Boys cross country team break PVAC record


photo by Mira Beinart, Dimensions Yearbook

Junior David Fritz placed second place at Maryland Private School State Championships.

Mira Beinart, Guest Writer

The boys cross country team won the PVAC championship at St. Anselms on October 27, breaking the PVAC record for the lowest number of points scored in history. Two weeks later, they won the Maryland Private School State Championships in the small school category. 

The top five runners from each team receive points corresponding to their place. These points are added up and the team with the lowest score wins. For example, the first-place runner scores one point for their team and the second-place runner scores two. The top five boys from the JDS team, junior David Fritz, freshman Nathan Szubin, junior Oliver Ferber, senior Brandon Portnoy and freshman Jonah Berman, broke the PVAC record, scoring 18 points. The previous record was 20 points, scored by the Field School in 1995. 

“When I was in middle school I was also part of the team that set the record in PVAC champs which makes it even more special,” Portnoy said. “Setting that record with many underclassmen felt amazing to me because I knew that I was a role model for them, and I was helping them get better as they pave the way for the future of the team.”

Motivated after the PVAC victory, the boys set out to win the Maryland Private School State championships. However, since this race was on a Saturday, the team would be down a top runner because of Shabbat. Junior Matan Silverberg was the next best runner on the team and felt the pressure of stepping up to the top five.

“Coach B. gave me an amazing hour long pep talk the day before the race where he told me to tune everything else out and focus on my breathing during the race,” Silverberg said. “It was not easy, but I kept a Zen mindset throughout the race and pushed myself to the finish.”

Despite the hardships, the boys still managed to win the race. They scored 35 points, a narrow victory over St. Andrews, who scored 38 points. 

“When I got home [after the race], I sat down to think about [winning] and that’s really when I comprehended the magnitude of what we accomplished, and it was a very emotional moment for me,” Fritz said. 

Article adapted from Dimensions Yearbook