DOYLESTOWN >> CB West’s past handed off to the present…
“One of the members from that team was actually giving out the medals,” Bucks senior Joe Manetta said of former West great Matt Bee. “So it was fun to break the school record with him here. He went on to run at Shipp (Shippensburg University).
“We didn’t really realize until today that the meet record was possible.”
The West sprint medley relay team of today not only surpassed the school record set in 2011, the Bucks would also break the CB West Relays meet record, a mark seemingly set in stone, a figure no on touched for 18 years.
“I love the kids on East,” Manetta said of the rival Patriots, “but it feels good to take that record back for West.”
With a sizzling 3:30.84, the Bucks’ 1,600 Sprint Medley Relay foursome set a meet record on Saturday at their home track, replacing the previous record set by East back in 1999, when Manetta was five months old and Bucks coach Greg Wetzel was a freshman at East.
“That’s an amazing accomplishment,” Wetzel said of his squad, which put on an impressive overall performance. “To be able to break any record that Bryan Scott was a part of is pretty cool.”
Scott, who would go on to play 11 years in the NFL, was part of that famed East foursome, along with Kevin Nishiyama (State Champion 800), speedster John Steck and cross-country ace Mike Enwright.
The Bucks knew early in Saturday’s race that they were on history’s doorstep. Senior Christian Bobowicz (200), Manetta (200), sophomore Luke Fehrman (400) and junior Jake Claricurzio (800) pulled away from the rest of the field, with Quakertown the closest competitor with a 3:33.48.
“Christian led off, and as soon as I got the baton and saw the clear track ahead of me, I knew that we were gonna do really well,” Manetta said, “because I knew Luke could just book it in the 400. He handed off to Jake, who is really a great anchor leg for any event you wanna do.”
And for good reason.
“He just has this fire in him,” Manetta said with a smile. “He does not like to lose. All you need to tell him is the guy is right on his shoulder and he just moves.”
The Bucks weren’t done.
West raced away to a victory in the 4×200, setting another school record.
“It was exciting,” Bobowicz said. “After setting the record indoors, it was only natural for us to run a good one here and break the outdoor record.
“Doing this at the West Relays, being able to represent the school so well…We knew we could do something special and this is the one opportunity we had.”
A team of Nick Ferrentino, Manetta, Griffin Shields and Bobowicz clocked a 1:29.24, tops in West history, by a group that savors the chance to run it.
“Four by two is the best relay,” Manetta said trackside.
“The perfect distance,” added Bobowicz.
“After seeing Joe being able to break away,” Bobowicz said, “I knew that we were on pace for something really awesome. Hopefully that record will stand for quite a while.”
The Bucks have the speed but also have perfected the art of the handoff.
“The handoffs (on the 4×2) are interesting because of course three we did blind, and the last one we did open,” Manetta said. “It’s a lot harder than the 4×1 because in the 4×1, you’re coming in at full speed. And the 4×2, you’re dying a little bit at the end, even if you don’t wanna be.
“So it takes some tweaking, guessing and just pure luck to get the right steps.”
The Bucks had all of them on Saturday.
“It was just a lot of fun to run,” Shields said.
“We were all pretty loose going into it,” added Ferrentino.
West finished things off by taking first in the 4×4, with Jake Claricurzio gutting it out down the final stretch to hold off second-place Central Bucks South.
Pennridge had the top two shot putters in Griffin McMann (50-3) and Riley LaRiviere (47-3), and also the top two triple jumpers in Matt Ludlow (44-0) and Ryan Sattelle (44-0). It’s shaping up for quite a battle Tuesday when the Rams take on the Bucks in a match-up of SOL Continental unbeatens.
La Salle won two events on the track, two in the field, including the javelin, propelled by Noah Walker’s throw of 185 feet, 9 inches.