Quaker Valley runner Daniel Ford working toward WPIAL title defense
Sunday, January 12, 2020 | 9:33 AM
The WPIAL Class AA boys track and field championship meet is months away, but Quaker Valley senior Daniel Ford is taking steps to defend his title in the 1,600-meter run.
Ford won the boys mile varsity event at the Bishop Loughlin Games in December on Staten Island, N.Y. His time, 4 minutes, 28.35 seconds, ranked him among the meet’s elite performers.
Started in 1954, the meet is billed on its website as the biggest indoor high school track and field meet in the country.
Earlier, Ford earned a gold medal in the 800 (1:59.94) with an elite performance in the Ursinus College Holiday High School Invitational in Montgomery County.
“Last year was my first year competing indoor, and I felt it prepared me,” Ford said.
Ford said he learned about the meets online.
“My sister lives in Philadelphia,” he said. “Racing at Ursinus allowed me to see her. The Ocean Breeze facility on Staten Island (where the Bishop Loughlin Games were) is one of the best indoor facilities on the East Coast. (It) has been a venue I have wanted to race at for a while.”
Ford said he was pleased with his times.
“I’m hopeful (they) will come down as the season progresses and my workouts become focused on sharpening my speed,” he said.
Ford said his ultimate aim is the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Championship on March 1 at Penn State.
Quaker Valley distance coach Jim Cohen said Ford is focused.
“Daniel had a great season last year,” he said. “It would be a great feat to just get back to that level, but I would anticipate he shaves some time off of his 800 and 1,600 this outdoor season.”
Ford will continue his career at Rochester.
“I visited a number of colleges over the last couple of years and felt at home when I visited there,” he said. “The campus is beautiful and affords a lot of nice areas to run along the Genesee River.”
He plans to study computer science.
Rochester coach Sam Albert is impressed by Ford’s versatility.
“Throughout his high school career, he has demonstrated great range, with the strength to be a competitive cross country runner and the speed to succeed in middle distance races,” Albert said. “Our coaching staff believes he has all the tools to be a highly successful college runner.”
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