Strath Haven Boys: On a mission to make history at states
by Chris Wyatt
Usually sports stories highlight and profile an individual or two, but in the case of the Pennsylvania powerhouse 2012 Strath Haven boys indoor track team, there is no one-two punch, nor a batman and robin.
There is one team with one goal to win their school's first indoor state track title. This team works as a "whole" machine and the members are the vital "parts", comprised of Dylan Butera, Lincoln Daniel, James Griffin, Taron Howie, Jack Huemmler, Nate Kent, Andrew Marmorstein, Dan Parsons, Jeff Seelaus, Jordan Smith, Dan Stewart, Chris Williams and Wellington Zaza.
Team pix top to bottom, Left to right, Top row, Head Coach Bob Jesson, Asst Coach Ed Baghdasarian, (both standing). Nate Kent (60H), next row: Dan Stewart, Jeff Seelaus, Dylan Butera, Jack Huemmler (4x800m), next row: Lincoln Daniel, Andrew Marmorstein, Jordan Smith, next row Dan Parsons, Wellington Zaza, bottom row Chris Williams, Taron Howie, James Griffin
The great ensemble of "jack-of-all-trades" athletes is trained by veteran head coach Bob Jesson and assistant coach Ed Baghdasarian, along with hurdles coach Ryan McGleansy.
"Compared to teams of the past, this is best team in Strath Haven history," Jesson said."We won a PIAA outdoor track title in 1994. But this would be the first time [winning an indoor state title]. We are trying to make history."
Jesson, who has taught 16 years and coached 21 years at Strath Haven, found it really ironic that one of his chief competitors is Penn Wood, a school where he once coached for 9 years. He said that Strath Haven is a goal-oriented school, both academically and athletically, and it promotes diversity.
"Everyone is trying to be their best and are not satisfied with being mediocre,"Jesson said."I think that's the school philosophy, I've seen it here from 6 grade on up."
Even though the school has 15+ PIAA state titles, there is not one for indoor track, and the highly talented group of athletes are determined to earn their place in school history.
"I'm competing in the PV, 60mh, 4x200, and 4x4," said Williams, PA#1 in both the pole vault and 60H. "I'm excited to be part of a team who has a shot at winning possibly one of the best indoor state championships to date. As long as I feel I've done my best, nothing else really matters."
"I'm doing the Mile and the 4x800," said Jack Huemmler, the 800m school record holder and PA#3 in Mile. "I'm nervous but excited, as this will be the best competition I'll ever compete against in the mile and the closest race I've ever even been in for the 4x800."
400m star Lincoln Daniel PA#5 stated that "My goal is to win the 400m Dash and to run a sub 49."
The versatility on this team is uncanny and who is a better representative of that than Wellington Zaza, PA#1 55H, PA#4 60H, PA#4 TJ, and PA#9 LJ.
"My goals are to jump at least 49 feet and run at least 7.89 in hurdles," Zaza said. "I am really focused and ready to run."
Strath Haven has the consensus attitude of first seeking to achieve team victory before individual accolades. Everyone has their "eyes on the prize."
The PA#1 4x800 relay team (D.Stewart, J. Seelaus, D. Butera, J. Huemmler) is very proud of its 3rd place team finish at Millrose Games and their DMR and 4x800 school records.
Here's A Note From The 4x800:
"We owe all our success to our distance coach Edwin Baghdasarian. We live our lives by his epic quote, 'You haven't run in a hurricane until you've run in a hurricane."
"Keys to our programs success are communication, NOT over-training, Fun atmosphere, set goals and work to accomplish those goals, and stay positive," Baghdasarian said.
Jesson believes that hard work combined with being talented and goal-oriented are the keys to his teams' success.
With the deep line-up that Strath Haven has, including a PA#3 4x200 and 4x400, it should prove them to be a team that can truly make school and indoor state meet history.