As the high-jump medalists grew antsy waiting in line for their turn on the podium, Wellington Zaza saw an opportunity.
Zaza lay down across the steps and lifted his head to look at the woman handing out the medals.
"Wake me up when you need me," he said.
If anyone earned the right to a catnap Saturday at the PIAA District 1 track and field championships, Zaza was the guy. The Garnet Valley star came to the Coatesville event shooting for four individual titles.
He ended up with three. Zaza, who won the triple jump Friday, added the 110- and 300-meter hurdles crowns Saturday. He finished eighth in the long jump, his final event.
"As sad as that sounds, yeah, I had to settle for three," Zaza said. "But there were a lot of hungry athletes out here."
Just how tight was Zaza's schedule Saturday?
After barreling down the stretch to win the 300 hurdles in a personal-best time of 37.08 seconds, equaling a meet record, he barely broke stride before making a hard left turn across the infield to the long-jump pit.
There wasn't much time to soak it all in.
"Coming up under Dan Nelson [his former coach at Upper Darby], you don't get too many chances at celebration," Zaza said. "His motto is, 'If it's not a state medal, no need to celebrate.' "
Zaza will get that chance this coming weekend at the state meet in Shippensburg, where he'll again go for the elusive four-spot.
Bond forged in concrete. Leah Patrick didn't even want to guess how many miles she has run side-by-side with Villa Joseph Marie teammate Erin Durnin.
"If I was good at math, I'd try to do it right now," Patrick said. "Too many to count."
Patrick, a senior, and Durnin, a sophomore, finished first and second in the Class AA girls' 400, a result they found particularly thrilling. The two grew up a few blocks from each other and began running at Nativity of Our Lord grade school in Warminster, where Patrick's father was their coach.
Neither school had a track, so they spent plenty of time training where they could.
"We're good on the concrete," Patrick said.
The Jems are pretty good, period. Villa Joseph Marie won its fifth straight Class AA team title.
Jumping for kicks. Horace Spencer makes no bones about where track and field stands in his life.
"Track is a hobby, honestly," Spencer said. "Basketball is the main thing in my life."
That didn't stop the William Tennent sophomore from clearing 6 feet, 6 inches to win the Class AAA boys' high jump.
But it's hard to argue with his priorities. The 6-9 center is regarded as one of the top basketball prospects in the class of 2015.
He began jumping as a way to improve his basketball skills. This isn't the guy to meet in a dunk contest.
"I've done crazy tricks that I was never able to do before," Spencer said. "Hey, I can backwards dunk now."