Kyvelos edges PV’s Slavin at ASD Meet
For much of Friday’s 3,200-meter run at the ASD Track and Field Invitational at J. Birney Crum, Pleasant Valley’s Seth Slavin held a sizable lead from the rest of the pack. Parkland’s Daniel Kyvelos was in second, but with the final lap approaching, it looked as if Slavin would coast to a gold medal.
But that’s when a voice crept into Kyvelos’ head. And he answered the call when it mattered most.
Kyvelos started closing on Slavin with 800 meters to go, ramped up his pace in the final 400 meters, and passed the Pleasant Valley runner down the stretch to win the event in 9:49.21. Slavin ran a 9:50.22, followed by teammate Gabe Sullivan in 9:52.
“I don’t know what it was, but inside of me I said, ‘I have to go out there. I need to catch him,’” Kyvelos said. “I could tell he was so far away.
“And then with the last 400 when I came around I said, ‘Alright let’s go get him. It’s now or never.’”
Meter by meter Kyvelos inched closer. By the time the two runners passed the finish line, it was Kyvelos’ emotions erupting with a loud scream that could be heard throughout the turf field at J. Birney. He remembered the feeling of winning that same race two years ago.
“I just felt like I had to get out there and I had to do it,” Kyvelos said. “My sophomore year I won it. I didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I wanted to come back and get gold again.”
Kyvelos led a list of four medal winners for the Trojans. Grace Reed placed third in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.41 seconds. The boys’ 4x400 relay team took second in 3:30.11; only Wilson’s boys had a faster time, coming in at 3:29.04. And the girls’ 4x800 relay team finished with bronze medals.
Kyvelos didn’t expect to catch Slavin. He was content with a strong second-place finish and walking away with a silver medal.
“I planned on getting second,” Kyvelos said. “My goal was to get second. I don’t know what it was, but inside of me I had to go get him.
“We’ve run a lot together. He’s a great athlete, a great runner. I thought he was going to beat me to be honest. I think he had a bad race to be honest. He is a really good runner and a nice guy also.”
On the contrary, Friday’s showing was Kyvelos’ best of the 2016 season so far, one that has included some injuries. And with the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Meet coming up next week, there’s no better time to be hitting his stride.
“I’ve had a couple of injuries here and there,” Kyvelos said. “I haven’t really been pushed yet. This is my first race being pushed to my max.”
Connor Tempro (fourth in 400-meter dash), Sam Morgan (fourth in 1,600-meter run) and Devante Cross (fourth in high jump) just missed out on medals for the Parkland boys.
The girls were led by Emily Wilcox (fourth in 400-meter dash), Mikayla Stoudt (fourth in 1,600-meter run) and Devyn Anderson (fifth in 800-meter run). All three Parkland girls relay teams placed in the top four.