The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

Born to Run

The spectacular runner of the boys’ track team showed off their talents throughout the winter season.

After a record breaking cross country season, the expectations were high for the exceptional group of athletes. Training through tough conditions, it was clear that the Aces weren’t prepared to disappoint. The group collected a bunch of silverware during the season’s early meets with Alex Bullard ’22 and the relay squad of: David Litvin ’22, Martin Gallagher ’22, Andrew Gannon ’23, Krzysztof Jarocha ’22 picking up many of personal records. When the time opened to perform at the coveted Meet of Champions, the relay team rallied to third and fourth place relay finishes in the Distance Medley Relay (10:38) and the 4x800m (8:22), respectively. Those spectacular performances qualified them for the state competition at Penn State.

The stellar relay squad came into the 4x800m relay as heavy underdogs with the #13 seed and a spot in the “slow heat” of the event. However, their performance turned out to be anything but slow. As the gun fired inside the Penn State arena, Litvin ran a tactical first leg to put the Aces into third position. Gallagher made up the gap to the leading duo, which improved the situation. During the final lap of his race, Jarocha passed the other teams to put the Aces into the lead before the anchor leg. Gannon ran a smart race and held off the pressure from the Central League rival Penncrest during his early laps. With 200m to go, he surged and crossed the finish line, well into first place in their heat. The Aces celebrated their emphatic win, but had to wait until the “fast” heat of the meet finished before finding out their final ranking. As the minutes passed by it became clear that the Aces indoor school record time of 8:07:00 was good enough for third place.

With this terrific performance, the team beat out several powerhouse teams such as: Central Bucks West, Butler, and LaSalle College High School. After collecting the bronze medal, the squad got ready for its second race of the day including the DMR. During the DMR, the Aces battled against very strong competition, including the national mile champion Gary Martin and the the nation’s fifth-ranked squad: Butler High School. In a high profile race, the Aces came away with an eigth place finish, sneaking into the medals and getting revenge on Hatboro Horsham High School which had beaten them earlier on in the season. The runners capped off their spectacular season by attending New Balance
Indoor Nationals at the world renowned Armory Track in New York City.  

Running against a stacked 4×800 field and a packed crowd, the Aces battled to a sixth place finish in their heat and 25th in the nation. Following the successful winter season, Coach David vanHouten believes that these performances are just the beginning.

The athletes now change their sights to outdoor track, where they will have an exciting season ahead of them. Look forward to Sarem Khan ’24 and Bullard making noise in the 3200m, Alex Goonewardene ’24, Gannon, and Litvin setting the track on fire in the mile, Jarocha smashing the competition in the 800m, and Gallagher alongside Ben Miller-Wilson ’22 lighting it up in the 400m. In the relays, the phenoms will attempt to break the fifty-year-old school record in the 4x800m and further seek to represent LM at the prestigious Penn
Relays. LM will be able to see the runners later on in the season when they host the annual Lower Merion Invitational in front of a home crowd at Arnold Field in May. 

David Litvin ’22, Martin Gallagher ’22, Krzysztof Jarocha ’22, and Andrew Gannon ’23 pose at New Balance Indoor Nationals.

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