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Sports Article
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Heffner, McGillen, and Reid to Continue their Athletic Careers
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

Jacob Heffner, Cross-Country and Track & Field

            Since his days in middle school, Jacob Heffner has displayed the ability to run long

Jacob Heffner

distances. As a seventh-grader, he dominated the track team, according to Coach Clayton Mowrer.

            "Jacob had one of those motors," said Mowrer, Upper Perkiomen's track and field coach.

            Heffner, a senior at the high school, will continue his cross-country and track and field careers at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Though he plans to make his education the priority, the Pennsburg resident says he can't pass up the opportunity to be part of a team.

            "It's what I like best," said Heffner, who will major in computer science with a focus on software development. "I made so many friends and have so many positive experiences running on teams during high school. It feels wrong now to stop."

            Heffner expressed a preference of cross-country over track, where he competes in the mile and two-mile races. He described cross-country as more of a team sport.

            "I prefer the layout of the cross-country course rather than running in circles," Heffner said. "I like the way the team runs together.

            At Penn State Behrend, a Division III school that competes in the Colonial States Athletic Conference, Heffner is determined to get faster. He said he's gotten used to continuing to run when extremely tired.

            "Track and cross-country are mental sports," Heffner said. "I still want to improve."


Joe McGillen, Swimming

            Joe McGillen picked up the breaststroke in middle school. He says it was the only

Joe McGillen

stroke he was good at.

            "It just stuck," McGillen said.

            Following a four-year career on the Upper Perkiomen swim team, the senior will continue to compete in the sport at Messiah College. He'll look to get faster in breaststroke.

            "Joe will do well at that level," Indians head coach Brien Kalnoski said. "I can see him excelling there. He works hard and is extremely coachable."

            McGillen understands the timing of the stroke, which is the most individual of the four, according to Kalnoski. The coach described the breaststroke as incredibly nuanced.

            "Everyone swims it differently," said McGillen, a Pennsburg resident.

            Over the years, McGuillen has learned to maintain his own stroke. He makes adjustments to his technique by watching other competitors.

            McGillen doesn't rise out of the water as much as some others to take a breath. According to the coach, he relies on his upper body to push forward.

            In college, the swimmer will likely have to work on his kick, according to Kalnoski. He said McGillen should receive the necessary coaching to go even faster.

            "I'm always working on my starts and turns," said the swimmer, who qualified for the District One Class 2A championships in the 100 breaststroke and the 500 free. "Getting off fast is the main thing. Coming off the blocks, if you can complete a few strokes underwater, it really helps with your time."


Tyrese Reid, Track & Field

            Tyrese Reid does not shy away from tough competition. The sprinter and long jumper always seemed to perform best during invitational meets and in the postseason,

Tyrese Reid

according to Clayton Mowrer, Upper Perkiomen's track and field coach.

           "Tyrese always raised his level of execution when it mattered the most," Mowrer said.

            According to the coach, Reid's determination will serve him well at West Chester University. Mowrer said he expects the Pennsburg resident to complete in the 100- and 200-meter sprints as well as long jump and some short relay races.

            "Tyrese is going to be lights out," Mowrer said. "I look forward to following his career."

            Reid chose the Golden Rams, a Division II school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, over Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis or California (Pa.). He called it the best fit.

            As a sophomore with the Indians, Reid nearly qualified for districts in the 100- and 200-meter sprints and the long jump. Last season, while dealing with a hamstring issue, he focused on the long jump. The junior qualified for the PIAA Championships, finishing one spot short of a medal.

            Reid said he felt upset and disappointed when his senior track season was canceled. However, he expressed a need to continue moving forward. Reid described the long jump as his best event. He said the key is a strong approach to the launching point.

            "You're a sprinter before you are jumper," said Reid, whose goals at West Chester include placing in the conference meet and competing in the national championship meet. "You can't jump far if you don't run fast. You're only in the air for a few seconds." 






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