PA Salute To Seniors: Carl Wambold - Upper Moreland
What was your most memorable race/competition?
I have many memories from races, but one of my favorite races was running the 4x800 at the Tennent Invitational. It was Drew Magaha, Dave Baynard, Petro Sokirney, and myself. We ran a PR of 7:58, broke our school's record, and had PA #8 from it.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
Every year, during our conference championships, the 300m hurdles was my biggest competition. This is because Max Hairston and Harley LaCroix always pushed me which is why I thank them for that. Also, running in New York in the 4x200 and 4x400 were a big push to seeing and performing against different competition.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
It would have to be the 4x400 at the Tennent Invitational. It was more a personal accomplishment for our team because it was our favorite race for the past four years. I ran a 49, and it was the last 4x400 I ran with Drew Magaha which was special for us.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I had something to change, it would be the time sacrificed working hard to be the best I could have been. During junior year, our new coach, Coach Smith brought a totally different mentality and toughness to our practices which helped me realize how much it benefited doing more intense workouts. If I worked that hard during freshman and sophomore year, and during my free time, my kick in the 400 and 800 would be much better. Also, getting enough sleep was a difficulty that always caused trouble.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I would change the fact that I should have taken care of my injuries before they got worse. During my junior year, I became very ill during the spring season and basically ran in only three races. I was very upset, and could not do much about it. For a whole year, symptoms of the same illness began to kick in. This spring season , I finally went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. I found out I had a deviated septum, and chronic sinusitis which was causing all the pain. After the minor surgery, I came back and never ran and felt healthier in my life. I wish that if I had the surgery my junior year, I would have been benefited much better from it.
What will you miss the most?
Being on a team with all of these goofballs really has made me feel like I'm part of a family. What people from other sports don't understand is that relationships in track seem different. Being with my friends/teammates 6-7 days a week, going on long trips, cheering for each other during races, pulling pranks on other teams and coaches, and doing unusual things that are only acceptable in the track community are only some of the things I will miss with the friends I have made. Plus, when people started recognizing me in track after putting in all the hard work in, it feels good to know what hard work has done for me.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
If you are still new to track or feel like you are not improving, don't call it quits! During my freshman year, I was not able to break 53. Now I'm down to a 49! There are so many benefits with running track. If you have the opportunity to do something, why give it up? Just have fun with it and know when to take it serious.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
Without any of my coaches, I would be that kid always hanging my head when times were hard. Since middle school days with Coach DeFranco, Coach Klocek, and Coach Weiss all the way to now with Coach Polakoff, Coach Smith, Coach Quesi, and Coach Heins, they have all been there during the times I needed them the most. My middle school coaches helped me realize what type of runner I am and what potential I have. Coach Weiss would always yell, "Why You Walking!" even though I was running as fast as I could. It helped motivate me to try and run faster. Coach Heins and Quesi were always there for tips, and especially helping me with my technique in hurdling and running. Quesi was hilarious, and would run with me and say "High Knees" as I was coming down the final 100m which helped my form tremendously. Coach Polakoff was always there for my distance and help that I needed. Coach Smith was there for making me tougher, and being another "big brother" to me. Playing frisbee on Fridays, acting like one of us, and always being the first one there, I knew we had a special coach. The first day he came to our practice, he set the tone and law down like I was in a court room. He had the hardest workouts I have ever had , and he would text me the workouts for the day so I knew what to eat during lunch just so it wouldn't be back on the track later. Without him the last two years, I would not be the runner I am today. Thanks guys for all being there, and our friendships will last a lifetime.
What are your college plans?
I am attending East Stroudsburg University where I am hoping to run track there. I plan to have a career in Sports Management and Business.
Shout-Out to all my Coaches from all the year pushing me to be my best!
Shout-Out to Drew Magaha. Running with you all these years and being one of my best friends not only as a teammate. You know Penn is looking forward to having the next big thing out of PA/Country and mark my word we'll keep in touch all the time! Also Jacob Soltis for being there all time! Without you two helping me through family passings and all that, I might not have been running track still.
Shout-Out to my family. Mom, Dad and Mike, you have been there supporting me through it all. Nona, always calling asking how I am doing and giving me advice. Grandmom, I know you're looking from above and still cheering me on.