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Boys' Track Brings Home Penn Wheel, Sets New School Record at Penn Relays Invitational

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Abigail Kosch '24
15 May 2022


Boys Track Relay Team; photo credit: Mr. ThorntonPassaic Valley’s Boys Track and Field had themselves quite the season this spring, competing at the Penn Relays Track and Field event at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) for the first time in two years, leaving behind a new legacy and bringing home another trophy for Passaic Valley.

Every year, UPenn hosts the Penn Relays track event, a global invitational meet for high school, collegiate, and professional track and field athletes. Called by some the “Relays Carnival,” the event spans over multiple days, with Passaic Valley sending boys' and girls' track team members for the weekend of April 28th. This year was the first time in PV history that a girls' track team had been part of the invitational. The boys’ track team also made their mark in PV history, with the 4x100 group placing 30th out of 117 teams, and the 4x400 event group setting a new school record with a time of 3:29.68 and placing 137th out of 416 teams.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that I’ve made my mark at PV,” said Junior Dev Patel, part of both the 4x100 and the 4x400 event teams. “Breaking the school record felt great, there isn't a better feeling than putting in hard work and seeing results.”

Boys Track Team; photo credit: Mr. ThorntonTo participate in the 4x100 event at Penn Relays, a team must qualify and are only allowed to take four runners, with an alternate runner allowed as a backup. The runners representing Passaic Valley on the 4x100 team were Eddionel Gonzalez ‘22, Nehemiah Redden ‘22, Dev Patel, and Brian Whitney ‘22. 

For the 4x400 event, a team has to reach a certain time to qualify. The times are based off of times achieved during the winter track season and the beginning of the spring track season by a certain cut off date. On the 4x400 team were athletes Jessier Soriano ‘22, Nehemiah Redden ‘22, Anthony Scielzo ‘22, Dev Patel ‘23, and Leith Matari ‘23.

The goal for the PV Track Team each season is to qualify for Penn Relays and hopefully bring home what is called a “Penn Wheel.” This year, the team worked hard and brought home a Penn Wheel for the 4x400 event.

The process to prepare for Penn Relays begins even before the spring track season begins. “You start to talk about it in the winter season, then once preseason of the spring season begins, we talk to the kids and we tell them that they’re competing for a little bit more,” said Boys’ Spring and Winter Track and Field Coach Mr. Joel Thornton. ‘They’re competing for a varsity spot, earning times, and then also competing for a spot on our 4x100 and 4x400 teams. So from day one they realize that they’re working for that bigger picture.”