Fox Chapel athletes learn from 1st trip to PIAA track championships

Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Fox Chapel coach Thomas Moul knows from experience that making a first trip to the PIAA Class 3A track and field championships in Shippensburg isn’t a disappointment no matter the results.

What was most important for the two Fox Chapel athletes who competed at the state meet was gaining experience for a hopeful return voyage next season. Foxes junior Anna Troutman and freshman Claire Conti both finished outside of the medal stand in their events at the PIAA meet.

However, Moul felt they had at least hit part of their goal along the way.

“One of the things you look to do at big meets is to outperform your seed,” Moul said. “Neither made the medal stand, but both girls outperformed their seed.”

Troutman finished in 14th place in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.52 seconds. Conti was 13th in the discus with a throw of 110 feet, 2 inches.

Moul was pleased to see Troutman have an opportunity to finish out the spring season. An injury prevented her from competing at WPIALs and making a run at earning a bid last season.

During the winter season, Troutman qualified for the indoor state meet in the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump.

“Anna was more seasoned this year,” Moul said. “We weren’t sure how she would compete because she missed time with an injury last year and hadn’t done outdoor track before. We were pleased with her progress.”

Conti set the tone by putting in a lot of work with Fox Chapel throws coach Mark Shemanski. Conti had a string of strong results heading into the state meet.

“She loves the sport and is a hard worker,” Moul said. “She is extremely coachable and wanted to put the work in to be successful.”

The Foxes put together a schedule for Conti to try to put her in a position to build confidence.

Fox Chapel didn’t have her compete at the Butler Invitational early in the season and instead sent her to a Seneca Valley meet more tailored for freshmen and sophomores.

Conti impressed at WPIALs by finishing fourth with a throw of 112-11.

“Usually, during an athlete’s freshman year, you want them to get the experience of being in a big meet,” Moul said. “We were selective in the schedule we had for her. We wanted her to get a quality experience and give her the opportunity to learn how to quickly adapt.”


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