John Jay Senior Bryan Ivey is a team captain on the varsity track and field team.
How old were you when you started track and field and how did you get started?
I started track in seventh grade with our modified track team. I’ve known that I was always fast so I decided just to give it a try. I fell in love with the sprinting events and the relays and never looked back.
As a senior on the team, how much do you value being a leader?
As a senior and captain you have more eyes on you, which raises the expectations that you do well on and off the track. I and some of the other seniors really take our roles as captains extremely seriously this year. We held two captain practices a day during the summer to get ready for the year. We lead the group in stretching and kept the team focused. The team is like a family to us. I acted my hardest this year to be the best older sibling that I could have been. The role meant so much more than any of the times I have run this year or any of the titles I have won.
What is your favorite team activity, pre-meet or post-meet ritual that you share with your teammates?
My favorite pre-meet team activity that we did during cross country was pasta dinners. We all went to the Lake Katonah Clubhouse and ate a disgusting amount of pasta, garlic bread, meatballs and salad.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
I don’t really have a big role model. I like to do things my own way and make my own legacy. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t been influenced by some of the great teammates that came before me. The two biggest influences were Eion Nohilly and Ben Smith. Eion was an incredibly personable guy and was also outstanding at running. Ben taught me everything I know about a winning mindset and a winning work ethic. Without those guys, I don’t think I’ll be who I am, but I don’t try to imitate them. I just want to be myself and hopefully be good enough to where the younger kids can look up to me.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I love chess. I’ve been part of chess club for all four years of high school and I have been playing for the majority of my life.
Do you plan joining the track and field team in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you pick that school?
I am going to be running for SUNY Geneseo in the fall. I picked Geneseo because it was D-3 so my education and track life aren’t one in the same, and when I visited the school I really just felt like I belonged there. Also, they have a great program for what I am planning on majoring in.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I am planning on getting an elementary education degree. I really love being able to influence people and I also really love kids.
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Probably Rai Benjamin. He is a junior at the University of Southern California but went to Mt. Vernon High School. He holds the New York State record in the 400 hurdles. To be honest, he is just a beast.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a meet?
I like listening to mostly rap and hip-hop before I race. I need to keep the vibe chill until my last couple of songs where I get amped before my race.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would like to go helicopter skiing in Alaska. Alaska is my favorite state and skiing is my favorite hobby. It is the perfect combination and because of that, it is on my bucket list.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a meet?
A boss wrap from Pizza Station is my go to night before meal. A boss wrap is chicken parm and penne all in a wrap. It is gas. After a meet I just try to fill up on anything I can get my hands on. I get really hungry.
Best place to eat in Katonah-Lewisboro and why?
Easily Pizza Station. If I could only eat at one place though it would be Bagel Boys.
For a young athlete growing up in Katonah-Lewisboro, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the track and field program and why should they go out for the team?
All I can say is that you’ll only like it if you’re having fun doing it. Running hurts. You need to find a way to make every second of it unique and exciting. For me, running with friends made this fun. My teammates have become my brothers. I owe so much to them.