by Tom Utescher
Four of the six boys track teams from the Inter-Ac League were joined by three other squads last Saturday morning at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, where the Blue Devils hosted their 13th annual SCH Relays.
SCH, Penn Charter, Germantown Academy, and Episcopal Academy represented the Inter-Ac, Suburban One League member Springfield High School made a strong showing, and Friends Schools League members Abington Friends and Friends Central rounded out the field at the local meet, which featured six relay races, 100 and 1600-meter open races, and four field events.
A brisk wind had dried out the track following Friday night’s rains, but it made for somewhat chilly conditions, particularly when the sky momentarily clouded over.
The sprinters had the first crack at the baton as the program opened with the 4 x 100-meter relay. Springfield won convincingly in 43.5 seconds, with its line-up of Lamar Johnson, Ben Fisher, Kyle Wyche, and Jhaloni Johnson. SCH, with Justin Telemaque, Bruce Howard, Frank Jackson, and Nick Rowland, ran second in 47.4, a second ahead of third-place Friends Central.
Rowland came right back to run the third leg of the sprint medley relay, where Alex Mollick and Craig Alleyne ran the first two stages, and Graham Allen was the anchorman. The Devils finished first in three minutes, 37.3 seconds, with Charter second (Sean Fitzgerald/James Biggs-Frazier/Judah Jamison/Tre Williams in 3:39.7) and GA third (Matt Miller/Alejandro Gonzalez/Nelson Floyd/Sam Ritz in 3:42.3).
The PC quartet of Scott Mason, Jamir Brown, Hans Stedman, and Charlie Hoyt won the 4 x 800 in 8:43.4, with Friends Central finishing second in 8:53.3. GA was farther back in third at 10:14.2; the Patriots had gone with an all-freshman line-up consisting of Peter Butler, Alex Smith, Austin Takei, and Braden Cody.
Around this time the results from the shot put landed at the scoring table, revealing a victory for Episcopal’s Kevin Morgan. His best heave of 38’5” put him ahead of the Quakers’ Micah Halloway (38’1.5”) and Springfield’s Chris Stone (37’4.5”).
Stone would go on to win two of the other field events, setting a new meet record of 6’8.25” in the high jump, and out-leaping the field in the long jump as he traveled 21’5”. In the high jump, PC’s Akeem Blake was runner-up (6’0”) and Episcopal’s Jermaine Rhoden was third (5’10”), while in the long jump second and third went to EA’s Sam Pope (19’11.25”) and Springfield’s Fisher (19’4.5”).
On the track, the baton took a break as the open 100 meters was staged, with Abington Friends receiving a winning 11.8-second effort from Kyle Edwards. Jamison went 12.1 for Penn Charter to snag second, and Sameir Madden of SCH placed third at 12.2.
It was then back to relays with the distance medley, which ended with an easy victory for the PC. Starting out, Scott Mason built a significant early lead which the Quakers never relinquished, as Aaron Gardner, Brown, and Stedman finished it out in 11:50.7. Second, in 12:30.5, was GA (Owen Ritz/Gonzalez, John Marion/Trent Weiss), and third, with a time of 14:07.7, was Springside Chestnut Hill (Tim Kerbel/Jan Alex/Joe Mulhern/Jamie Alden).
Meet host SCH then tabbed its second victory of the day by winning the 4 x 200, where Howard, Phil Giovanazzo, Telemaque, and Mollick produced a time of 1:38.8. In second were Penn Charter’s Nikhil Krishnan, Dylan Burnett, Blake, and Jamison in 1:40.4, seven-tenths ahead of Episcopal.
In the open 1600, PC’s Ben Szuhaj, back from an autumn injury, came on late in the race, but Springfield’s Sean Stovall fought off the challenge to win 4:48.9. Szuhaj, in 4:50.3, was comfortably ahead of third-place Nick Stegler of AFS (4:59.5).
The results from the final field event came in, revealing a new meet record in the triple jump. Episcopal’s Sam Pope set the new standard of 44’7.5”, while SCH’s Jackson was second in 40’8” and Krishnan of Penn Charter was third in 38’9”.
The only relay that is run in official Inter-Ac League events is the 4 x 400, but in this, the concluding race of the meet, it was actually Springfield which topped the Inter-Ac teams that were competing.
Wyche, Jhalani Johnson, and Stovall (who had just run the 1600) had the Spartans ahead after three legs, and on the anchor lap Lamar Johnson was able to survive a spirited effort by Penn Charter’s Charlie Hoyt. The final figures were 3:30.0 for the victors and 3:30.3 for the Quakers, whose first three runners were Biggs-Frazier, Williams, and Fitzgerald.
Springside Chestnut Hill was third in 3:38.5, with a line-up consisting of Giovinazzo, Allen, Jackson, and Mollick.