Wednesday, April 21, 2010

VU-Bound Bohi to Run 400 IH at Penn Relays

Bohi cleared to run hurdles at Penn
Burlington County Times

A few minutes after the Seneca girls track team had won the state Group 3 indoor track championship, senior Mary Bohi spotted Seneca outdoor coach Fran Siedlecki, who made the trip to Toms River to support the girls she coaches in the spring.

Siedlecki was making the rounds, congratulating the girls and indoor coach Karen O'Neil - who assists Siedlecki outdoors - when she spotted Bohi, who had won a state title at 800 meters a couple hours earlier.

Bohi didn't want to talk about the 800. She had other things on her mind.

"Miss Si, can I run the intermediates at the Penn Relays?" Bohi pleaded. "Pleaaaaase?"

Bohi hasn't been able to run the 400 intermediates at the Penn Relays the last two years because she was leading off Seneca's 3,200-meter relay team, and the two events are only a few minutes apart on Day 1 of the Relays.

So she begged Siedlecki to let her run this year.

"I loved running the 4-by-8, but I've always wanted to run the intermediates at Penn before I graduated," Bohi said. "I qualified the last two years but didn't get to run. There's something really special about doing an individual event at Penn. It really sets you apart from everybody else."

This year, Bohi will finally get her chance. Her pleading has paid off. Bohi runs the invitational 400-meter hurdles Thursday at the 116th annual Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The race is slated to start at 10:20 a.m. - the second event of the entire meet.

Advertisement "I'm really excited," Bohi said. "It was exciting enough running a relay at Penn. Running the intermediates is going to be amazing."

With a PR of 1:01.49 in winning states last year, Bohi was the No. 9 high school underclassman in the U.S. last year. Four of the eight ranked ahead of her will also be in the field at Penn, along with six runners from the Bahamas, Jamaica or Barbados.

"I ran the intermediates in a couple dual meets, but this will be my first serious competition this year," Bohi said. "My 2:19 split (anchoring Seneca's winning Woodbury Relays sprint medley) gave me a lot of confidence going into Penn.

"I ran (1:05) in my first dual meet just real relaxed and not pushing it, so I'm hoping to run around (1:02) Thursday. If I can do that this early, that would be great."

Bohi is the No. 11 seed of 27 entrants. Anything sub-1:03 would give her a shot at a top-six finish and a spot on the medal stand.

"I love running at Penn," the Villanova-bound Bohi said. "It's such an electrifying atmosphere. I'm going to be kind of nervous, because I know there are some really talented girls in the field, and it's going to be really fast.

"I know I have to go out hard, but that's OK because I always go out hard. If I see somebody ahead of me, I'm just going to keep running hard and hopefully they pull me along to a great time."

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