Penn Hills track team looks to build confidence during indoor season

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Sunday, December 4, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Lee Zelkowitz is excited to get the track team moving through the indoor season. Practice was scheduled to start Dec. 5, and the Indians hope to utilize the season to build confidence and capitalize with some strong performances.

Zelkowitz emphasized the goal is getting everyone ready for the outdoor championships in May. Zelkowitz said the turnout he got was enthusiastic, as he had 50 athletes sign up who were interested in competing.

“Having athletes compete indoors is a good weapon to have,” Zelkowitz said. “We don’t want to burn the kids out. We have practices three days a week.”

Last season, Penn Hills had an individual state champion — Angelo Allen, who is now a thrower at Seton Hill — and a number of athletes who qualified for the Tri-State Track Coaches Association championships.

“We were really struggling with throwing,” Zelkowitz said. “Having Angelo win and be successful was helpful for the program. When someone wins, it shows the other kids it can be done.”

Penn Hills had a number of athletes fare well at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association champions last year, which is the qualifier for the indoor state championship meet.

While Allen was the only qualifier for states, Penn Hills stood out in several other events.

The girls’ 4×400 relay team — consisting of Larissa Lockridge, Mylah Faulk, Caroline McDevitt and Maliah Powell — also finished first in the recent TSTCA championship meet with a time of 4:15.02, but finished short of the state qualifying standard of 4:09.

Other individual competitors included MacKenzie McIntyre, who finished in 13th with a time of 8.27 seconds in the 60-meter dash; Cameron Thomas, who placed 12th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.47 seconds; and Austin Stuchul, who placed 21st in the mile run with a time of 4:52.2.

“Obviously, you know what spring weather is like in Pennsylvania,” Zelkowitz said. “Sometimes in March it’s like we were back in January. The outdoor season goes quickly. With indoor, it provides an opportunity to get good competition.”

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