Victor Pataky, a senior distance runner for the Upper Arlington High School boys track and field team, believes individual events measure one's talent and relays measure one's commitment to the team.

Victor Pataky, a senior distance runner for the Upper Arlington High School boys track and field team, believes individual events measure one's talent and relays measure one's commitment to the team.

"We've been doing a lot of relay meets at the beginning of the season to build the camaraderie of the team," Pataky said. "(In relay meets) you can see how much (athletes) like being on a team. Their performance on relays shows how much they care about their teammates."

The Golden Bears will compete in the Fulton Relays on Friday, April 20, at Lancaster. In last year's meet, UA placed seventh (42.5 points) of 12 teams behind champion Lancaster (88).

"We ran decently (in the Fulton Relays) last year, but I believe we're going to do better this time around," coach Dale Hartney said. "Last year I had to stretch some people to fill in relay spots. (This year) we have more depth in our distance runners."

"We have a younger team this year and we're trying to get them used to high school track," Pataky said. "I really want to see some of the younger guys step up and reach some of their personal goals."

Pataky's goal is to return to the Division I state meet in the 800 meters or as a part of the 3,200 relay. In 2010, he and 2010 graduates Spencer Gardner, Mason Gauch and Brendan Long placed 14th (8 minutes, 8.16 seconds) in the 3,200 relay.

Last year, he just missed reaching the regional meet, as he placed fifth in the 800 (2:01.95) in the district 3 meet with the top four finishers advancing to regional.

Pataky ran faster in the 800 in the Stingel Invitational on April 7 at Pickerington North than he did at the end of last season, as he placed fifth in 2:00.53. He turned in that time right after anchoring the 3,200 relay to a fourth-place finish (8:33.84).

Also on the 3,200 relay were Nathan Perry, Kyle Epperts and Efstratios Davayios.

"Last year he had a real difficult time with a sense of pace," Hartney said of Pataky. "He was always going out way too hard at the beginning of the races and consequently he was not doing really well at the end of them. His freshman and sophomore years he was a great finisher, but he didn't get out very fast. He's learning how to run and he's getting that done."

"I guess I got smarter," Pataky said. "It took all four years of high school, but I'm really starting to get the pacing down this year."

Menden organizes charity run for school project

Olivia Menden, a senior distance runner for the girls team, lived in the same neighborhood as Samson and Solomon Geller, so she couldn't help to feel moved when she heard the two boys had been shot and killed by their father, Troy, in a double murder-suicide on Sept. 26, 2010.

Menden has organized this year's Path for Peace 5K run/walk, which will be held Saturday, April 21, at Griggs Reservoir.

"Even though I didn't know the family personally, it really struck home for me," said Menden, who finished 11th in the 1,600 (5:06.66) in the state meet last year.

"I remember seeing the boys around the neighborhood. I really felt compelled to carry on the (Path for Peace 5K run/walk for her senior project). I wanted to keep on honoring these boys with this event."

Menden is continuing the project that was started by 2011 graduate Molly Lex. The Path for Peace will have a kids run at 8 a.m, followed by the 5K run/walk at 8:30 a.m. Costs for the event are $10 for the kids run, $25 for timed runners and $20 for untimed runners. Plaques will be awarded to the top male and female finishers and medals will be given out to the top male and female finishers in the 12 & under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older age groups.

The beneficiary of the event will be Solly and Sammy's Foundation for Peace, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting groups working to prevent family violence and child abuse.

To register online, go to www.premierraces.com.