A. J. Windless
Our Football Coach
The next year our cross country team became a reality. Jake Sorg had graduated, but his younger brother, Andy, still a junior, won every race leading our team to a perfect 4-0 in our inaugural season. The winning team is determined by the school's first six runners and from race to race I varied in placement through those top six spots. Our track team was amazing my sophmore year, and my junior year as well. During those two years our coach  was Jack Hedlund, who was also the football coach. He encouraged his football players to participate in track and we had guys setting the school record in all of the field events, including shot put, discus, javelin, and all the jumping events. One of the reasons they did so well is because coach Hedlund would read the books and magazines and really school them on technique. Rusty Gapinski, who was the quarterback, took up javelin and before he graduated he finished 3rd in the nation in the Junior Olympics. In my first race of the season I finished second in the mile behind Andy Sorg with a time of 5:06. That would be my best time and best place of the entire year. Half way through the season I decided that since Andy had vacated the two mile run, that perhaps I would place higher if I switched to the two mile run where I would be our lead runner. My best time in the 2 mile was 10:50 and I took 4th place at the Wellsville Invitational (13 schools) and 3rd place at the PCIAA state meet (all the Catholic schools). These performances would motivate me into my junior year, which I really needed because I felt as though my goal of setting the school record in the mile was fast slipping away. Sorg, still a junior, had already run a 4:32, whereas I had only improved to 5:06, trailing by more than a half a minute. (Above newspaper clipping: Andy Sorg in the mile run with me close to the left. I believe this was the end of our first lap.)
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