BY STANLEY BINGHAM
The Penn Relays, an elite track meet, took place April 27 and Wadsworth track members Josiah Sovine, Nick Miller, Kai Wagner, and Gabe Szalay participated in the 4×800 meter relay. They finished fifth in the Championship of America final, which is an improvement over last season. Miller and Szalay were the only returning members that had previously competed at the relays.
The prestigious track and field meet was hosted at Franklin Field in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. It has been hosted annually since its inaugural appearance in 1985; no other event compares. It is the largest and oldest track and field meet in the United States, meaning that the competition at the meet is simply unbelievable. However, these four, seasoned Wadsworth track members were more than capable of competing against the stiff competition.
“Getting to run in front of a near 47,000 people is an unforgettable experience,” said Nick Miller, 12. “It was an honor to be competing with some of the best teams from across the world.”
Expectations were high as both Szalay and Miller are going D1 for college track. Szalay is headed to Kentucky and Miller to Ohio State. Combined with the talent and potential of Sovine and Wagner, a deadly relay team was created and poised for a great performance.
“I feel like it was the best performance of my life so far,” continued Miller. “Everything went perfect and the time and place showed.”
Preparation for this event was key. A long season filled with Suburban League meets and invitationals were vital to the success of the relay team as they had several opportunities to run as a unit. This ultimately contributed to their top five finish.
“I definitely felt prepared for the race but I did not know what to expect when it came to the atmosphere. The preparation gave us the ability to perform at a level we knew we were ready for,” remarked Josiah Sovine, 12.
It will be an uphill battle to return to such an event in the next season due to the loss of Miller, Szalay, and Sovine. However, Wagner’s experience, along with new team members, certainly allows for the possibility to compete like this again next season.