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ATW Award for Outstanding Male High School Runner
January 18, 2010 - Erik Brown
We continue now with the first annual ATW Awards for outstanding achievements by local runners. In this post, I’ll announce the winner of the 2009 ATW for Outstanding Male High School Runner.
I welcome your input for additional nominees, categories, etc. For example, I could use some help in gathering information on our local college runners (yes, we will announce an ATW for outstanding male and female college runner). You can e-mail your thoughts to me at email@example.com, or better yet, post them below as a comment.
Before we proceed, it occurs to me that I should list the criteria I used to select the nominees and winners.
The criteria for Outstanding Male and Female High School Runner include performances at the following events, plus any other noteworthy track or XC performance(s).
The West Central Coaches Invitational Track & Field Meet
The District 6 Track & Field Meet
The PIAA State Track & Field Meet
The District 6 Cross Country Meet
The PIAA State Cross Country Meet
The criteria will necessarily vary by award category. Winning an ATW in one category automatically disqualifies the winner from consideration in any other category for that year.
Runners, take your mark…
The 2009 ATW Award for Outstanding Male High School Runner
3rd Runner-Up – Christopher Fischer from Altoona. A distance runner, Chris had solid performances in the 3200M at the West Central Coaches Invitational (9:58, 4th place), and the District 6 Championships (10:10, 3rd place). Fischer followed that with an outstanding 2009 cross country season. He had six top five finishes in big races including 3rd at the Altoona Invitational (15:52, a P.R.), 2nd at the Big Valley Invitational (16:25, and 1st on a muddy, rain-soaked course at the State College Invitational (17:31). Chris finished 2nd at the District 6 Championship meet (16:11), and raced to an impressive 10th place finish at the PIAA State XC Championships (16:24).
2nd Runner-Up – Ben Ingle from Tyrone. Great middle distance running is a family affair for the Ingle family of Tyrone. Ben’s sister Emily was a PIAA State Champion in the 1600 in 2006 with a time of 4:57. 2009 was Ben’s year to shine. At the West Central Coaches Invitational, he placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 800M (1:58) and 1600M (4:26). Ingle then won the AA Boys 800M at the District 6 Championships in 1:57, and also qualified for the PIAA State Meet with a 3rd place finish in the 1600M (4:30). He ran both events at the PIAA State meet picking up a 4th place in the 1600M (4:22) and 12th in the 800 (2:03).
1st Runner-Up – Matthew Brooker from Penns Valley. When I researched Matt’s 2009 running accomplishments, I was reminded of the famous quote by Dizzy Dean, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Before the 1934 season, predicting to reporters how many games he would win, Dizzy said “It ain't bragging if you can back it up...” Dizzy won 30 games that year, and the Cardinals won the World Series. What’s that got to do with Matthew Brooker? Well his profile page on PennTrackXC.com says his specialty is “Distance and Swagger”, and then there’s the photo-shopped fire-breathing dragon… But the point is, Matt can back it up. At the West Central Coaches Invitational, he placed 2nd in both the 1600M (4:22) and the 3200M (9:35). Brooker duplicated those performances at the District 6 Championships taking 2nd in the 1600M (4:25) and likewise in the 3200M (9:45). He ran both events at the PIAA State Championships - such a particularly hard double that most athletes who qualify for both, choose not to attempt it. He earned silver in the 3200M finishing second in 9:23, and 12th in the 1600 (4:33).
And the ATW Award for Outstanding Male High School Runner goes too… This young man makes it look way too easy. He is dominant at distances ranging from 800 to 5000 meters. Last spring he won the 800 and the 1600 at both the West Central Coaches Invitational, and the District 6 meet. He placed 4th in the 800M at the PIAA State Track & Field meet in a time of 1:54. His cross country season achievements are no less impressive. He was the top runner for one of the top teams in the state. He posted first place finishes at the Big Valley Invitational (16:09), The Slippery Rock Invitational (16:08), The Altoona XC Invitational (15:40), and the Steel City Invitational (16:35). He was the District 6 AAA Champion in a time of 16:06. He finished 6th at the very competitive Carlisle Invitational (15:49), 9th at the Nike National Northeast Regional (16:15), and 20th at the PIAA State XC Meet (16:34). Wow! The winner, from the Altoona Area High School, is… Wade Endress!
Congratulations and well done to all. Next up is the 2009 ATWs for Outstanding Male and Female College Runners.