A special track and field meet will be held at Wednesday night, the first event of its kind in about a decade.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun for sure,” said Justin Diamond, a senior who competes in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter events. “We’ve worked hard this season and for a lot more people to have the chance to come out and watch us compete, that’s something special.”
The event is something of a reward for how the Wayne Hills team has performed this year. The team is undefeated and a win tomorrow means at least a share of the division championship.
“We have a great sense of pride over what we’ve accomplished so far this season,” Diamond said. “I think everything has finally come together for us. We’re clicking on all cylinders.”
The Patriots will compete against Passaic Valley. It is also the first home dual meet the Patriots have hosted in some time.
“We’re trying to do something different, something that hasn’t been done in a long time,” said coach Rob Bell.
Bell noted that most track meets are held at 4 or 5 p.m. and can’t easily be seen by athletes’ family members.
“This event will give parents the chance to see their kids under the bright lights on a big stage,” said Bell, now in his fourth year as head coach. “We really want to do this not just for the kids, but for their parents too.”
The meet will begin at 7 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude between 8:30 and 9 p.m..
Diamond said that although the atmosphere might not be what he is used to, it shouldn’t affect the way he, or any of his teammates, perform under the bright lights.
“We'll be fine. Most people don’t realize how much of a mental sport it is, Diamond said. “A lot of negative thoughts can enter your mind when you’re waiting at the starting line. You just have to block everything out and focus on what you have to do."
Bell said he is trying to get the school to host bigger track and field events. He hopes this meet marks the beginning of that.
“We want this to be the place that track and cross-country revolve around,” Bell said. “We’re really excited about the next couple of years.”