Altoona stars Chris Fischer and Brady Gehret make college choices



By Tom Bradley, Director of Public Relations, Altoona Area SD

Two standout Altoona Area High School athletes signed NCAA Division I letters-of-intent today so they can pursue higher education while continuing their athletic careers.

Chris Fischer will attend St. Francis University in Loretto (PA) where he will become a member of the Red Flash cross country and track and field teams in the Northeast Conference coached by Gordon Thomson.


Photo: (left to right) Lee Baranik, AAHS cross country coach;
Chris Fischer, Brady Gehret and Mike Adams, AAHS track coach.

He helped Coach Lee Baranik’s Mountain Lion cross country team win three consecutive District 6 championships. During the 2009 championship meet, he was second to teammate Wade Endress as both athletes broke the District 6 record. At the PIAA meet in November, Fischer finished tenth out of 282 runners to earn All-State recognition and help the AAHS team finish fourth overall.


While competing at some of the best invitationals in Pennsylvania, Fischer placed consistently in the top ten and won the State College Invitational. Last summer, he was fourth overall in the steeplechase at the USA Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, NC.


Fischer is a distance runner on the Mt. Lion indoor and outdoor track and field teams. He regularly participates in the 4 x 800 meter relay, the mile or the 1600 meter run and the two-mile or 3,200 meter run.


As a biathlete, Fischer has competed nationally as a marksman and a runner. He entered the National Air Rifle shooting competition last summer and placed ninth nationally.


This Eagle Scout has a 3.6 GPA at Altoona Area High School and will major in physical therapy at St. Francis.


Brady Gehret, an All-State performer, signed with Penn State University of the Big Ten Conference. The Nittany Lion track and field team is coached by Beth Alford-Sullivan.


Gehret led the Mt. Lion track and field team to the Pennsylvania indoor championship in 2009 and a second-place finish in the PIAA outdoor championship last May.


He won the 200-meter dash and anchored the Mt. Lions’ gold medal winning relay teams (800 m and 1600 m) at the indoor state championship. At the PIAA championship in May, he was a member of 4 x 100m and 4 x400 m relay teams which won gold medals and he captured the silver medal in the 200 m run.


Last spring, he earned National Federation of High School All-American honors with relay teammates Aaron Nadolsky, Mike Treese, DJ Greene and Chris Carper.


On Saturday, January 23, Gehret won the 400 meter dash in the Kevin Dare Indoor Track invitational with a time of 48.06 seconds, a school record and the fastest time in the nation this winter. He also won the 200 in 21.44 seconds, a new state and school record that was the second-fastest time in the nation. His long jump of 22 feet, 10 ½ inches, also a school record, earned him second-place at the meet.


This Saturday, Gehret will be one of eight runners selected to participate in the 300m run at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory in New York City.


Gehret, who was also a member of the Mt. Lion soccer team last fall, plans to major in business.