New year, New Team

Bria Allen, Journalist

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The sport, track and field, has been around since 776 B.C. It is one of the oldest sports. This sport was very popular mostly to men in those times, and was one of the most popular sports in the Olympic games of ancient Greece.  Emperor Theodosius I then banned the sport in A.D.394 because there was nothing in the Christian faith that actively undermined the practice of athletics. The sport was later revived in 12th century England. It didn’t really flourish until the 1860s because England started it up again, and made it very popular to other countries.

This year is going to be a very different experience for the West Allegheny Track and Field team. A lot of things have changed. This year the team says goodbye to Coach Hamilton, Coach White, and Coach Mills. The new head coach on the team is Bob Palko, who previously coached the football team and won WPIALS. This is Palko’s first time coaching Track and Field in a couple of years. He had stopped coaching this sport to focus more on football. The coaching staff includes Bob Palko, Melissa Taranto, Mark Russo, Robert Yost, Christina Tissue, and Rik Mason. Last year the team had students go to WPIALS and states, which was located in Shippensburg, PA.

The team’s first scrimmage was on March 21st and their first official meet was on March 30th. This season, they only have 3 track meets. That is not including any scrimmages or championships. The JV team has their own meet on Friday, April 7th at Montour High school. They also have their own Invitational on Saturday, April 29th at Blackhawk High School.

This year, the team is doing a lot of things to get themselves ready to compete. At the beginning of every practice they do a team flex altogether. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays everyone but the distance group goes to workouts with Coach Rizor at 4:15 after they do a workout outside. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the distance group goes to workouts at 2:50, but afterwards they also go outside and do a workout of their own. The whole team has practice on Saturdays at 8 a.m. as well.

West Allegheny has always had very good sprint and distance athletes. For example Lauren Costa, who graduated in 2015, holds a record for the 100m, 200m, and 100m hurdles. Brad Hough, who graduated in 2010, holds a record in the 1600m and the 3200m. Alexis O’Shea, who graduated in 2015, holds a record for the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and the 1-mile.

We’ve also had very good Jumping athletes as well. For example, Ashley Williams, who graduated in 2010, holds a record for girl’s high jump. Keri Dantley, who also graduated in 2010, holds a record for Long Jump and Triple Jump. Nick Stretch and Nadyia Wahl hold the records for Pole Vault. For the throwers, Skyler Mason holds a record in Javelin.

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New year, New Team