PHILADELPHIA--- Tradition never graduates.
The slogan used by the Rancocas Valley boys 4x400 relay team rang true on Saturday at the Penn Relays.
The Red Devils won their fifth South Jersey Large School 4x400 race in six years and third in a row.
Ian Moore, Vincent Brown, Tre Boyd and Micah Wood completed the race in 3:26.74.
Timber Creek was in the lead going into the second leg, but Brown tracked the Chargers' runner down and asserted RV’s dominance in the race.
“We came in here knowing that Ian was going to open up and I had to give our third leg room to breathe,” Brown said. “The moment I saw Timber Creek in front of me, I knew I was going to have to follow them all the way through. In a 400, usually you take a break and I knew he was going to break in the final 200 so that’s when I knew I could get him.”
By the time Wood crossed the finish line, the Red Devils opened up close to a five-second advantage over second-place Cherokee.
“Thinking about last year when Vince ran the 49-second lap that was still in the back of my head the whole time,” Wood said. “I had to go out there and try to win it. I thought it was going to be a close race, but from the beginning I saw that wasn’t going to happen.”
Haddonfield took home first place in the South Jersey Small School 4x400, with Camden, Paul VI, Haddon Heights and Delsea rounding out the top five.
Camden and Paul VI returned to the track late Saturday afternoon for the Philadelphia Area 4x400 final in which the Panthers took second place.
Winslow finished off the high school races with a victory in the girls Philadelphia Area 4x400 by beating RV on the final lap.
Nicole Hood, Janeya Hammond, Rayven Rouse and Nylah Perry ran 3:51.70 to defeat the Red Devils by two seconds.
Rouse set up Winslow to take the lead on the third leg, when she inched closer to Rancocas Valley.
“I had nothing in my head,” Rouse said. “Just go, There’s nothing to think about. You can’t think and just have to go.”
Perry was in a tight race with RV for most of the final leg before she surged ahead in the final 200 meters.
“I planned on it and when I saw how close I was I told myself to ease up and then once the 200 hits to go,” Perry said. “I kept getting closer and closer and that’s when I started to go. I saw her getting tired so I knew it was my time to go, I was so happy (at the finish line)."
Boys SJ Small 4x400
1. Haddonfield (3:22.13)
2. Camden (3:22.83)
3. Paul VI (3:26.35)
4. Haddon Heights (3:26.36)
5. Delsea (3:27.29)
Boys SJ Large 4x400
1. Rancocas Valley (3:26.74)
2. Cherokee (3:31.17)
3. Willingboro (3:32.26)
4. Kingsway (3:32.45)
5. Timber Creek (3:32.57)
Girls Philadelphia Area 4x400
1. Winslow (3:51.70)
2. Rancocas Valley (3:53.83)