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Track and Field program continues to flourish for the Golden Eagles

The Tyrone track and Field program continues to flourish under the direction of veteran coach Tony Yaniello. Participation at all levels continues to rise as the program interest grows. Right now there are 65 varsity boys and 30 varsity girls practicing. On the Junior High level 55 girls and boys dot the roster with the biggest turnout ever for Junior High (7th and 8th graders).
Varsity Head Coach Tony Yaniello is in his 30th season (205-56-2), never having a losing boys season, recorded his 200th boys’ win in the first meet of the 2007 season against Mount Union.
Assistants coaches are Steve Everhart, Mark Mitchell, Rudy Bilka, Lisa Ingle, Ryan Hildebrand, and Steve Johnson.
Tammy Wills is the head junior high coach and is assisted by Eckberg and Rick Emigh.
“Most coaches at TAHS believe in the philosophy that athletes need to compete in more than one sport to achieve,” Yaniello said. “Track is a perfect sport for the football player to increase his speed, or the basketball player or volleyball player to jump higher. Most importantly putting the athlete in pressure situations and learning to COMPETE can’t be achieved by only lifting weights or practicing your jump shot. I want an athlete who can perform under pressure situations with no one but themselves to blame. In Track and Field the athlete can learn to challenge self by not only competing against their opponent but by also competing against themselves. I get great satisfaction by watching even the not-so talented athlete maybe throw a few inches farther, run faster, or jump higher than they could before and knowing that their hard work has paid off.”
The Girls and Boys Track and Field Teams look to be strong again in 2008 with several returning state qualifiers. Returning state qualifiers include, John Franco, Shane Emigh, Shane Tate, Larry Glace, Ben Ingle and Rachel Emigh.
The newly formed Mountain League will feature the strongest and toughest schedule ever in Tyrone track and field history. The new conference schedule will include the likes of AAA powers Indian Valley, Lewistown, Bellefonte and Central Mountain. The rest of the league will include AA powers Penns Valley, Philipsburg, Huntingdon and BEA. Non-league opponents include Bellwood-Antis, Juniata Valley, and West Branch. This year’s Mt. League meet will be a Friday-Saturday two day event with preliminaries and some finals on Friday, April 25 and Finals the following day on April 26. This will be run similar to the state meet where athletes can enjoy running finals on the second day of competition. This should help with seed times for districts.
The boy’s team (6-2 in 2007) returns almost the entire team and has a strong group of talented freshman coming up to the varsity. Numbers are fantastic with over 60 boys on the roster. With varsity experience in all events the Golden Eagles will challenge for the new Mt. League division crown it won in 2006.
2008 senior class includes: Brandon Gehret, Nick Wilson, Cory Barnhart, Delaun Carroll, John Franco, Josh Bradley, Shane Emigh, Ethan Nulton, Steve Catich, Jamar Stansbury and Shane Tate.
Key freshmen include cross country state qualifier Richard Stever. Both James Russell and Stever ran under 5:00 in the 1600 last year as eighth graders. Several other freshman boys look to gain experience on the varsity level after outstanding Junior High careers.
The girl’s team (2-6) success will again be determined by numbers. The Lady Eagles could have finished unbeaten last year if they would have had depth to fill out relays losing most meets by only a few points. State qualifier, (Pole Vault) Rachel Emigh will lead a talented group of underclassmen that also include Lizzy Shields, Christina Daugherty, and Kayla Patton. Returning seniors Sarah Halter, Sarah Cox, Brittany Hosband, Chelsea Brocket, and Alexis Murray should provide leadership for the season.
Boys returning letterwinners: Seniors-Brandon Gehret-Hurdles, Nick Wilson-Field, Cory Barnhart-Field, Dalaun Carroll-Field, Johnny Franco-Sprints, Josh Bradley-Field, Shane Emigh-Sprints/Jumps, Ethan Nulton Middle Distance, Shayne Tate -Sprints. Juniors- Ross Black-Hurdles, Randall Wilson-Hurdles, Nathan Dane-Field, Kyle Updyke-Jumps, Matt Murray-Field, Ben Ingle-Middle Distance, Larry Glace-Sprints/Jumps, Shawn Alec-Jumps Ethan Etters-Jumps, Dustin Elder-Distance, Sophomore-Nathan Kruis-Middle Distance, Levi Reihart-Jumps/Pole Vault, and Robbie Hopkins-Pole Vault
Girls returning letterwinners: Seniors- Chelsea Brocket-Field, Brittany Hosband-Jumps, Sarah Halter-Distance, Sarah Cox-Field, and Alexis Murray-Field. Juniors-Kayla Patton-Sprints. Sophomore- Lizzie Shields-Middle Distance, and Rachel Emigh-Jumps/Sprints/Pole Vault.
Tyrone opens the season today at home against Juniata Valley at 4 p.m.