The men's track sophomore is thriving in just his fourth year of organized competition. Penn triple and long jumper Tuan Wreh may have been introduced to track and field relatively late in his life, but you wouldn't know it to watch the sophomore leap. Wreh was a standout basketball player for Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., for three seasons before he finally submitted to constant urging by his friends to try out for track. Apparently, watching a 5'9" youngster dunk was enough to convince Wreh's schoolmates that he had a gift that could perhaps be better exhibited elsewhere. When he stepped onto the track in his junior year, Wreh discovered his true calling in sports and put aside his first athletic love. The basketball team's damaging loss was the track squad's immeasurable gain. To say that the newcomer made his presence felt in just those two short seasons would be like saying George Washington had a slight hand in winning the Revolution. Right from the start, Wreh's talent was obvious, but that did not cause him to slack off in his quest to improve. Wreh points out that a solid work ethic is essential to any competitor. "I try to take practice intensely and take each practice as if it's a mini-meet," he said. He won the team's "Hardest Worker Award" in his junior season, but that was a mere prelude to his senior campaign. In the spring of 1998, Wreh was recognized as the team MVP and placed second in the nation in the triple jump, the event he considers to be his stronger suit. From there, it was obvious that Wreh would figure to be an integral part of whatever college team he chose. He selected Penn since it offered the perfect combination of academics and a successful track program. In his freshman season at Penn, Wreh continued improving as he qualified for IC4As indoors in both the triple and long jump, a feat he has already duplicated this year. Yet, with all this success, the sophomore knows he has to keep getting better and claims that even though he's by no means displeased with his development, he is still not yet satisfied. "I know I have a lot more potential than what I've realized," he said. That said, Wreh's sensational accomplishments in such a short time have impressed all those around him, including Penn assistant coach Tim Beach. "He knows how to do it, but it's fresh to him," said Beach, who indicated that even greater performances can be expected in the future as the sophomore gains more experience. Wreh seems to agree with that diagnosis. "Every year I've gotten better. Every meet I feel like I'm getting better," he said. Now, heading into this weekend's Heptagonal Championships at Dartmouth, Wreh feels confident about both his personal prospects as well as about those of his team overall. "I'm happy with what the team's done," he said. "We've all put in a great amount of effort." The native of suburban Washington, D.C., confirms that the Quakers have shaken their "mid-season blues" and now appear to have the intensity they have strived for all year long. "We're really excited and really focused right now," he added. Heps is indisputably the most significant team meet of the season, but for a few Penn track athletes -- including Wreh -- an equally important individual competition will follow on the subsequent weekend -- IC4As. And there is also a chance that Wreh might even qualify for Nationals at Arkansas the week after that. He ranks fifth on Penn's all-time triple jump list and Beach is cautiously optimistic that Wreh might gain a chance to perform on indoor track's most prestigious stage. Tuan Wreh may have accomplished a lot in his first three years participating in organized track, but his future is almost certain to be brighter than his past.Comments powered by Disqus
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