Couch Tom Moul founded the indoor track and field team as a club sport in 2011, and then pushed to have it become an interscholastic team last year. Since then, the team has taken on a bit more of a competitive edge, and this season sent its first school-sponsored runners to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association (PTFCA) state championship.
Junior Sarena Seeger, an accomplished cross country and track runner, and up and coming sophomore Grace Sisson, a three-season runner, both qualified in the mile event for the state meet.
“In the past, we had sent kids to states as a club team, but this was the first time we sent anyone as part of an interscholastic sports team,” says Coach Moul. “Qualifying in indoor is much more difficult than in outdoor. There are no classes or divisions as far as dividing schools by student population or size, and all runners’ times are thrown into the same bucket. Out of that big pool, the kids with the top times advance to states.”
He cites sophomore Christian Fitch as an example of how tough it is to qualify.
“At the Tri-State Track and Field Coaches Association meet, Christian earned the silver medal in the 3,000-meter event, but when compared to all runners in the state in that event, his time was not low enough to earn him a spot at the state meet,” the coach explained.
Also advancing to that regional meet was the team’s entire crew of record-breaking athletes.
Senior Andew Jeffrey broke the indoor school record in the 60-meter dash and the boys’ 1,600-relay team of senior Ben Kronman, junior Korey Simmons, sophomore Evan Kieffer, and freshman Jacques Moye, broke the previous school record in that event.
Sophomore Maddy Kieffer broke the indoor record in the 400-meter dash, and junior Erasmia Yager set a new shot-put record for indoor. Juniors Abby Baldauf, Marissa Hardiman, and Carolyn Veith, and Maddy scored new indoor school records with the 1,600-meter and 4 x 200-meter relay teams. Sarena, who has set five indoor track records over the past two years, junior Annika Urban, Grace, and fellow sophomore Brooke Krally, also set a new indoor school record in the 3,200-meter relay.
Coach Moul believes the transition to an interscholastic sport has helped the program progress by virtue of continuity.
“There are certain kids who absolutely love track and love to compete,” he adds. “This gives them an opportunity to do that, while also forging those friendships and the camaraderie that goes with being on a team.”