Shaler Area track stays sharp during indoor season

Friday, February 21, 2020 | 2:26 PM

Having something to look forward to is something Shaler Area indoor track coach Shawn Ryan stressed before the TSTCA Championships last weekend.

The indoor track season doesn’t involve competing in many venues. But qualifying for states provides an opportunity for a trip to State College and a boost heading into the outdoor season.

“It’s hard,” Ryan said about focusing during the regular season. “There is a lot of hype going into the season after the holiday break and Thanksgiving and getting into the groove once the first couple meets come along. It’s tough to stay motivated because we don’t go to many venues. The marks and times improving are most gratifying for the athletes and coaches.”

This season, the Titans have had athletes reach their personal best or post a school top-10 mark in 19 events. Fifteen competitors will represent Shaler at the TSTCA Championships in a variety of events.

Cam Mbalo, a Duquesne recruit, likely will find a way to clinch a spot. Mbalo, who medaled at outdoor states last year, has the second-best mark in the state in the triple jump this year.

Danielle Eshelman and Samantha Hennen are close to qualifying in the mile, and Mayah Charity and Eloise Facher could qualify in the sprints if they shave fractions of a second off their times.

During Shaler’s final regular-season indoor meet, five athletes finished with all-time indoor personal bests: Charity in the 60-meter (8.12 seconds) and 200 (27.33 seconds), Facher in the 200 (26.87), Hennen in the 800 (2:28.85) and mile (5:26.60), Jack Keenan in the 60 high hurdles (9.2) and Tyler Paszkowski in the mile (4:49.19).

“We try to look at their progressions and see if they are where they are needing to be,” Ryan said. “They just need to keep doing what they are doing and be patient. You have to be at your best times when it matters. I have a good inkling we will be focused that day.”


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