Penn Hills track team prepares for Tri-State meet
They haven't had quite as much competition as they'd hoped, but Penn Hills Indians track team members are ready to run this weekend at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association championships at Edinboro University.
Coach Lee Zelkowitz said the team hasn't been able to attend its regular number of meets.
“There were supposed to be four meets before the Edinboro championships,” he said.
“Two got cancelled because there was no heat at the venue. A third one (last Saturday) was also cancelled.”
The TSTCA championships will be the team's third meet of the indoor season and one where the Indians have had a good deal of past success.
“We went on a spree where the girls won seven in a row and the boys won two, but that was a few years back,” Zelkowitz said.
Enrollment numbers on the team are down this year, he said, and a lack of experience on the girls' side is something that will take a little time to overcome.
“We're looking to do some good individual and relay things, but as far as going out to try and win a Tri-State championship, that's not going to happen,” Zelkowitz said.
“The girls are very young, but there's a lot of talent there; they'll be very good in the years to come.”
The boys team has a bit more seasoning: senior Dylin Wilhoite has not lost an 800-meter race all year, and Zelkowitz said he's posted the fastest time in Western Pennsylvania, ranked 16th statewide.
In addition, the boys 4x400 relay team has qualified for a spot at the state meet.
Girls track coach Sara Miller said she is looking forward to the outdoor season, even though it's a bit less predictable.
“I like indoor because you have control over the elements,” Miller said.
“Outdoor, you're dealing with the elements, running from one event to another — and a lot of times, they're not that close to one another — whereas with indoor you're on a 200-meter track.”
Zelkowitz said the coaching staff does not put too much pressure on runners during the indoor season.
“We practice three days per week, and we do a lot of work to help condition them for the outdoor season,” he said.
The Tri-State Coaches Association championships will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Edinboro.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.