Shaler indoor track working hard, hoping for chance to compete

Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 8:40 PM

Shawn Ryan sees the challenges ahead of him for the Shaler indoor track team.

Keeping a positive attitude will be difficult. The Titans are training hard, but their ability to compete will be largely left to the whims of the number of coronavirus cases.

All high school sports in Pennsylvania were paused for three weeks last Thursday.

“Right now, the Tri-State Track Coaches Association hasn’t announced any alternate plans,” Ryan said. “There was a possibility of running some meets outdoors, but we haven’t heard back from the venue.”

Ryan knows most of the 12 to 15 competitors Shaler has could benefit from competing in a meet at Youngstown State, but there are restrictions regarding traveling out of state. Despite the uncertainty, Ryan said the kids are looking forward to competing again.

The Titans will return two athletes — Eloise Facher and Mayah Charity — who qualified for the indoor state meet last season. Facher, who set the Shaler record in the 60 and 200 meter dashes, missed the championship meet last season due to an injury.

Charity advanced to the state semifinals in the 60 before finishing in 16th place with a personal-best time of 8.01 seconds.

Shaler will also return Andrew Dadowski, who was a strong competitor in the 200 and 400. The Titans also have a deep group in the distance events, led by Tyler Paszkowski, Ryan Paris, Samantha Hennen and Danielle Eshelman.

“It’s unfortunate with the state restrictions, even though I understand because of the virus, because they would have had a good chance to make the state meet in cross country,” Ryan said. “They are coming off a good season of training, and we expect good things from them.”

Ryan is grateful the school is allowing the team to keep practicing.

While the Titans don’t know when or where they will be able to compete first, they are focused on making incremental progress the best they can in the meantime.

“We have to have the mindset and mentality of taking things one day at a time,” Ryan said. “We’ll take things as they come. It’s hard to motivate the kids when they can see and realize there is nothing to work toward.”


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