Plum’s Linhart displays virtues of multisport athletes
By: Jerin Steele
Saturday, June 8, 2019 | 7:41 AM
The three-sport athlete has become a rare breed with many specializing in one sport to try to make it to college, but Hunter Linhart saw the benefits of diversifying.
In the fall, he studied the playbook as Plum’s quarterback. In the winter, he traded in his cleats for a rifle, and this spring, he became a WPIAL champion discus thrower on the track team.
He recently was recognized for his efforts.
Linhart was honored, along with other local three-sport athletes, at the Northern Area Athletic Directors Association Tri-Athlete Luncheon on May 22 at The Chadwick in Wexford.
“It was good,” Linhart said of the experience. “They had great food, and we were sitting with people from other schools and everyone was extremely nice. We had great conversations with the people from the other schools.”
Linhart lettered three years in football and was an honorable mention All-Conference quarterback this fall. He joined the rifle team his sophomore year and lettered all three years. He lettered four years of track.
“I truly believe being a multisport athlete helps in every other sport you do,” Linhart said. “Sometimes you have that amazing freak athlete that is really good at one sport and probably should only play that sport, but if you’re an average to slightly above average athlete, I highly suggest being a multisport athlete. You’re going to find something in one sport that you can help you where you’re lacking in another sport.”
At one point, basketball was the third sport for Linhart, but after his freshman year, he decided to try rifle and went on to become a WPIAL finalist all three years he was on the team. Linhart is an avid hunter and liked doing something for Plum he enjoyed doing in his spare time.
“What drew me to it was the precision you need,” Linhart said. “You shoot every day and not only do you have to be one with your gun, but with the equipment you use. You have to have a lot of discipline to do the same thing over and over again every single day.”
Linhart finished his Plum career with a win in discus and a top-10 finish in javelin at WPIALs. It was a proud moment, but Linhart fell short of his ultimate goal of beating the school record set by his father, Luke. He got within 7 feet.
“It was cool just to be at states again and go through the experience, but it didn’t end on a note that I would’ve liked, because I wanted to beat my dad’s record,” Linhart said. “We changed something in my technique that propelled me past it when I was throwing all week, but when I got to states, I just didn’t throw as well as I had been.
“You’re not going to throw your best every day, and I guess that day just wasn’t for me.”
Linhart is going to continue to be a multisport athlete at Westminster, where he’ll be on the football and track teams. He basically will be participating in sports the entire school year, which is just the way he wants his schedule.
The lessons at Plum should make for an easier transition.
“The thing that I take away most from all three sports is self-discipline and the ability to take a step back and look at what you’re doing wrong and be able to fix it,” Linhart said. “It relates to all three sports, whether you’re playing quarterback and reading defenses, in rifle when you pull the trigger wrong and bump it one way or another to negatively affect your shot or in throwing where minor technical issues can cost you a good throw. In all three sports self-discipline is a huge part of everything.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer