West Milford Track Team Exploring the Penn Relays


Courtesy of https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-relays-keep-running-first-ever-digital-penn-relays

JD Jones, Arts & Entertainment

The Penn Relays are among some of the most prestigious events in the sport of track and field, and select members of the West Milford Track team were able to visit it! From April 27 to April 30, the girls and boys of the team got to visit the University of Penn, and watch all types of athletes compete, from fellow high schools, to colleges, and even some Olympic-level talent! Plus, both the girls and the boys got to compete in the 4×100 and the 4×400 events. It was an exciting time, both in the fun and education that came with spectating!

For the girls, the trip began on April 27th, competing on the 28th. The 4×100 team was made up of Jess Orsino, Madison Klein, Lindsay Wittner, and Gwendolyn VanWyck. The girls also had a team for the 4×400 event, including athletes Laurel Space and Lauren Frey. While the girls didn’t place as well as they hoped in their heats, they still told me they had a lot of fun competing, and the girls who got to watch from the stands said that it was really cool to see an event like this on such a large scale!

The boys would head down a day later, and competed in the 4×100 on Friday, April 29. The roster for that included sophomore, Noah Traverso, and seniors, Danny Janz, Manny Acosta, and Nae’Qwon Morris. In their heat, they took 5th out of 9 teams. It was very electric on that first day, and the athletes were very excited about their performances. Watching the other races and field events throughout the day was also very interesting, especially at the college level, where the runners seemed to move at god-like speed. The next day featured more of the same, but this time, the 4×400 team members got their chance to shine. The lineup here consisted of junior, Wyatt Space, and seniors Colin Madara, Chase Apell, and Jonathan Basil. In their heat, they took 2nd place in a very close race! It was an impressive performance from the athletes, and Coaches Arthur Joecks and Brian Leslie were ecstatic! 

More spectating would occur after, and the atmosphere was improved by a large Jamaican audience rooting for their runners. Set up across the stadium in different spots, it was as if the whole area was alive and cheering!

Of course, the trip wasn’t strictly about the sport. Both teams got to do a bunch of activities together to bond and have fun. For the boys, it was a trip to a bowling alley that led to some surprise talent and hilarious hijinks! For the girls, it included a trip to the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art to see and run up the iconic steps that Sylvester Stallone ran up in 1976’s “Rocky”! Overall, it’s a trip that all of the athletes, especially the seniors, won’t forget!