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Briarcliff High School Track & Field Girls Excel at Penn Relays!!!

Briarcliff's 4x400 Meter Relay team of Sophie Feuer, Sharon Luan, Sophia Gelard and Caroline Pennacchio at Franklin Field. Photo by Sharon Luan.
Briarcliff's 4x400 Meter Relay team of Sophie Feuer, Sharon Luan, Sophia Gelard and Caroline Pennacchio at Franklin Field. Photo by Sharon Luan.
The Briarcliff High School girls’ track & field team travelled to historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, April 25, 2014 to participate in the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival. The team went with the primary objective of breaking the school 4x100 meter relay record that had stood since 1989. This record was the only relay record that the Briarcliff girls have not broken in the last three years. Most of the other records have been broken multiple times, so the girl’s drive to break the 4x100 meter relay record was strong. The girls were also entered in the 4x400 meter relay and wanted a strong performance to give them a quality seed time for the championship meets that are coming in May and June.

The team of Sarah Bianco (junior), Sophie Feuer (senior), Sophia Gelard (freshman) and Sharon Luan (senior) were charged with the task of breaking the 4x100 meter relay record. The team started the day with a 6:30AM bus ride to Philadelphia. It was a quiet trip as everyone caught up on sleep lost to the early start time. The calm of the bus ride ended quickly as the team was faced by long lines to get through security. Once through security, the hectic rush accelerated through the warm-up and staging areas.  However, the team’s focus on the objective never wavered.

Sophia Gelard, the team’s top sprinter, started with a strong opening leg and a clean baton pass to captain Sharon Luan who blasted down the back straightaway to another clean pass to Sarah Bianco who ran a superb leg on the curve and finished with a clean pass to captain Sophie Feuer who rocketed to the finish. The tension hit as everyone waited for the time on the stadium scoreboard. After a few moments of anticipation, the time was posted 52.01 and the record had fallen by three hundreds of a second. High fives were delivered all around and the mission of sweeping the school relay record board was accomplished.

But the job was not complete, as a strong 4x400 meter relay was still required. Caroline Pennacchio joined with Sophie, Sophia and Sharon to form the team. Caroline, the team’s best distance runner, led off in the crowded start with an opening 1:06.0 leg. Sophia followed with personal record of 1:01.0 and a powerful move up in the crowded field. Sharon then took the baton and ran a solid leg of 1:05.2 and then handed off to Sophie, the best Briarcliff HS mid-distance runner ever, who powered past many teams with an amazing closing leg of 57.7.  The team’s time of 4:09.87 gave them the quality mark they wanted and all are psyched for the championship meets ahead.

Sophie Feuer said it best after these races “It has been an amazing four years on the track for our team. I am so proud of all my teammates on today’s results and all the other relays we have run together, but I know we can break many of these records again, this is fun!”




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