Johns Creek track travels to Austin for Texas Relays

Gladiators first team from state to compete in event



AUSTIN, Texas — Members of Johns Creek’s track team became the first school in Georgia to compete in the Nike Clay Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, the second largest track meet in the country. The event, in its 90th year, was televised on ESPN3.

Johns Creek runners competed in the boys and girls distance medley relays, a relay of 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meters from four different runners.

The boys team, composed of senior Matt Derbawka, freshman Cole Quidley and juniors Caden Ciul and Colton Ross broke the school record by four seconds in the event against some of the fastest high school teams in the nation.

“The best part of the trip was definitely the experience of getting to compete against these high level teams from different areas with my teammates,” said Derbawka. “It was cool to get to know these people a little better outside of school and our practices at home. It was for sure an experience that I will never forget.”

In addition to running in the distance medley relays, Ciul also competed in the 300-meter hurdles. Ciul placed sixth in the final event.

“I had hoped for a new personal best in the hurdles, but it was seriously windy to have a personal best,” Ciul said. “But I finished sixth against all those guys and the best in the country.”

The girls team of seniors Sophie Brandeis and Sarika Gowda along with juniors Madigan Wallace and Carly Swanson were one of just 30 teams in the nation selected for the girls distance medley relay.

“We went with a small team and we all got to spend time together, enjoy Texas and we got to bond a lot. I’ve been on many high school trips for sports and this one was definitely my favorite,” Gowda said.

Wallace said, “It was such a cool experience and one that so many people don’t get to go to. Now we can look back at this and remember that we were the first in Georgia to compete in the Texas Relays.”

The Johns Creek runners have a home meet on April 11 before the sectional meet on April 29.

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