GlenOak runners take on New Balance Nationals

Jordan Hess, Cole Murray, Matt Tschantz, Braedon Paolini and Tommy Rice at the New Balance Nationals.

Donovan Votypka, Editor-in-Chief

On March 11, five members of the GlenOak track team walked into the most historic indoor track facility in America to compete in the New Balance Nationals. 

These five members of the GlenOak track team are Cole Murray, Matthew Tschantz, Tommy

Rice, Braedon Paolini and Jordan Hess.

The meet is held at The Armory in New York, it has hosted many professional and collegiate meets. 

In the distance medley relay they finished 22nd in the Championship Division, and for the sprint medley relay they placed 17th in the rising stars division. As an individual in the Championship division two mile Tommy Rice placed 18th.

“It is every track athlete’s dream to compete at this meet, so when we realized we qualified we jumped on the opportunity,” Murray said. 

Qualifying for this event requires being some of the fastest runners in the nation posting fast times consistently. Qualifying as a team shows how these runners can work together well and have good team chemistry.

These five members take pride in being able to just qualify for an event of this high caliber.

“The New Balance Nationals is quite simply the pinnacle of high school track and field,” Murray said. 

The New Balance Nationals is quite simply the pinnacle of high school track and field”

— Cole Murray


The competition is divided into three divisions; championship, rising stars and freshman. 

Each division has different time standards to be accepted into the meet, with the championship division being the hardest to make. 

New Balance Nationals attracts thousands of runners each year, the meet lasts three days in order to get through all of the events. 

The meet has a shop to buy gear, a place to take pictures, an audience that includes Olympic track athletes, one of which being a 2020 gold medalist and current world record holder, and many other features that make it stand out from other track meets.

Unfortunately, the timing of this meet was not the best for one of the five members. 

“I am a little injured right now. I didn’t run as well as I could have,” Tschantz said. 

Tschantz did not allow his injury to make him sit out from the meet, instead he used it as a learning lesson to realize how fierce the competition is. 

“I was able to see great competition and now I know what I have to do to be at that next level,” Tschantz said. 

Even though Tschantz was not able to run well because of his injury, he found what he truly enjoys most about his sport. 

“I learned you can have fun in your sport no matter how much it hurts,” Tschantz said. 

One of the most unique features of this meet includes Olympic track athletes being at the meet, for many runners this is surreal to see their idols.

“My best memory from the trip was seeing Sydney McLaughlin,” Tschantz said.

For some, simply being present at such an event is surreal. Murray details his feelings walking into an atmosphere like the Armory.

“Personally, this was probably the coolest experience of my life. Walking into the Armory for the first time and seeing “New Balance Nationals Indoor 2022” everywhere you look made it feel surreal,” Murray said. 

This experience would not have been possible without these five members being a part of the GlenOak Track team.

“I am lucky to be on a team where this experience was not only possible but memorable. Having enough athletes on one team to hit the time standards, share a common goal, be able to go, and be friends is not always a common occurrence,” Murray said. 

The experience of going to the New Balance Nationals sparked excitement not only among the five participants, but also among the rest of the track team.

“The experience was very motivating and I am very excited for the upcoming outdoor track season,” Tschantz said. 

The five runners who participated in the New Balance Nationals lead a GlenOak track team that has the potential to run very fast this upcoming season.