Hale, Koenig earn Baldwin athletic scholarship awards

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Friday, June 14, 2019 | 10:50 PM


Macy Hale and Jared Koenig appear to be two-of-a-kind.

Both multiple-sport athletes, they capped their senior year at Baldwin by reeling in top academic awards at the all-sports banquet May 17 at the high school auditorium.

Hale and Koenig landed the 2019 Scholarship Award from the Baldwin Whitehall Schools Athletic Boosters Association, receiving $1,500 apiece.

Both competed in track and field and cross country.

“Macy and Jared were great selections for this honor,” said Ed Helbig, Baldwin’s track and field coach. “Both were hard-working, goal-oriented and great leaders that led by example and did anything their coaches would ask them.

“Macy and Jared exemplify everything that senior leaders should be: work hard, do the extra things during the season and help the younger athletes. They learned how senior leaders should be from the seniors that came before them, and continued that tradition this year.

“It wasn’t uncommon to find Macy and Jared spending time with the younger athletes after practice on the track or at the pole vault pit or in the weight room. Additionally, they were both very good students.

Hale was a four-year competitor in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She graduated with a 4.547 GPA.

“Macy is an outstanding young lady,” said Rich Wright, Baldwin’s cross country coach. “She has given everything of herself in the classroom and in her running. She ran top times in the 1,600 (5 minutes, 9 seconds), 800 (2:20) and 400 (60.4). Her unselfishness made her a great relay person. Our girls 4-by-8 relay placed seventh at the WPIAL finals and groomed our younger runners for years to come.

“She has run in the state finals in cross county, indoor track and outdoor track.

Wright marveled at Hale’s unique leadership abilities during her time at Baldwin.

“A coach could never had asked and received the leadership and work ethic Macy has given me,” Wright said. “Her departing (through graduation) brings much sadness to all of us. She is and will always be one of the best Baldwin has to offer.”

Hale will attend Penn State, passing on scholarships and the possibility of extending her running career. She plans to major in biomedical engineering.

“I was very honored and happy to win the award,” Hale said. “There was a whole application you had to fill out which consisted of letters of recommendation, the sports you played, volunteer work, your grades, and short-answer essays. I feel very accomplished that I had the best qualifications in all these areas and was presented with this award.”

Some of Hale’s favorite memories as a Baldwin athlete centered around her cross country career.

“My favorite memory would be just cross country in general,” she said, “because we have a small, close-knit team which is like a family. And being with them is always fun even if we have a 14-mile workout that day.”

Qualifying for the PIAA meet in the 1,600 also ranks high among her fondest memories.

“That’s because I had an outside chance at qualifying,” she said, “but everyone was so supportive and believed in me that I ran my best race ever and qualified. It was a very happy experience for me.”

Koenig specialized in the pole vault. He also helped in various relays.

“I was thrilled when I heard my name announced at the banquet,” Koenig said. “It was such an incredible feeling that all my hard work both in and out of the classroom was being recognized. I felt extremely grateful for the boosters who made the scholarship possible.

“My athletic career has gifted me with some of my favorite memories. I’ll never forget the friends I made and the many practices, meets, bus rides and trips we had together. These people have a lifelong impact on you, because of the good times you’ve had together. Another great part about athletics is the coaching staff, who not only push you to be better athletes but also better people.

“Another memorable part of high school was the great teaching staff who share their knowledge and life lessons, and are willing to be your friend and offer guidance.

Helbig said Koenig, who graduated with a 4.48 GPA, was an outstanding teammate and a provider of great team spirit.

“Jared would volunteer to run the 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 relays when he was asked,” Helbig said. “Jared failed to qualify for the WPIAL championship meet this year, missing the (pole vault) qualifying mark by 1 inch. Even though he wasn’t competing at the WPIAL championship meet, Jared practiced the next week and went to the championship meet to help and support the two vaulters from Baldwin that did qualify.”

Koenig competed in the Highlanders’ cross country program for four years, displaying improvement season by season.

“He’s an outstanding young man,” Wright said. “Jared was a four-year member of the cross country and track teams. He followed his cousin Andrew Kuchka and sister Erica who also won the athletic scholarship.

“Jared’s an outstanding student in the classroom, a great leader, and a gifted runner and pole vaulter. He also filled in when we needed a 4-by-8 runner. There was nothing Jared wouldn’t try and give a 100 percent.”

Koenig plans to attend Youngstown State, where he will study civil engineering in the honors college.

“Both Macy and Jared exhibit characteristics that are exemplary when it comes to being a student-athlete,” said John Saras, Baldwin’s athletic coordinator. “Their dedication defines who they are as individuals. And the motivation of Macy and Jared to always achieve at a high level is due to their willingness to put forth such a great effort.

“It was a true pleasure to see them grow and work toward the highest level of success over these past four years at Baldwin.”

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