By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Jun. 17, 2020: It has been a tough spring for Bronxville’s senior athletes. Seniors on the track and field team won races and set records in the indoor season and were hoping to extend their winning streak into the spring. Unfortunately, the outdoor season was canceled before it ever started.
In February, seniors Eve Balseiro and Alisa Kanganis, along with teammates Caroline Ircha and Milly Koenig, won the 4x400m at the Millrose Games, setting a new school record. The girls on the relay team had their sights set on breaking the outdoor 4x400 record this spring, but the pandemic took that chance away.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow,” said Balseiro. “I know as a team we had a lot of meets we wanted to win and places we wanted to go, but personally I had been after the outdoor 4x400 record for a long time. I was really hoping for that one. It is a really tough record to beat, and I was excited to try.”
Balseiro will never know if she and her teammates could have beaten that school record, but she already owns quite a few records, to say the least. She has set Bronxville records in twelve different events, including the indoor 300, 400, 500, and 600m, the indoor and outdoor 4x200 and 4x400, the outdoor 4x100, the mixed 4x100, and the Swedish relay. She also has the fastest leg of the indoor 4x400. The Westchester Track Officials Association named Balseiro the Most Outstanding Track Athlete for the 2020 winter season.
Balseiro had a taste of success early on when she went to states as a freshman.
“I have so many memories, but I think one of my favorites is probably my freshman year when we broke the 4x400 state record. It was just a culmination with how young I was and how new I was to the sport. I was really close to the girls on my relay. It was a really special moment.”
Balserio, along with Katie Ryan, Laura Holland, and Caroline Brashear, are still the state record holders for the 4x400, and Balsiero, Kanganis, Ircha, and Koenig who won states in that event last year, were looking forward to seeing what they could accomplish this spring.
“It was very disappointing,” said Kanganis. “We were hoping maybe we would break the school record in the 4x400 and definitely hoping to repeat as state champions.”
All four seniors on the girls’ track and field team will continue to run in college. Balseiro has committed to Notre Dame, and Kanganis will run at Williams. Sabrina Mellinghoff, who competes in short sprints (100 and 200m) and runs relays, was just coming off an injury at the end of the indoor season. She will be running at Yale in the fall. Finally, Ella Stupart, who runs cross country and distance event in track, will join NYU’s team in the fall.
There is only one senior on the boys’ track and field team. Dylan Ruddy, who competes in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, has been on the team since his sophomore year.
“There are a lot of events that I like, but my personal favorite is the long jump,” said Ruddy. “That feeling of gliding through the air really excites me.”
Ruddy, who was the captain of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, competes in many events, including hurdles, sprints, and jumps, but had his best outcome in the pentathlon last spring. At the 2019 Sectional Championships, Ruddy placed second in the pentathlon and was hoping for a win this year.
“It was really tough since this was my last season, and I was really going for that number one spot in the pentathlon,” said Ruddy. “I had been working towards that, and it really hurt when COVID hit. I was so disappointed, but I have accepted it for what it is.”
Ruddy has been a great leader and worked hard with an extremely young group of athletes.
“We were excited for a great spring season with Dylan as a huge leader on our team,” said first year coach Brian Halling. “Dylan is vocal, dedicated, and willing to contribute to the team in any way possible. He is great at speaking up on behalf of his teammates and has always been interested in competing and helping his teammates in any way he can.”
“There are so many memories that I have had,” said Ruddy. “As much as I loved being a leader this year, the pivotal moment in my career was winning the section title last year. It was the Rizzos last season, and they were the greatest runners Bronxville has ever seen.”
Ruddy has had a great high school track and field career. He will attend Fairfield University in the fall.
Pictured in rotation at top: Dylan Ruddy during a cross country race. Photo submitted by D. Ruddy and the 4x400 relay team (l to r): Milly Koenig, Caroline Ircha, Eve Balseiro and Alisa Kanganis. Photo submitted by A. Kanganis.