Shaler track and field athletes getting up to speed after missed season

Sunday, April 11, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Shaler Area track and field coach Shawn Ryan had a nice return to competition for the Titans’ girls track team.

Shaler beat North Hills, 87-60, in its first dual meet, collecting its first victory since Ryan took over the program in 2019. In a season where many athletes will be trying to make up for time lost due to the season being canceled by the pandemic last year, Shaler got the solid start it needed.

“Looking at the WPIAL scores and standings, I think with a year layoff, it’s tough to consider what to expect,” Ryan said. “I have a good feeling we’ll be able to get Mayah Charity and Danielle Eshelman back to WPIALs.”

Charity grabbed first-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, in addition to the long jump. Samantha Hennen also grabbed multiple first-place finishes against the Indians, winning the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

On the boys’ side, Shaler fell 83-66 to North Hills. Jack Keenan (110 and 300 hurdles), Luke Cignetti (100 dash and long jump) and Tyler Paszkowski (1,600 and 3,200 runs) all were multiple event winners.

Ryan believes Cignetti has showed potential.

“He played lacrosse last year,” Ryan said. “He did run track in middle school. He had decided this year he wanted to stick to being a two-sport athlete and would do football and track. He’s a humble kid who works hard and has the capability to be one of our next standouts.”

Shaler still has plenty of growing to do.

Ryan said the Titans are working on closing the experience gap, especially with some of the younger members of the program.

“A lot of the freshmen only had the seventh grade experience and that’s a vague memory,” Ryan said. “We are trying to train kids and the sophomores, we only had them for two weeks. The triple jumpers are developing quickly and are learning more effectively from the coaching style. The kids have stayed committed and consistent.”


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