Colby Trauger recalls leading off a relay race at an invitational meet his freshman season.
He stretched out the baton in search of his teammate's hand. His teammate reached back to find it.
The baton found the foot of Trauger's teammate and then ricocheted off the fence around the perimeter of the track.
It was the low point of Traugher's high school track career.
Trauger, now a senior, doesn't lead off the 400-meter relay team anymore and his classmate competes in the field events at Pennridge.
"I like to get the baton and go," Trauger said. "I like to chase a little more."
Pennridge's 400 and 1,600 relay teams haven't done much chasing this year. Instead, the Rams — Joey Logue, John Kim, Mike Class, Nick Stenderowicz and Trauger — are the hunted.
It has been a process for the five friends who have helped extend the coaching career of Bob Hosier, who retired from teaching five years ago.
"The last three years, we've had a real good run here," Hosier said. "We've rewritten the record board. It's been an amazing group of boys."
The 2013 season has been the best for the Rams two relays teams.
It started during the winter indoor season when the 1,600 foursome of Logue, Kim, Class and Stenderowicz won state gold with a then-school record time of 3:19.47.
The 800 relay squad of Stenderowicz, Kim, Trauger and Class took silver in 1:29.87. Logue (800) and Stenderowicz (400) earned individual medals.
Despite that success, the lineups and events have changed for these pals who share a competitive bond.
"You need to have good relationships on the track," Stenderowicz said. "You can't have any bad blood."
The senior, headed to IUP in the fall, is evidence of that. He is the newcomer. He transferred last year from Archbishop Wood.
Stenderowicz was given the chance to run the 100 dash last month. After posting a 10.6, he was rewarded with a shot at the 400 relay. He has been the anchor ever since.
"It's a matter of getting to know the people," Hosier said. "We've had seven combinations this year in the 4 by 1."
Hosier certainly has pushed the right buttons lately.
On April 20, the current 400 foursome broke a school record that stood since 1978 with a 42.87 at the Central Bucks Relays.
At the same meet, Logue, Kim, Class and Stenderowicz set a meet and stadium record in the 1,600 relay with a 3:18.91.
Logue, a 400-800 runner, first ran the mile at the 2012 Penn Relays. He's been there ever since.
"He knows what's best for us," Logue said of Hosier. "He believes in us."
Logue ran an area-best 4:18.63 at this year's Penn Relays.
The 1,600 group twice has recorded faster times since April 20, both at Penn Relays.
Kim and Class made a splash by stepping into the 4 by 4 relay at last year's Penn Relays.
"Coach just told us to get the baton and run," Class recalled. "I ran a 49-second [split]."
The Pennridge relays will have plenty of challengers in the coming weeks, particularly Bensalem, which already has beaten the Rams this spring, and perennial power Penn Wood.
The Rams expect this postseason to be a culmination of a three-year building process. They are shooting for gold after the 1,600 and 3,200 relays finished fourth and third, respectively, last season at states.
"We hate to lose more than we like to win," Kim said. "[Hosier] knows how to push us, when to back off, how to get under our skin to bring out the best in us.
"We're like sons to him. We don't want to disappoint him."
Monday: MVC meet at East Stroudsburg South; Tuesday-Wednesday: LVC/Colonial League meets at Whitehall; Wednesday: Schuylkill League meet at Mahanoy Area; Friday-Saturday, May 10-11: SOL Continental Division meet at Hatboro-Horsham and Central Bucks South.
Moravian Academy's Emily Smith will miss the rest of the season due to an injury. The junior finished second in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600 at last year's District 11 Class 2A meet. … Northwestern distance runner Tyler Stelmack missed Tuesday's regular-season finale with an illness, but will return for next week's Colonial League meet. … Easton's Kiana Farrar, who missed the first few meets of the LVC season with an injury, has come back strong. She was second in the district last year in the 3A 200 and part of the gold medal-winning 400 relay team. ... Liberty junior K.J. Williams is academically ineligible, but could return for the postseason. … Nazareth jumper Jane Lukas should be back for next week's LVC meet after missing the Allen Invitational with a knee injury. … Pleasant Valley senior sprinter Kegan Bray's season ended before it began with a bad hamstring injury suffered during the state indoor meet at Penn State.
