The emotional ups and downs of this season have been rough. Just when things are clicking, another disaster. After an injury scare last Saturday, Isaiah Marc responded with a huge dual meet performance on Tuesday (11.01, 21.64, 49.23, 49.0). Penn would be the first time we loaded up our 4×1 and we were excited to see what we could do. (I figured low 43 – high 42). Stuck in lane one, we nailed all three hand offs and were leading when Isaiah got the baton but, as he was putting distance between himself and the other anchors, up he hopped and limped across the line, tumbled to the track and had to be helped off in a wheelchair. This was a new injury. Other leg, different spot. After time in the training room and an overnight evaluation, it’s day-to-day. Looking ahead to the 4×4, we went from a sure win of 2 – 3 seconds and adding another plaque to the collection, to scrambling for a 3rd place medal in a VERY mediocre Suburban American Conference heat. Only we and Plymouth Whitemarsh had broken 3:30.0 so far this season. Subtract Isaiah’s 48.0 and insert our alternate’s 53.0, that’s a 5 second swing. Been studying a little philosophy lately and as the Stoics say “Amore Fati” (love, or embrace, your fate) and “Another path is always open”. Easier said than done, I’m finding.
I really don’t know what it is about Wissahickon’s 4x4s down at Penn but more often than not, we do find that other path. We moved our workhorse Chase Bethea from second to anchor and hoped the other three would keep it close enough for a shot. This would be exciting, as several teams are like us. (51s, 52s and 53s with PW, Bensalem and William Tennent having a sub-50 guy to match Chase (49.5 PR going in).
With Grayson Ruffner leading off, he stayed out of traffic and, swinging wide down the homestretch, brought it in 4th (PR 52.39). Next up, our alternate: distance runner Brenden Haines, all 5′ 6″ 130lbs of him. (He earned his spot by filling in last Tuesday’s dual and dropping a PR 53.5 PR.) He did it again here, going 52.15 PR and moving us up to 3rd. Rowan Aten has been having confidence problems lately, and seemingly stuck in the 54-55 range since December. He was having none of that here. Knowing he was the set-up guy for Chase, he held on to third place with a PR of his own (53.01).
I mentioned Bensalem as having a guy. Well, that guy has gone 48.8 open. He got the baton in 7th place and just blew by everyone, including Chase, and went for the lead. Now we were in 4th. Heading into the curve, Chase started moving and picked off 3rd, then picked off 2nd and was closing fast on 1st as the Bensalem anchor began to break down. Without a doubt, if Chase had started his move earlier, he would have caught him. 49.22PR. 3:26.76 to their 3:26.44. RACE RESULTS HERE
L to R: Chase, Rowen, Brenden, Grayson