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Track

Shaler girls relay team hopes to qualify for WPIAL meet

| Sunday, April 30, 2017, 11:20 p.m.
Shaler's Natalie Albinger competes in the 200-meter run April 4, 2017, at Mars.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Shaler's Natalie Albinger competes in the 200-meter run April 4, 2017, at Mars.

Claire Schreiber was excited to try out for Shaler's 400-meter relay team. Already a strong jumper, Schreiber was ready to try sprinting, too.

Once she made the team, Schreiber needed to learn to stay off her heels. Playing soccer had her running in a style ill-suited to sprinting.

Schreiber was a quick learner and helped the Titans' relay team, which also includes Maddie Martin, Natalie Albinger and Kylee Furar, run a personal best 51.91 seconds last week. That time has the group in the top 24 times in WPIAL Class AAA, which would qualify them for the district championships.

“They are all strong,” Shaler girls track coach Abi May said. “Two of them are jumpers, and two of them are sprinters. I think their experience in the four-by-one helps.”

Schreiber, who also is Shaler's top long and triple jumper, has spent all spring focusing on fundamentals.

“I think a lot of it is based on form,” Schreiber said. “I also play soccer, and the form of running in soccer is so much different. Once track season comes, you have to focus on your arms and foot placement. It helps you become more of a sprinter and faster as a runner.”

Albinger attended WPIALs last season but wasn't a participant. She would like to see the r00 relay team drop its time to the low 51s or high 50s.

“I'm hoping we can drop it more at the Pine-Richland invitational,” Albinger said. “We're already in the WPIAL rankings. It'd be nice to secure that spot.”

The chemistry of the relay team has Albinger optimistic.

“Me and Kylee have been working together in the four-by-one since middle school,” Albinger said. “Claire and Maddie have been playing soccer since middle school together.”

Schrieber has become more adept at staying on her toes. Foot placement was her biggest focus.

“I was not as good as I am at this point,” said Schrieber about when she started running. “I always used to run on my heels instead of more like a sprinter on my toes.”

Other potential WPIAL qualifiers for Shaler include Rylee Donovan, who threw a personal best 105 feet, 1 inch in the javelin, and Maura Fisher, who also throws the javelin. Donovan is in her first season on the team.

Lexi Henning also has performed strong in the hurdles but remains outside the top 24.

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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