Strong work ethic propels Lady Devil to many successes
Senior Salute: The Mirror is recognizing some high school senior spring sports athletes who missed out on their final scholastic seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bellwood-Antis High School senior hurdler Jamyson Focht has a heart of gold that extends to the track and field arena.
Focht, who carries a 4.0 average in her academic curriculum that includes many college-level classes, is going to Penn State University’s Mont Alto campus next year to begin studies toward an eventual career as a nurse anesthetist.
Focht is heavily involved in school and community activities at Bellwood, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the high school’s Mini-Thon that raises funds to help families that are faced with pediatric cancer, and the school’s AEVIDUM club, whose mission is to help to prevent teen suicide.
“I love being involved,” Focht said. “I love helping people, and that’s why I want to be a nurse, too.”
Veteran Bellwood girls track and field coach Julie Roseborough said that Focht has been a great role model and a source of support for her teammates as well.
“She tried to make sure that everybody was included and accepted as part of the team,” Roseborough said. “She showed excellent leadership and took care of the younger hurdlers on the team.”
Focht was also an outstanding hurdler in her own right. Last year as a junior, she participated in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles for the first time in her track career and wound up earning a spot on the Inter-County Conference All-Star Team in both events.
Roseborough had high hopes for Focht’s senior season this year before the COVID-19 pandemic brought about the cancellation of all of the PIAA’s spring sports.
“She was our leading scorer last year on the track team, and I think that with last year’s full season of experience, there was the possibility of her going to the state meet this year,” Roseborough said. “Like a lot of other good athletes, her work ethic is top-notch. I used to make her leave practice and go home because she wanted to work on one more thing after doing the regular workouts that were set up for her. Hurdling is hard on the legs, and I would have to stop some of the work that she wanted to do.”
Focht found her niche in hurdling last year after participating in sprint and jumping events during her sophomore year.
“In my 10th-grade year, I was a sprinter and I tried some jumps, but that really just didn’t work out for me,” said Focht, who was also involved in dance classes until her freshman year of high school. “I always wondered if maybe I could be good at (hurdles). It was the last event that I tried, and it was nice that I knew some of the skills like jumping, and the techniques that are involved.
“I just kind of put everything together,” Focht added.
Even though she got a late start in the hurdle events.
“I didn’t start hurdling until the beginning of my 11th grade year, and I didn’t do the 100 hurdles until the fourth or fifth meet last season,” said Focht, who also ran on both the 400 and 1600 relay teams last spring. “I honestly caught on to the hurdles super quick, and I think that I was pretty successful for the (amount of) time that I had participated in them.”
So did Roseborough.
“Her junior year was her first full year of hurdling, and she won a real high percentage of her races,” Roseborough said. “She was a conference all-star in both hurdles based on the number of points that she scored through all the meets. Her junior year was really good, and we were hoping that this year would be even better.”
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it wasn’t to be, but Focht has a positive attitude that will not be altered by the misfortunes that life can dole out.
“She was fun to coach, she’s positive all the time, and she was good with the other kids on the team,” Roseborough said. “She’s kind of the whole package, she’s full of life, and she’s full of energy.”