Girls/Boys Track & Field Program gives program history performances at Penn Relays; girls team earns coveted Penn Relays ‘wheel’

Team with Penn Relay wheelThe Varsity Girls and Boys Track & Field Program arguably has had the most successful Penn Relays Carnival performance in program history!

“Admission alone to the meet is extremely competitive, with strict standards in place for almost all events in the scholastic, collegiate and professional divisions,” said Todd Derkacz, Varsity Girls Outdoor Track & Field head coach.

The girls 4×400 relay team of Kessler Hirsch, Zoey Terpak, Sierra Jones and Rihanna Burgher achieved a Minisink Valley “first” in resoundingly winning their division and earning a coveted Penn Relays “Wheel,” smashing the program record in the process with a time of 4:01.09!

Penn Relay wheelIn the Track & Field world, the Penn Relays Wheel (featuring Benjamin Franklin presenting an award to a winning high school relay team) is an iconic award to earn.

“Winning a ‘wheel’ is the highlight of many team’s histories, aside from winning national titles,” Coach  Derkacz added. “The trophy is unmistakable from those awarded at other meets we attend; I have never seen another on display in our awards cases.”

The girls 4×100 relay team of Stephanie Cohen, Rihanna Burgher, Zoey Terpak and Kessler Hirsch challenged their season best in adverse conditions and finished 81st in a field of over 150 teams.

In the field events, jumps specialist Ella Michelitch braved the wind and improved on her seed to finish in a three-way tie for seventh place, with a jump of 5 feet, 5 inches.

The boys 4×100 relay team of Jacob Hernandez, Zouhair Elsibai ( standing in for the injured Samuel Anderson), Robert Labarbera and John Mattera, turned in a 60th place showing in a field of over 130 teams! Elsibai, Labarbera and Mattera were joined by Gavin Rossi to challenge the 4×400 meter program record in a time of 3:31.91, good for fifth place in their division.

The Penn Relays (also known as the Penn Relays Carnival) is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States. All events were held over a three day period at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, the nation’s oldest college stadium.