May 18, 2011
With a much higher degree of competition and 45,000 pairs of eyes staring down at them, Langley Track and Field athletes could feel the pressure at PENN Relays.“Our race was very exciting, but more than that it was incredibly nerve-racking,” said Jeffery Owens, who ran in the 4×400 meter relay.
Unlike regular season or invitational track meets, PENN Relays is a larger event that allows Langley athletes to compete against a broad range of teams, and gives them the opportunity to watch Olympic level races. “PENN was definitely the mid-season high point because of the competition,” said track and field Head Coach Mr. Joshua Culver.
Saxon relay teams managed to push past anxiousness, perform at their best and improve upon previous times in their events. Langley boys and girls relay teams competed in the 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays that the PENN Relays offered for the high school level.
On the boy’s side of the team, the 4×100 relay seized the ranking of forth in the region after setting a new school record of 44.18 seconds. Furthermore, the boy’s 4×400 relay placed fifth out of thirteen teams by beating their previous time by four seconds. “We did well in relation to other teams from our area that also participated,” said 4×400 sprinter junior Jonathan Ledesma.
The girls were also successful in the 4×100 setting a new record for their group with a time of 51.47 seconds. Adrienne Schmidt who was part of the 4×100 relay said, “Our relay team did really well, our time was our relay team’s personal best for the season.”
Though the races show the competitive aspect of this meet, the runners all agreed that watching the USA vs. The World event was the most exciting part of the PENN Relays. “USA vs. The World was by far one of the most intense and active sporting events I’ve ever seen, both in the stands and on the track, and is definitely one of the greatest highlights of the trip, said Ledesma.
Meigan McManus, who ran in both the 4×100 and the 4×400 explains that watching the more experienced athletes run is also a learning experience for the Langley team. “You get to see college and Olympic athletes compete up close and thereby take mental notes on how you yourself can improve.”