State High Track and Field Enters “A New Era”


Marek Horgas

State College senior Nick Sloff chases after Carlisle senior Kevin Shank in a fast 3200 meter race. Sloff just passed through the first 1200 meters and would go on to finish second to Shank with a time of 10:01.

Marek Horgas, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Mar. 28, State College High School Track and Field opened its season against Carlisle. Carlisle’s efforts were not enough to combat the onslaught from State College’s largest team in school history.

State College was not without its own exceptional showings. One particularly good individual performance was by sophomore Jesse Myers, running away with the boys 100 and 200 meters. In the girls’ sprints, freshman Malia Abdullah had a similar meet, also winning the 100 and 200 meters.

In the distance events, State College’s seniors began promising starts to the season in some very competitive races, with first-place finishes by Marlee Kwasnica in the girls 800, Nick Sloff in the boys 800, and Amy Devan in the girls 1600. As a team, State College took first in all of the jumping events with excellent marks by many different athletes.

When asked about the mindset that is necessary to succeed in such a competitive sport, team captain and senior Salahuddin Abdul-Hamid reflected on what it takes. “This is going to sound kind of corny, but the pain of training is less than the pain of failure,” he said.

A strong kickoff this season has elevated significance from last year as many dominant athletes and record holders have moved on. 

Head coach and jumping coach, Artie Gilkes is anxious to see results. “This year is the beginning of a new era. It’s the first year with all new talent and it’s all going to be pretty exciting,” he said.

When asked who to be paying close attention to, Gilkes said, “I think girls hurdles will be exciting. Definitely boys throwing is going to be really interesting. I think it’ll be a breakthrough event. [Also] we’ve always been a distance school.”

On the topic of distance running, boys distance coach Chris Cipro spoke about where the strength of this year’s group is and reached a similar sentiment to Gilkes. “I think depth is one of our big strengths this year and our ability to score a lot of points in a lot of different events,” he said.  

This season is sure to be an exciting one as new talent emerges and already established, exceptional, runners continue to drop time.