On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Section IV Classic track and field meet was held at Cornell University. While Dryden’s Jakob Greenwood did not win a race at the event, he did break a school record in the indoor 600-meter run. The senior’s time of 1:24.68 surpassed the previous mark of 1:26.81 set by Tor Wildenstein in 2016.
Greenwood has had an excellent season, highlighted by a performance at the Quinney Invitational on Dec. 21 in which he finished first in the 300-meter and 600-meter runs. But it ended up being a third-place finish on Saturday that etched his name in the record book.
“It was so weird,” Greenwood said. “I think that’s the reason why I got [the record] - it was because of the competition. They just pushed me even harder to keep up with them. Even though they ran faster than me, it still feels really good.”
His celebration was put off for a while, as it wasn’t immediately clear that he set the record while finishing behind Ithaca’s Alexander Simpson and Horseheads’ Nathan Wilsoncroft.
“I didn’t find out until the very end of the meet,” Greenwood said. “Coach [Lee] Stuttle had no idea that I was close. He actually had to call somebody to find out what the school record was. He found out that I broke it then came over and gave me a huge hug. It was really cool.”
Coming into the event, Greenwood knew he was approaching a record-setting time based on previous results and then ended up breaking it by over two seconds.
“It’s honestly amazing,” Greenwood said. “I had no idea that I’d end up coming even close to the school record. Then, two meets ago, coach told me I was only a half second off. So I thought, ‘All right, I have to go for this.’ I just gave it my all [on Saturday] and ended up getting it.”
While nothing notable changed physically between those meets, Greenwood credits the competition and his vicinity to the record for pushing him further. As a whole, his motivation comes from those around him.
“It’s the coaches and my teammates,” he said. “They just push all of us to get even better. Running with my teammates every day, they push me to go that extra mile and the coaches just tell you to keep going.”
One teammate in particular has helped Greenwood reach another level. That’s junior Steven Morrow, who has had his own share of great performances this season.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without Steven [Morrow] for sure,” Greenwood said. “Steven and I push ourselves so hard in practice and at the meets. We’re just right there next to each other all the time.”
Morrow has been running track since seventh grade, while Greenwood did not join until high school. Greenwood started running under fairly unfortunate circumstances.
“I actually broke my pelvis playing football [in eighth grade], and that convinced me to join cross country,” he said. “Then, cross country made me do track. Ever since then, I’ve loved track.”
Even though he joined cross country first, Greenwood made it clear which sport he prefers.
“Definitely track,” he said. “Oh my gosh. Three miles? Ugh, kills me.”
As much as he loves track, Greenwood is unsure whether he’ll continue running competitively in college, intending to focus on developing a career. To even get to this point in track has been a tough journey for him, battling several injuries.
“Last year was the first season where I was able to complete all the meets,” Greenwood said. “I’d always get injured. I dislocated my shoulder twice. I just have to be cautious of what I’m doing. I know they’re freak accidents, but I just need to make sure I don’t do anything stupid.”
By the end of last school year, a healthy year at that, Greenwood knew he could truly excel on the track.
“[I figured out I was good] probably last year for outdoor. We made it to state qualifiers and we were only half a second off of making the requirements to go to states,” he said. “Just last season in general because we did really well. We won sectionals. Getting lots of points for our team showed me I could do well.”
With this being Greenwood’s final season running for Dryden, he is prepared to pass the torch to Morrow.
“[The record] means everything to me,” Greenwood said. “Honestly, I have a feeling Steven’s going to end up beating my record next year or even this year. I just want to set the bar high and have him surpass me next year.”
Dryden track and field is off to a very good start, and based on what he’s seen so far, Greenwood expects several individual athletes and possibly some relay teams to compete at states. The next step on that path is a meet at Ithaca College on Friday, Jan. 10.
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