Anna Troutman’s Difficult Decision A Good One

Anna Troutman has been a varsity starter on the girls soccer team since she was a freshman, and this past season, the sophomore continued to prove her value on the field. As it turns out, Anna’s natural athleticism goes way beyond that one sport. She surprised many people over the winter, including herself, when she earned instant success in track and field. Anna quickly set three new school records, one in the 60-meter hurdles (9.86), another for the high jump (5’2”), and a third as a member of the 4 x 200 relay team (1:53.01). She also was the only member of the Foxes team to qualify for the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association (PTFCA) state indoor championships.

Those accomplishments led her to consider continuing the sport in the spring, although she had to make a difficult decision between that and lacrosse, another sport she had played for several years. In the end, Anna concluded that track and field is the sport that she wanted to pursue.

Now, after just one outdoor scrimmage and one regular season meet, Anna already has shown that what she achieved indoors was not beginner’s luck; rather, it was just the beginning of what has every indication of being a very bright career.

Taking Her Talent Outdoors

Anna made her debut in high school outdoor track and field at the March 31 meet versus Pine-Richland. Things couldn’t have gone much better for her. She won the 60-hurdles race, placed second in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, and won the long jump at 16’9”. Her jumping coach, Tim McLister, said afterward, “That is a fantastic mark this early in the season.”

However, it was the smile she wore so broadly after the high jump that showed which event was really the highlight of her day. Anna tied the school record with a jump of 5’6”, a height that bested her indoor record of 5’2”. When Anna notched her winter numbers, she knew all along that she had much more in her in that event – and she proved it right from the onset of the outdoor season.

When Anna started winning and placing high in her events during the winter of the 2021-2022 season, she caught the coaches off guard. They almost couldn’t believe what they saw, but with a 5’8” frame, she is the perfect candidate for hurdling and jumping.

“We’re very happy to have her with the team,” says coach Tom Moul. “She is a hard worker, coachable, and of course, talented. We’re excited to see what she can do.”

Coach McLister adds, “She’s already performing like a veteran.”

Quite to the contrary, Anna hasn’t always felt like a seasoned competitor.

“When I was warming up for the high jump in my first (indoor) meet, I looked around at all the girls competing and thought there was no way I could win,” Anna says. “They all looked like they knew exactly what they were doing, while I felt very unsure. I felt that same feeling almost every meet. I was trying to establish a solid warmup and routine for myself, while everyone else already seemed to have theirs. I never expected to have so much success so soon.”

Of the outdoor season so far, Anna adds, “From the first couple of outdoor practices, I already felt more confident in the high jump. As for the hurdles, it’s been a bit more of an adjustment. The outdoor hurdle race is 100 meters versus 60 meters indoor, so I think it will take a little practice and patience to get used to that. Also, outdoor track offers a 300-meter hurdle race, which I’m really excited about.”

From the results Anna produced on March 31, it appears she’s not having any problems with the adjustment.

The high standards Anna sets for herself in athletics also extend to academics. “I focus greatly on academics and school. I try my hardest to take challenging classes, and I am also part of the school’s orchestra.”

Anna’s track coaches already have talked among themselves about Anna’s future potential in the sport. They can’t give any guarantees, but do believe if she continues on the same trajectory, college recruiters from both soccer and track and field might have to wait in line to vie for her attention. What a great place for a young athlete to be, especially one who is only beginning to tap into her potential and has yet to realize just how good she is.