Westfield Completes Its Epic Weekend by Winning 4x800 At NBN

The Westfield boys weren't going to leave Boston without a national title!

After narrowly missing victory in the DMR on Friday, Westfield knew they had one more opportunity to grab glory in Sunday's 4x800-meter relay at The Track at New Balance in Boston.

And Westfield didn't let that chance slip away as the Blue Devils leveled up to win a thriller, stopping the clock at 7:46.46, No. 9 in NJ history, to edge runner-up the DC Cadets (7:56.83) and capture the gold.

Junior Kaleb Stoeckmann (1:59.92), senior Jimmy Gildea (1:57.08), junior Ryan Daly NJ (1:54.50), and senior Alexander Valencia (1:54.98) shared the baton for Westfield, which took the lead for good on Daly's leg.  

Westfield electrifying victory in the 4x800 capped an remarkable weekend for the Blue Devils, who ran a NJ No. 3/US No. 11 all-time 10:01.92 to place second in the DMR two days ago at the Reggie Lewis Center.

And sandwiched in between those epic runs, Westfield finished ninth in the 4x400 in a school record 3:20.89.

With those three results, Westfield became the first team in NJ history to run under 10:02 in the DMR, under 7:46 in the 4x800, and under 3:21 in the 4x400 in the same indoor season!!!  

Westfield coach Chris Tafelski was obviously ecstatic with how his guys raced, and he noted how Stoeckmann, who was running for the first time in eight days after being sick all week, really stepped up.    

"The kids were terrific,'' said Tafelski. "They executed our race plan in the DMR perfectly, and as great as their performance was it still stings to come that close. The 4x8 was a little rocky for us early on. Kaleb was a gamer after having been sick all week, and it would have been easy for the guys to panic after being behind in the early stages, but they keep their cool and got it done. Daly also came back 40 minutes after running on the school record 4x400 (50.87 on the third leg).''

Westfield nearly won the DMR also.

The Blue Devils received sensational legs from Valencia (3:06.78 for 1,600), senior Emanuel Gayanilo (50.00 for 400), Gildea (1:55.66 for 800), and senior Avery Keith followed with a big PR of 4:09.49 on the anchor. Keith, who had the lead when he got the stick, did all he could to keep the Blue Devils in front. But Steven Hergenrother, who split 4:04.67, was able to rally and give Ridgefield of Connecticut the win in a US No. all-time 10:01.13,.

In the 4x400 for Westfield, senior Rowan McMahill (50.31), Noah Petrassi (50.92), Daly (50.87), and Gayanilo (48.81) teamed up to take down the school record.