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YMCA program inspires young runner

I’m in seventh grade at Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School, and Saturday, I competed in my first District 6 Track & Field competition.

Throughout grade school, I tried to find my sport. I played flag football, wrestling, baseball, soccer, you name it. They were not the right fit for me.

My parents signed me up every spring for the Blair Regional Track & Field program, and I loved it.

There I learned the fundamentals of running. The best part was the coaching staff. When I got to junior high, so many of my volunteer coaches were at my track meets to cheer me on.

After each race, Coach Joe (Joe Stanek) would give me notes on how to get better. I would hear Tom Kopriva announce at every one of Hollidaysburg’s home track meets.

Coach Nick Haslum took a Saturday to race against me so I could learn to pace myself in the mile. He wouldn’t let me win.

The YMCA helped me find my sport, and it is one I can do my entire life. We are lucky to have such a great Y with awesome volunteers.

On May 18, next Saturday, I’m running in the Y’s Diamond Dash, a 6-mile run in the borough of Hollidaysburg. It’s my longest race yet.

Track season is almost over, and I have to get in shape for the cross country season. I hope our area continues to support the YMCA.

It makes a difference for kids.

Dominick Watt

Duncansville

Area needs minor league hockey

It’s time to put a minor league hockey franchise at Pegula Arena.

It would be a nice fit for Central Pennsylvania.

Penn State’s hockey team could share Pegula with an AHL or Eastern League team.

Terry Smith, Altoona