The day Penn Relays invitations came out, Amanda Hoffman and her Parsippany Hills 4×800 teammates spent a lot of time checking the official website. Hoffman said the Vikings “were pretty sure we got in” and “pretty confident” with their school-record 9:37:15 from Nike Indoor Nationals in March.
But until their school was posted, they weren’t sure they’d be able to go to the prestigious track and field carnival that’s held annually on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia since 1895.
The Parsippany Hills girls – junior Anya Sadowski, sophomore Kira Chebishev, and seniors Leann Lombardi and Hoffman – are set to run on Friday morning.
Chatham and Mendham will get local competition underway on Thursday morning in the boys 4×800 heats. Fifteen Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference boys 4×100 teams will compete, followed by boys 4×400 heats all afternoon.
Instead of the traditional high school “Girls Day” on Thursday, there will be girls 4×100 and 4×800 heats on Friday morning and four hours of 4x400s on Saturday.
The top 12 finishers across the 4×800 heats, as well as the nine fastest 4x100s and 4x400s, advance to Championship of America finals. There are also Northeast, National and International finals for the 4×100.
Don’t miss this!Penn Relays schedule and results for North Jersey competitors
The Chatham boys 4×8 reached the Championship of America final last year, placing ninth. Seniors Ryan Beegle and Charlie Henne are back, alongside senior Leo Valenzuela and sophomore Adam Petitjean. The Cougars broke the school record by running 7:51.5 to place fourth at the Arcadia Invitational over spring break, with junior Reilly Byrne running in place of Petitjean.
“We’re really excited to finally see it. It looks really cool in the pictures,” said Parsippany Hills’ Hoffman, who hopes to help her team post personal bests in both the 4×4 (4:03.94) and 4×8. “We’ve all been working really hard since the end of winter and thinking about Penn Relays all that time. I know we’re all going to try our best that day.”
➤ Delbarton is the top seed in the distance medley Championship of America on Friday afternoon, after running 10:08.58 on Jan. 21 at The Armory in New York City.
➤ Mount Olive senior Nicholas Frattina is the only local individual to be invited to participate. A thrower since beating the opposition by 10 feet at Mountain View Elementary School’s field day when he was in fourth grade, Frattina will compete in the shot put on Thursday morning.
Frattina hopes to surpass his outdoor PR of 59 feet, 6 inches, preferably by breaking 60 feet.
“I’m trying to beat myself every day,” said Frattina, who will compete for Cornell University next year. “I would like to win Penn Relays, but at least be the best American there. We’ll see what happens.”
Morris/Sussex Penn Relays qualifiers
Chatham: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×800
Delbarton: Distance medley
Dover: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×100, Girls 4×400
Kittatinny: Girls 4×100
Mendham: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Boys 4×800, Girls 4×400
Morris Hills: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×100
Morristown: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×100, Girls 4×400
Morristown Beard: Boys 4×100
Mount Olive: Boys 4×100, Girls 4×100, Nicholas Frattina (shot put)
Parsippany: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×400
Parsippany Hills: Boys 4×100, Girls 4×400, Girls 4×800
Pequannock: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400
Pope John: Girls 4×100
Randolph: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400
Roxbury: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×100, Girls 4×400
Vernon: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400
Wallkill Valley: Boys 4×100, Boys 4×400, Girls 4×100