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Middle Schoolers Shine at Big Blue Relays!

Nearly a decade ago, Middle School Athletic Director Gerry Vanasse P '14, '20, who served as meet director of the Somerset County Relays for 20 years, wondered, "Why is there no similar meet for Middle Schoolers? Where do they get the chance to compete in some of the same exciting relay events that high schoolers do?" No good answer was to be found, so he created one himself, naming it, appropriately, the Big Blue Relays. The meet, which draws local independent and public schools alike, has taken place on the Basking Ridge Campus's track and field ever since.

This year—the first on Pingry's renovated track and turf field—11 Middle Schools converged for the ninth annual Big Blue Relays, held on May 9. Under the leadership of Head Coach Sarah Christensen, a roster of 60 Pingry student athletes competed.

Highlights included a Swedish Relay (Mr. Vanasse's idea), a 1,000-meter relay composed of four legs: 100, 200, 300, and 400 meters, the World Record for which—1:46.59—is held by Jamaica, whose team included eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Pingry boys placed second in 2:34.3; the girls finished third in 2:48.5. Also contested were a hurdle relay (girls and boys both took second); a 4x100-meter relay, in which the boys took first; a distance medley relay (boys and girls took third); a 4x200-meter relay (girls took second, boys finished third); a 4x400-meter relay. Long jump, shot put, discus, and high jump relays were also contested. Big Blue girls took fourth overall behind Newark Academy, Kent Place, and Gill, and the boys placed third behind William Annin, Valley View, and Newark Academy.

Congratulations, Middle Schoolers!

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,