Salute To Seniors: Ryan Vargo (Wyomissing)

Today, we salute Ryan Vargo of Wyomissing Area.

Vargo wrapped up a strong career for the Spartans. He was apart of Wyo's back-to-back state titles in the 4x800 meter relay in Class AA at the PIAA State Championships. He finished with open high school bests of 4:29.16 in the outdoor 1,600 and 2:00.87 in the indoor 800 meters.

Vargo, bound for Virginia Tech in the fall, reflected on his high school career for PennTrackXC.

Throughout the end of June and through July we we be honoring our graduating seniors. To submit your own questionnaire to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (


What was your most memorable race/competition?

1600 Shaner Invitational my junior year. Coming off of a bad XC season, my confidence was low. I went out in 2:18 and negative split a 2:14. I PRd from a 4:44 indoor to 4:32 outdoor.

Where did you face your biggest competition?

Senior year 4x800 at states. There were 4-5 teams all in the same range as us. In the finals, I was the opening leg and got us the lead. The rest of the race went back and forth between us and North East. In the end, we out kicked northeast's anchor and won.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?

Junior year 4x800 at states. I was put in the finals, and was running scared. We were projected to win, and I didn't want to screw up the race and lose a state gold for my teammates. I got the baton in the lead and ran as hard as I could. I didn't lose the lead and handed off to our 1:53 anchor for the state win.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?

I always thought of myself as a long distance runner. Throughout my childhood and most of high school, I ran long distances. I never considered short/middle distances such as 400/800/1600. I had been running a lot of 3200s and was having some success. In my junior year I tried speed training and ran the 800 indoors. I began to drop my time significantly and went from 2:23 indoor to 2:01 outdoor. That same season I went from a 59.6 to a 53.5 400. If I could redo my high school career, I would begin running middle distances earlier on.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I came into 9th grade with a very successful junior high career. My confidence was high and I wanted to keep the momentum rolling. However, I developed patella tendinitis in my knees and fought the injury from the beginning of my freshmen year until the end of my sophomore year. Throughout those two years, I struggled to run well and found myself frustrated most of the time.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss all of my teammates and berks county athletes that I have gotten to know well over the last 6 years. They have made every workout, easy run, and injury easier for me.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 

Listen to your body. My patella tendinitis injury had a big impact on my career. It's okay to sacrifice a season in order to recover properly. Everybody has an off season due to an injury, and if you try to train through it, you will only be out longer.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?

I have had some of the most influential people as my track and XC coaches. My cross country coach is a teacher at my school. My mother is also a teacher there. When I was in 6th grade, my XC coach asked my mom if I wanted to run with the high school team and learn more about running. If it wasn't for him, I never would have been exposed to the world of running. My track coach and I have bonded greatly, and we have become very close over the last four years. He helped me through my patella tendinitis and my highs and lows throughout high school. 

What are your post-high school plans? 

I will attend Virginia Tech to study Computer Engineering and potentially run.

Any shoutouts?

Bird-Person Foster, B. Kuhn, Uncle Rico, brother Keim, the Menorah, Trills, Steve, JC Baby, and Rodney.