HORSHAM >> Will Griffen picked his spot, and off he went.
“I just tried to stay relaxed the first two laps,” he said, “and leave when I could.”
The Cheltenham senior pulled away from a tight pack, racing to a convincing victory in the 1,600-meter run Tuesday afternoon. He would follow up with a win in the 3,200, as Cheltenham’s abilities on the track and in the field began to take full shape.
“We’re doing pretty well,” Griffen said after the tri-meet at Hatter Stadium. “We have some work to do, but we have a lot of improvements we can make. And I think it’s possible.”
Cheltenham earned a 105-43 victory over Plymouth-Whitemarsh, defeated host Hatboro-Horsham 94-55, and improved to 2-1 in the Suburban One League American Conference.
Griffen led a determined distance group, the bulk of which led the Panthers to a conference crown during cross country season.
“It’s a tight-knit group of guys,” Griffen said.
Cheltenham also swept the hurdles and took the majority of the relay points. The Panthers were just as tough in the sprints as they were in the long distance.
“We were hoping to go 2-0 today but Cheltenham’s a great team,” said Hatters coach Mike Mahoney, whose team earned a 105-43 win over PW. “They competed well and they beat us.
“Matt Lenahan ran pretty well for us — second in the 300 hurdles, won the 400, second in the 200. I wish we had more guys healthy — Paul Isabella, our top sprinter, pulled his hamstring at indoor states so he’s missed our first three meets but he should be back by (the meet against Springfield Montco). And that’ll help us going into the conference meet.”
Brendan Quinn pulled out a victory in the 800 for the Hatters, his kick there when he needed it.
“(Cheltenham and PW) were kind of battling for the lead, and with 150 meters to go, I gave it all I had,” Quinn said. “Luckily it was enough to finish the race in first.
“I think I had a good indoor season and that’s helped me progress into the spring. This was a big meet for us. It’s been rainy, cold, and early spring was terrible, so it was good to have a nice day like this.”
PW closed out the meet strong, its 4×4 team of Ryan Clancy, Dontae Wilson, Chris Johnson and Xzavier Anaya racing to a victory in the meet with Hatboro.
“We’re hoping to get around 3:30 this season,” Anaya said. “I like this group. We just wanna keep improving so we have a chance to attain our goals. Anything’s possible.”