When Altoona Area High School distance running state medalist Wade Endress took a week off this spring to rest an overworked and tender Achilles' tendon, he did what he could to stay in shape.
"I biked and swam,'' Endress said.
If Endress wanted, he probably could have done the swimming portion of his training at Mansion Park while his teammates worked on the track. It's been that kind of April weather-wise.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Altoona’s Wade Endress wins the mile Tuesday.
The rains didn't hold off on Tuesday, but the Mountain Lions managed to get their first dual meet of the season in against visiting Hollidaysburg, receiving three wins from the apparently unaffected Endress to post a 132-9 victory.
Kelly Davis and Nikki Kerns were triple winners and formed half of a winning relay team as the Altoona girls came out on top, too, 102-38.
"The kids just absolutely wanted to run, no matter what,'' Altoona boys track coach Mike Adams said. "They said they didn't care how bad the weather turned, they wanted to run in a meet. So, we were determined, one way or another, to get that meet in.''
The meet was originally scheduled to be a triangular, but Lewistown didn't make the trip. A light rain persisted through the early part of the event, then turned harder after the 200-meter dash.
Officials ran the boys and girls four-by-400 relay together to get done and finished just before a clap of thunder rocked the stadium. Neither gender completed the pole vault, and the boys javelin was a victim of the conditions, as well.
Endress, though, seem no more the worse for wear. He won the 1,600 meters in a time of 4 minutes, 50.8 seconds, took first in the 800 with a time of 2:02.9 and topped the field in the 3,200 with a 10:03.7. His day began by anchoring the winning 3,200 relay team.
"My legs aren't completely under me, but it shouldn't take me long to get it back,'' Endress said. "It [the Achilles] felt pretty good. I had it taped up as a precaution and to help in the recovery process.''
Endress, who signed with Penn State, made his return Saturday at the Shippensburg Invitational, but Altoona pulled out after the four-by-800 relay because of a downpour. Not that the Mountain Lions left the meet - their bus got stuck in the mud in the field that served as a parking lot.
"It was just nice to see Wade running again,'' Adams said. "Anytime you have an athlete of that caliber not competing, it deflates your team a little bit. I think it lifted the spirits of the team when they saw Wade running without any pain.''
Two other Mountain Lions won multiple individual events: Senior Tyler Mandley captured both hurdle races, and freshman Dreux Stamford captured the 100 and 200.
"We expected Tyler to have a great year. Unfortunately, he hasn't had a chance to really run to get his name out there,'' Adams said. "And Dreux, we a chance to watch run last year and thought he was going to be pretty good. He ran indoor track for us this year.''
Of Altoona's elite competitors, Kerns is probably most affected by the weather-caused schedule changes. She runs the 100 and 300 hurdles and high jumps, and won all those events Tuesday.
"It's a little disappointing. We haven't had a lot of actual meets to work on what we need to do, but it's working out all right,'' said Kerns, who is focusing most on the 300 hurdles, an event in which getting accustomed to running next to someone is vital. "We do a lot of interval work, but [that's not really a substitute for meet competition]. Anything can happen.''
Davis won the 100, 200 and long jump.
"It's kind of hard to get in the groove, because we've only had a couple of meets. But I've been working hard at practice. I'm doing good,'' Davis said. "Because we've only had a couple of meets, I'm not being too hard on myself [in regards to times], but, if we had more meets, I would set my goals higher. I want to get lower than my PR from last year; I had a 12.3 in the 100.''
Times, though, aren't a big focus right now. Altoona girls coach Steve Rhodes said he had kids competing in their very first meets and was grateful just to have a meet.
"When we run in these dual meets. It's just about competition. We don't worry about the times or distances,'' Adams said. "On days like this, your times aren't always going to be great.''
Meet notes: Altoona's Makenzie Wilt won the girls shot put and discus. ... Altoona is off until next Tuesday, when it hosts Central Mountain. Hollidaysburg hosts Bellefonte and State College the same afternoon. ... High jumper Anthony Pinter and the 400 relay team got first-place points for the Golden Tigers, who dipped to 1-3. Lauren Pheasant won the 1,600, Emily Ansley the 3,200 and Jamie McConnell the javelin for the 0-3-1 Lady Tigers. Hollidaysburg's girls also took first in the 3,200 relay.
