sunday, lending support to a life-giving cause and making a strong competitive showing at the same time. The Halachic Organ Donor Society’s 3rd Annual 5K race in New York’s Central Park provided the kick-off venue for Flatbush’s first-ever competitive track team, while providing the student-athletes the opportunity to be involved in a chesed project at the same time. While the day was cold, the spirit infused in the event by the organizers, volunteers and participants was as warm as a South Florida summer sea breeze. To negate the effects of the near frigid air, the organizers made available to all runners hot coffee and hand warmers. But to our runners excited to be competing as Falcon tracksters for the first time, the anticipation was enough to get the competitive juices flowing and keep the blood pumping smoothly.
Victor Zeitoune makes the necessary preparations for competition
A driving force behind the HODS 5K Race is Rabbi Dr. Henry Hasson (HS '93), who is the President of HODS and who also serves the Flatbush community as Co-Chairman of Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Board of Education. Rabbi Dr. Hasson was exceedingly pleased and impressed by the turnout of the members of the Flatbush Track team.
YoF Board of Education Co-Chair Rabbi Dr. Henry Hasson before the race, with (L to R) Athletic Director Eric Amkraut and student-athletes Leah Linfield and Erica Tawil
As a team, Flatbush put forth a group of runners that spanned the experience meter from first time competitors to seasoned distance runners (some of whom took to the course a mere week after completing a ½ marathon in Florida). In addition to Flatbush, SAR also sent a team, as did Yeshiva University, represented by the members of their Cross-Country program.
Flatbush runners talk with members of the Yeshiva University Cross-Country team
Sporting new team jerseys emblazoned on the back with the Championship Falcon, Flatbush’s team members eagerly took to the starting line near the southwestern corner of Central Park’s inner loop. With the pop of the starter’s gun, the runners were off! And, amongst the leaders was Flatbush’s own Victor Zeitoune. Victor took off on a blistering pace that projected towards a 6-minute mile pace that would have him in contention for a top finish. Not far behind him were Jack Sasson, Abie Cohen, Daniel Esses and Natanel Nemet. Amongst the leaders of the women in the competition, Flatbush was represented by Leah Linfield, Yvonne Benun, Cynthia Benun and Erica Tawil. Unfortunately for Zeitoune, he was a victim of his speed and the one misstep of the race organizers. The race consisted of two laps of a pre-set circuit around the band shell in the southern end of the park. Unfortunately, the left turn for the race loop was not properly marked until mid-way through the race, and Zeitoune cruised right past it. He ended up running the full Central Park loop, a distance easily in excess of the designated 5K (he actually ran closer to 8 miles!). As a result, he finished dead last – but was credited by his teammates with having clearly won the HODS 10K race!
Leah Linfield approaches the final turn towards the finish line
As for the actual 5K, Flatbush was well represented amongst the leaders, with Jack Sasson’s time of 21:38.6 the fastest amongst competitors in the 13-17 age range, and fourth overall. Teammates Natanel Nemet and Daniel Esses finished 3rd and 4th in the age group and 13th and 15th overall respectively. Flatbush’s girls were paced by Leah Linfield who finished with a time of 28:44.1, good enough for 2nd place in the 13-17 age range and 25th overall. She was followed less than two minutes later by Yvonne Benun. As a group, Flatbush brought the largest contingent, with 17 student-athletes (and one senior administrator, Executive Director Rabbi Seth Linfield). In the end, it was a great event, for a noble cause, and it was a wonderful way to take a first athletic step into Spring!
Top Male Falcon Finisher Natanel Nemet!
Top Female Falcon Finishers
Yvonne Benun and Leah Linfield!
Top Male Falcon Finisher
 Jack Sasson!

Nest Notes: The Track team will compete against Yeshiva League opponents in a meet on Sunday, May 11 at Kushner Academy in Livingston, NJ. If all goes well, The Falcons are hoping to host a similar meet prior to that in April at a local track in Brooklyn. The athletic department is presently in conversation to identify an available facility in the neighborhood.
Team Yeshivah of Flatbush, pictured with Coach Daniel Benun and Athletic Director Amkraut on the left and YoF Executive Director Rabbi Seth Linfield on the right
The participation of the Track Team in the HODS 5K Race is in following with the Athletic Department goal for each level of each team to engage in a chesed project that provides our student-athletes with leadership opportunities and gives back to the community. Chazak U’Baruch to all the members and volunteer coaches of the Flatbush Track team!