Pocono Mountain West's Ramonia Benitez set a school record in the triple jump with a leap of 39-1.75 to win the Allen Invitational. … Nazareth's Carter Taylor improved his school record in the 300 hurdles at the Allen with a time of 39.22. … Pocono Mountain East's Joey Fogle extended his school record in the pole vault Tuesday, clearing 14 feet, 3 inches. … Lehighton's Sage Terembula set a school mark in the 100 (12.29) on Tuesday vs. PM West. Teammate Gwen Remaley extended her Indians record in the shot put with a throw of 40 feet, 10 inches, also Tuesday. … Two Southern Lehigh track records were set Tuesday. Palmerton's Jessica Pereira ran a 58.6 in the 400 to break the previous mark set by Saucon grad Alyssa Lombardo. Southern Lehigh's 1,600-meter relay team of Robyn Summers, Dana Musgnung, Isamarie Ramos and Shelby White ran a 4:13.8 to break the 32-year-old school record. … Palisades' foursome of Danielle Gehman, Anna Robinson, Alexa Rossi and Mary Ramsden broke their five-day-old school record in the 400 relay Tuesday with a 49.7. … The foursome of James Wah, J.J. Johnson, Nick Shafnisky and Kyleem Harrison broke the Whitehall 400 relay record Wednesday with a time of 43.3. The foursome of Mike Leonhardt, Mike Eible, Brian Plucinsky and J.C. Falcon broke the Zephyrs' 30-year-old 3,200 relay mark with an 8:08.44 at the Allen Invitational. Zephyr junior Angela Stella improved her school mark in the 800 by four seconds with a 2:20.10, also at Allen. … Jade Kubitsky set a Bethlehem Catholic record in the 200 (25.9) on Wednesday.
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For College corner and final high school standings, go to http://www.themorningcall.com/varsity
Favorite event: 800
College choice: Penn State or Oregon
One class you would take out of curriculum: Chemistry
Favorite coffee flavor: Mocha
Favorite form of social media: Twitter
Most sought-after vacation destination: Jamaica or Italy
Most daunting aspect of going to college: Being away from my parents and not being coached by coach Hosier
Biggest influence/support on your track career: Coach Hosier
Best conditions to run in: Sunny, 65 degrees, no wind
(through Wednesday's results)
100: Jody-Ann Evans, Quakertown, 11.7
200: Taylor Chapman, Pennridge, 24.85 (FAT)
400: Jessica Pereira, Palmerton, 58.6
800: Hanna Brosky, Emmaus, 2:13.82 (FAT)
1,600: Marissa Sheva, Pennridge, 5:02.85 (FAT)
3,200: Elizabeth Chikotas, Saucon Valley, 10:53.9
400 relay: Pennridge, 49.4
1,600 relay: Bethlehem Catholic, 4:04.36 (FAT)
3,200 relay: Northwestern, 9:34.39 (FAT)
100 hurdles: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West; Ashley Williams, Easton, 14.9
300 hurdles: Emmy Geis, Central Catholic, 45.6
High jump: Jane Lukas, Nazareth, 5-5
Long jump: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West, 17-11.25
Triple jump: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West, 39-1.75
Shot put: Gwen Remaley, Lehighton, 40-10
Javelin: Christine Streisel, Tamaqua, 149-6
Discus: Jasmine Vass, Bangor, 128-4
Pole vault: Mara Blanchard, Bethlehem Catholic, 11-0
100: Demetrius Lanier, East Stroudsburg South; Mike Class and Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 10.6
200: Tanner Lipsky, Nazareth, 21.3
400: Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 49.4
800: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 1:53.06 (FAT)
1,600: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 4:18.63 (FAT)
3,200: Wade White, Bangor, 9:43.12 (FAT)
400 relay: Pennridge, 42.87 (FAT)
1,600 relay: Pennridge, 3:17.55 (FAT)
3,200 relay: Pennridge, 7:56.39 (FAT)
110 hurdles: Tyler Horton, Bethlehem Catholic, 14.2
300 hurdles: Colby Trauger, Pennridge, 38.7
High jump: Donovan Clay, Stroudsburg, 6-7
Long jump: Nolan Hay, Parkland, 23-8
Triple jump: David Clowney, Stroudsburg, 46-8
Shot put: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 55-7.5
Javelin: Tyler Hope, Tamaqua, 194-5
Discus: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 191-0
Pole vault: Joey Fogle, Pocono Mountain East; 14-3
FAT: Fully Automatic Timing
Based on results reported to The Morning Call through Wednesday. Coaches can report updates, corrections by e-mailing email@example.com, calling 610-820-6651, or by sending a direct message on Twitter to @TomHousenick.