100 dash: 1, Stamford, A, 11.0; 2, Barnes, A, 11.2; 3 (tie), Healy, A, and Moyer, A, 11.4. 200 dash: 1, Stamford, A, 22.9; 2, Barnes, A, 23.3; 3, K. Steinbugl, A, 23.6. 400 dash: 1, Shrift, H, 55.6; 2, Thompson, A, 56.6; 3, Caracciolo, A, 57.7. 800 run: 1, Endress, A, 2:02.9; 2, Price, A, 2:03.8; 3, Lidwell, A, 2:07.5. 1600 run: 1, Endress, A, 4:50.8; 2, Lidwell, A, 4:51.0; 3, Mountain, A, 4:51.2. 3200 run: 1, Endress, A, 10:03.7; 2, Mountain, A, 10:16.6; 3, Lidwell, A, 10:44.6. 110 hurdles: 1, Mandley, A, 15.6; 2, Finochio, A, 16.9; 3, Koeck, A, 17.4. 300 hurdles: 1, Mandley, A, 41.5; 2, K. Johnson, A, 43.0; 3, Biddle, H, 43.7.
400 relay: 1, Hollidaysburg (Appleman, Lin, Brenner, Miller), 47.5. 1600 relay: 1, Altoona (Mandley, Moyer, Barnes, Lee), 3:36.9. 3200 relay: 1, Altoona (Lidwell, Replogle, Mountain, Endress), 8:33.5. High jump: 1, Pinter, H, 6-0; 2, DeS. Lee, A, 5-10; 3, K. Johnson, A, 5-8. Long jump: 1, K. Johnson, A, 19-6; 2, Moyer, A, 19-0; 3, Lee, A, 18-8. Triple jump: 1, DeR. Lee, A, 43-4; 2, DeS. Lee, A, 40-8; 3, K. Johnson, A, 40-8. Shot put: 1, Hawkins, A, 46-22; 2, Luciano, A, 41-8; 3, Kutz, A, 39-9. Discus: 1, Kutz, A, 112-2; 2, Luciano, A, 107-3; 3, Barton, H, 102-4. Javelin: Not completed. Pole vault: Not completed.
Records: Hollidaysburg (1-3); Altoona (1-0).
100 dash: 1, Davis, A, 12.5; 2, Williams, A, 13.2; 3 (tie), Aungst, A, and Myrick, H, 13.2. 200 dash: 1, Davis, A, 26.7;2, Williams, A, 27.3; 3 (tie) Aungst, H, and Bowser, H, 28.0. 400 dash: 1, Port, A, 1:09.1; 2, Weaver, A, 1:04.6; 3, Black, H, 1:06.3. 800 run: 1, Ebersole, A, 2:27.5; 2, Preston, H, 2:27.6; 3, Lidwell, A, 2:34.3. 1600 run: 1, Pheasant, H, 5:28.5; 2, Lidwell, A, 5:36.5; 3, Peterman, A, 5:51.0. 3200 run: 1, Ansley, H, 12:36; 2, Peterman, A, 12:47.8; 3, Reffner, A, 13:11.6. 100 hurdles: 1, Kerns, A, 15.3; 2, Luciano, A, 17.6; 3, Ale. Palfey, A, 17.8. 300 hurdles: 1, Kerns, A, 47.4; 2, Muir, H, 50.5; 3, Luciano, A, 50.8.
400 relay: 1, Altoona (Williams, Myrick, Perehinec, Servello), 52.9. 1600 relay: 1, Altoona (Ebersole, Davis, Servello, Kerns), 4:24.6. 3200 relay: Hollidaysburg (Al. Beyer, Pheasant, As. Beyer, Preston), 10:00.2. High jump: 1, Kerns, A, 5-0; 2, Mulhern, A, 4-8; 3, Weston, A, 4-8. Long jump: 1, Davis, A, 15-7; 2, Mulhern, A, 14-11; 3, Alexander, A, 14-5. Triple jump: 1, Alexander, A, 34-3; 2, B. Luciano. A, 31-8; 3, Darnell, H, 31-0. Shot put: 1, Wilt, A, 29-7 1/2; 2, Goodman, A, 28-9; 3, McConnell, H, 28-4. Discus: 1, Wilt, A, 99-4; 2, McConnell, H, 98-4; 3, Laich, A, 86-6. Javelin: 1, McConnell, H, 93-0; 2, Mirenda, A, 88-11; 3, Hileman, A, 88-2. Pole vault: Not completed.
Records: Hollidaysburg (0-3-1); Altoona (1-0).