Wow. That’s about all I can say about this world class ‘ track and field only’ facility. What an opportunity for all levels of athletes to get on a track like this, in a building like this. Even walking up to the building elicited comments. Once inside, a view of the ocean through the floor-to-ceiling windows with the morning sun streaming in providing light was awesome.

Kids (not schools) were seeded into Red, White and Blue divisions based on their abilities. Red being the fastest, White: medium, and Blue: not so medium. There were also freshman-only and soph-only divisions.  It was a great way to organize a huge number of athletes that went through this event. (The mile alone lasted over 3 hours with 589 runners).

55M Hurdles – After the first heat (out of 15) of the first event of the day, Wissahickon was 1-0 as Liam Davies (24th out of 116) crushed his heat, setting a new PR for himself with 8.38. Ahmir Johnson was up next. He’s been a little gimpy lately and we kept our fingers crossed, as PA’s #1 triple jumper made it through the race OK, but nothing special (17th over-all in 8.28). Only the top 8 went to finals. Both guys were in the Red division

Triple Jump – Ahmir came back a few hours later for his specialty, but too much sitting around made for sketchy early attempts and he never really seemed to find it. Although 44-3 was good for 2nd, the winner was 45-6. Anywhere near his PR of 46-7 would have owned it.

55M Dash – Again, we had a heat winner with Eric Papazian hitting a PR in 6.98, finishing in 6th place overall out of 60 athletes in the White grouping. (Finals in dash, hurdles, 200, 4×2 were only contested in the ‘Red’ division.)

200M Dash – Both Sam Kane (23.72 1st in heat, 20th out of 107 White) and Matt Selverian (23.85, 28th/107 White) had season bests and indoor PRs. Khyir Lyons was our lone Freshman division competitor managing a 28.23.

400M Dash – Rahsheed Wright had been loafing around the 52.0 mark all season and needed a break-out race. He got one here. Running from the fifth fastest heat in the Red group, he led at the break, showed guts holding off guys trying to move by him on the back stretch, winning his heat in 49.83 (#6 PA). 8th place over-all, medals going to the top 6. (Arrgh!) His outdoor best from last spring is 49.50. Max Davies also showed aggressiveness leading his heat in the White division until the last few feet. 53.85 a PR. In the ‘Blue’ division, Charles Coffey might as well have been in roller derby, as he was pushed from behind on the back stretch, saving himself from a face-plant, only to hit the deck for real at the finish line. 57.32

800M – Our medals started coming with the 800. Cam Christopher ran from the front of heat 3 Red and was never headed. His 1:57.37 a big indoor PR and #10 PA (outdoors, his best is 1:56.89) Good for a 4th place medal and State Qualifier. Justin Ryan got his medal in the Soph division with 4th place and a big 2 sec PR of 2:04.47. Caymus Ruffner added his 2:36.26 finish from the Freshman bunch.

Mile – Lots of PRs in this one! With the opportunity to race against others evenly matched, great races with tight finishes were the norm. I’m just gonna list ’em:                                                                                                               White – Ben Hoyer 4:44.12 PR, Nathen Leung 4:46.93 PR by 11 seconds!                                                                   Blue – Matt Miaile’s 4:44.94 PR wins the group!, Sam Klugherz 5:01.5 PR, Wil Gaboury 5:25.64 PR, Justin Gruber 5:26.42 PR.                                                                                                                                                       Freshman – Josh Chaiken 5:11.84 PR                                                                                                                   Soph – Bryce Miles 4:58.65 PR, Ahmed Shamsi 5:02.60

Relays – The 4×200 White had three decent splits (Kane 23.8 lead-off, third leg Coffey 24.8 and anchor Papazian 24.3) but a baton bobble-and-drop from Kane to second leg Selverian put us in a hole, with the extra time added to Matt’s split of 26.1. The 4×800 was the one we focused on. State Qualifying Guideline is 8:19.66 for a banked track. If Cam could run 2:00, 19 sec would have to be distributed to three others. Cam got his 2:00.5 second leg, anchor Nathen Leung knocked an impressive 7 sec off his previous best with a 2:07.3, but Justin and Ben combined for another 12 sec. stopping the clock at 8:22.62. Close, but not quite. But on the up-side, the time, as of now, ranks us #12 PA. If it holds up, we might still get in!

Shot Put – Justin Cooper was a bit off with 43-1.75 (46-3 season best), but it was AJ DeCecco who surprised with his 37-6.25 PR taking 4th in the Blue man group.

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