The Foxes came away with nine medals at the recent Tri-State Track Coaches Association (TSTCA) championships, one of the most competitive and well-attended indoor track and field events. Three athletes, juniors Rowan Gwin and Anna Troutman, and sophomore Alyssa Quackenbush, each earned two medals, and two new school records were set at the meet. Anna has also advanced to the state championships in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles. The state TSTCA meet will be held February 26 at Penn State University.
This is Anna’s second consecutive year moving forward to the state level. Her jump of 5’5” at the TSCTA meet boosted her to the top of the leaderboard among all female high jumpers in Pennsylvania. She bested her closest competitor by 4 inches. Additionally, she has broken her own school record in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles multiple times.
The Foxes’ athletes put forth exceptional performances, and a total of six medaled in the top eight at the recent TSTCA meet that was held February 18 at Penn West Edinboro. Those students are:
- Alyssa Quackenbush (60-meter dash: 7th place and 200-meter dash: 8th place)
- Senior Damian Blum (400 meter – 8th place)
- Sophomore Maya DiPasquale (800 meters – 7th place)
- Rowan Gwin (mile: 3rd place and 3,000: 8th place)
- Sophomore Anna Kintner (triple jump: 8th place)
- Anna Troutman (high jump: 1st place and 60-meter dash: 5th place)
“Alyssa medaled in both the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, despite dealing with an injured foot this season,” says jumpers, throwers, and sprinters coach Sean Mawhinney. “She also continued to set new personal bests at every meet.
“Maya is normally a 400-meter runner and only tried running the 800 for the first time in two years just a couple of weeks ago, but she managed to qualify for and then medal at the championships.”
Also noteworthy was freshman Claire Conti’s shot put throw that landed her in 10th place. Claire is ranked among Pennsylvania’s top-50 throwers in that event. Furthermore, the girls 4 x 800 relay team of freshman Samantha Dihn, sophomore Sarah Michalak, Maya DiPasquale, and junior Clara Kelley placed 10th, and Clara’s 11th-place finish in the mile was a personal best for her.
Rowan, the Foxes leading male distance runner, faced stiff competition in his events but finished third in the mile and was 8th in the 3,000. For example, every runner who finished ahead of Rowan in the 3,000 is ranked in the top-25 in the state, and the winner is nationally ranked.
Coach Tom Moul says Rowan is ahead of where he was last year at this time but also points out, “Most distance runners make more gains outdoors, and Rowan is poised to have a good outdoor season.”
This season, four new school records were set – Anna Troutman in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles, Anna Kintner in the triple jump, and Claire in the shot put. All events have limited practice capabilities in the winter, so the coaches are expecting even more from them in the outdoor season.
“As far as our season goals, it’s always a program goal to help all of our athletes meet and exceed their personal and team goals,” says coach Moul. “As a team, we want to be competitive within our section and fare well at the invitationals. Nine medals at TSTCA were good accomplishments, and I’m hopeful that we can carry that success over to outdoor.”
Anna Troutman says her objectives at this point aren’t so much based on times or heights, but in weighing her success as compared to her past accomplishments. Learning she was returning to states in two events was not something she expected, and she is looking forward to the experience.
“The meet itself is very fun because I get to compete against the best of the best,” says Anna, who attributes her continuing success to more weight training. “I’m excited about hurdles because that was somewhat of a surprise. Coming into states and being tied for the top spot adds a little bit of pressure because I need to live up to my ranking. But I don’t mind the pressure. I’m hoping it will help me to perform better.”
Overall, coach Moul is pleased with the year, especially with the girls sprinters and jumpers who met and exceeded expectations (Alyssa, Maya, Anna Troutman, Anna Kintner, and junior Eileen Healy). The same is true of the boys distance runners (Rowan, and sophomores David Black, Nicky Clump, and Ethan Vaughan).
“Also, Damian Blum also has done really well in the 200- and 400-meter events, and is a great team leader,” notes the coach. “That also goes for Andrew Olando, a senior jumper who has been a positive influence.”
“It was just a great group of athletes and a very fun season,” he says.