A group of six students from Turlock’s Pitman High School Pride Track & Field visited its sister team, the Pitman High School Panthers in Pitman, New Jersey this week.
The visit came during a trip to the Penn Relays Carnival, the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States. The relays have been held annually since 1895 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pride Track & Field Coach Thad Moren had been planning the trip to the Penn Relays for three years, and figured since the team would be only 30 minutes from Pitman High in New Jersey the two schools and track and field programs should shake hands.
“The dates for this year falling on our spring break made it a perfect coincidence to allow us to go and visit more of the East Coast,” Moren said. “We had a team meal at Pitman High School, NJ with their girls track team and practiced with them on Wednesday. They were wonderful hosts and gave us a 2nd team to root for at the races.”
The teams shared a spaghetti dinner April 23 and exchanged t-shirts. Pitman High, NJ has the colors orange and black, similar to Merced High School.
Visiting the East Coast was an excellent opportunity for Pride athletes to spread their horizons.
“We have also been able to visit the historical sites of Philadelphia and show the kids a little about a part of the world they don't usually experience…row houses, subways, etc.,” said Moren. “We will be staying until Sunday as our pole vaulters have yet to compete, also we will be attending the USA vs the World relays on Saturday. This is a collection of pro athletes that will be a once-in-a-lifetime event as they will be representing their countries. Along with Eugene, Oregon, the Penn Relays is the must-see track experience in the U.S. It has existed yearly since 1895, and 50,000 spectators will attend Saturday.”
The Pride competed in the 4×100 relay and finished 76th out of 250 large schools, taking third in their heat with a time of 50.95. A school from Jamaica won the race. The Pitman team consisted of Claire Littlefield, Kiana Clay, Madi Todd and Lindsey Phillips.
“In the girls 4×400 we took sixth in our race,” Moren said. “They don't have an overall list for this race. We started out the first lap in first place and it was great to see our girls battle and hear ‘Pitman of California’ over the PA. There were over 600 hundred girls teams in the 4×400. We ran a 4:11 and it was our fastest time of the year. Claire Littlefield, Kiana Clay, Madi Todd and Cerah Moren made up the team.”
Cerah Moren also competed in the javelin and moved into second place on her third throw with a 138’ 10” throw. She finished in third place and medaled in the competition.
Chance Hagar, the lone male representing the Pride, is scheduled to compete in the pole vault later this weekend.