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Outdoor Track & Field Kudos

May 20, 2008 - Erik Brown

With only the PIAA State Championship Meet remaining, the high school and junior high outdoor track and field season has basically concluded. So, I want to dedicate this post to extending a word of thanks and recognition to the many folks who make this wonderful sport happen in our region each year.


Without further adieu then, a grateful ATW thank you to…


All of the folks associated with the truly outstanding track & field program at the Altoona Area School District and all of the volunteers and PIAA officials who do so much to organize and host the big events held at Mansion Park each year. It would be very hard find a group of people who do more to promote outdoor track & field at the high school and junior high level than these folks. Not only do they do a first class job of hosting three separate District 6 Championship Meets – AA, AAA, and junior high, they also host the Igloo Invitational, the West Central Coaches Invitational, and a Junior High Relays meet each year. If you haven’t attended these track meets, you’re missing a real treat. This year’s West Central Coaches meet – the 59th in its history - featured hundreds of the top athletes from 37 different schools. The atmosphere for the finals under the lights at Mansion Park is positively electric, and the performances are top notch.


The folks at Bellwood-Antis School District also deserve to take a bow. The Bellwood Invitational is another jewel on our region’s outdoor track & field schedule each spring. This year’s edition – the 46th in its history – showcased the talents of athletes from 14 AA school districts.


The NBCAA Invitational, Bedford Invitational, and the State College Junior High Invitational deserve an honorable mention. These events simply wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the devoted efforts of dozens of organizers, volunteers, and PIAA officials.                  


The Coaches – A high school track & field meet consists of 18 separate events (11 track events and 7 field events). It takes a tremendous amount of organizing, motivating, and teaching to prepare a group of high school students (or junior high students) to do their best at a track meet. Since many schools have just one coaching staff for both their boys’ and girls’ teams, the work is usually double. Before each meet the coaches must identify which athletes will compete in each event – not such an easy task when half the team wants to do the 100 meter dash and nobody wants to do the 3200 meter run.  


And finally, the Student Athletes – Their enthusiastic participation and determination to achieve new personal bests make it all worthwhile.

Best wishes to the Dover Girls' 4 x 400 relay team at the PIAA State Championships this weekend. Run Fast Ladies!!

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