Alexandria Weinraub, class of 2017, Crowned HVAL Girl's Cross Country Champion & New England All-Star

How long have you been running, both at Oakwood and before?
Before coming to Oakwood, I would have never considered myself much of an athlete, let alone finding such a passion for running. My first experience habitually running was during running club the spring term of my freshman year. From this experience, I decided to give cross country a chance. Now as a senior, this is my third year running cross country.

What are your thoughts about Oakwood’s Cross Country team? What do you enjoy most about the sport and the team?
Oakwood’s Cross Country team takes the seriousness of running and adds a light-hearted spirit to our time together which makes each practice a pleasant experience. I highly enjoy the attitude of our coaches and their tactics of training and spirits to guide us. Not only does this team supply skills for running, but is a place where I can be myself and feel warmth go round.
This energy is one I highly appreciate. Our runners are enthusiastic, dedicated, and motivated. This pushes the other runners to have the same mentality. What I enjoy most about the sport is the mere activity of running because it supplies so much stability in itself mentally and physically. Running is a meditation in itself and grants me the opportunity to calm my nerves and sort out my mind. Other runners acknowledge and love this trait as well, and that makes the whole feeling of practice uplifting.

What motivates you to keep pushing yourself race after race?
Often when I run, I get lost in a daze. My head gets clouded, or I have different thoughts flood my cranium. These either get me set a pace or push me to go faster. My experience running and the feelings to follow are what push me race after race. Not only do the races grant me a physically and mentally liberating feeling, but practices also supply me positivity. Running on Oakwood’s Cross Country team is just one positive experience as a whole. There's no reason to lose motivation in my eyes.

What do you think has helped you become such a strong runner in the Hudson Valley Athletic League?
Running is an extremely healthy practice to acquire. If I didn’t start running the end of my freshman year, I don’t know where I would be. Running landed hand in hand with the immense change of myself throughout high school, so I think the mental and physical changes were something my body acknowledges as positive and healthy and wanted more and more of it. The rapid change of frequency was like a drug to me, and that made me fall in love with the act of running.

What Hudson Valley Athletic League achievements have earned over the years?
When I started running my sophomore year, I would place between 2nd and 6th place. Usually, I would land in 3rd or 4th place. I once won 1st place on an unusual occasion at Storm King’s invitational. Unusual because it wasn’t expected. My junior year I would place 2nd or 3rd almost every meet, bumping up my movement by one point. This year I placed 2nd twice and 1st four times.

Alex went on to be crowned HVAL Champion. She was then invited to the New England (division 4) championship Race which included 37 schools from 7 states and was hosted by Hyde School in Bath, Maine. 158 girls entered the race, and Alex ran a masterful race to finish 8th overall, earning New England All-Star status. This was Oakwood Friends School's' first top ten finish in 19 years.

Dylan Bimka-Wintrob, class of 2017, Photographer

How did you get interested in photography?
Photography has always been a passion of mine. I would say that my father got me into photography - he always used to let me use his camera when I was younger.

What motivates you to pursue your passion and capture your next photo? And do you have a favorite experience related to capturing a photo?
I am always motivated to take photos and I think the biggest thing that motivates me is the idea that my photos could be used to show objects that no one else can see. A camera can express the world like no other instrument. My favorite experience related to taking photos was this past summer on my National Geographic student expedition trip. It opened my world to a new style of taking photos.

Do you have a preference, digital or film?
I shoot both digital and film.

What has Oakwood’s Photo department taught you about being a photographer?
What has Oakwood’s Photo department taught you about being a photographer? Oakwood has given me the opportunity to learn how to develop and process film. Mike, the photography teacher, has taught me to be a hard working photographer.

Do you have a favorite photographer?
I do have a favorite photographer. Morgan Levy is one of my favorite photographers.

Do you have a favorite subject to shoot?
My favorite subject to shoot is wildlife. I love taking photos of animals in their natural habitat.

Is there a specific process that you use to capture, upload, and edit your work?
I use my Cannon 70d camera. I also use Adobe Light-room which is an editing software I use it to edit and manage my files. It really helps to have reliable software when you want to upload photos to your computer for processing.

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