Relay team ends season at PIAA T&F Meet
The Northwestern girls 4x800-meter relay team was looking for just the right balance of competition and enjoyment at the state championship meet last Friday.
All four members of the team were running in their first state meet and they knew the competition at the meet was going to be the fastest they had ever faced.
“For us, coming to states was the finish to a season,” said senior Sarah Supplee. “We focus more on the journey. This was just like icing on the cake. We didn’t have high expectations, we were just focusing on how proud we were of each other for getting here and the journey we had to get here.”
The team, which was made up of Supplee, senior Maddie Consuelos, senior Alyssa Zack and junior Allie Costa, ran the race in 9:55.27.
Consuelos and Zack have been members of the relay for all four years of high school. Costa joined the relay team as a sophomore and Supplee took over this season upon the graduation of Molly Tarvin last spring.
The group’s primary goal for the season was to make it to the state meet. All four had been to states in fall as part of the cross country team. In track and field, where Northwestern competes against mostly larger schools in Class 3A, reaching the state meet has been a tough task for Tiger athletes.
“We wanted this really bad,” said Zack. “For cross country we all made it to states, so we all knew the arena and how to run with the elites. But track and moving up to triple-A, it was something none of us had ever experienced.
“And I think our coaches also wanted it for us. They wanted us to be part of the elite, as coach Groller would say. So just to be here among all the other elites in PA and be able to run at triple-A, it really shows that even though small school, we come from Northwestern Lehigh and no one ever knows where that is or what it is, to come here and show we can run with these huge schools and show that we can run with them, we’re very proud.”
Consuelos was happy to get one more week of training and one more race with the people she enjoys spending time with most.
“I definitely wasn’t ready to end our season at districts,” she said. “I was very excited to have one more week with my friends. It’s intimidating looking at the stands and seeing all these people.
“But it’s definitely one of those experiences not every high school track athletes gets, so I’m excited and blessed that I got to share this with my best friends.”
The group has always trained hard for the season with a focus on the postseason. But this year they added something more to their prerace routines.
“We’ve really becoming like a family,” said Supplee. “One thing we’ve been doing that’s different for us is we’ve been praying before we run. That calms all our anxiety.
“Together we’ve really grown our faith. Coming out here it’s amazing to show our running skills, but also remembering why we’re running is important. That’s what got us here, God.”
All three seniors on the relay team have plans to run in college. Next year Costa will likely be back on the 4x800 relay team with three new teammates.
“It’s going to be hard losing these girls,” Costa said. “They’ve always been my role models. I’ve been with them ever since I started track. They convinced me to do cross country.
“It’s going to be tough losing them because I always look up to them and they taught me everything I know about running. But I’m excited for next year too, bring new girls up and move into their spot to be the role model.”