Local track athletes finding success
McMickens among those poised to win
MOUNT UNION – Much like his track and field career, Tavin McMickens saw the finish line in attending Army West Point.
Due to an injury, he just had to take a small detour to get there.
The Mount Union Area High School product broke his finger playing football during his senior year of high school. Despite the injury, McMickens wanted to wrestle and run track so doctors put a pin in his finger.
However, McMickens could not go to West Point with the injury — so he decided to enroll at Division III Elizabethtown College for a year. This past spring was a certainly memorable season in track and field for the college freshman.
McMickens was a standout on Elizabethtown’s relay teams, typically running the third or fourth leg in the 4×400-meter race. He also ran the 4×100 in addition to the individual 400.
“It was overwhelming exciting,” McMickens said. “The 4×4(00) is a band of misfits from all over. What I mean is that the team is made up of members from different sides of the team from long-sprints to long distance runners. You don’t get to see that every day where different event specialists come together to do one event. I’d say it is my favorite event of all time.”
At the Landmark Conference Outdoor Championships on May 4-5 at Goucher College, McMickens ran the third leg of the 4×400, teaming up with Sam Niles, William Angelina and James Teal to finish third in 3:27.41.
“As a long-sprint athlete, endurance is one of the most important specially to stand against inconvenient weather conditions for example, strong winds and rain,” McMickens said. “Collectively, since the beginning of the season coach (Joel) Hoffsmith adjusts or modifies our practices and workouts to make sure we, as a team are working on our endurance.
“Personally, I have been working on technique,” he added. “Technique is crucial during a race, from start to finish. Any mistake or bad form can lead to an injury or time and in track, time counts to the hundredths.”
McMickens opened the spring season with a bang, anchoring the 4×400 relay team to a win at Elizabethtown’s Early Bird Opener on March 23. He also placed fourth in the 400 in 53.19.
He also was part of the 4×400 relay team that took top honors at Susquehanna University’s Jim Taylor Invitational on March 30.
At the Millersville Metrics on April 6, McMickens placed 22nd in the 100 in 11.75 and 27th in the 200 in 23.72.
At Elizabethtown’s Blue Jay Tune Up on April 27, McMickens teamed up with A.J. Calabrese, Sam Niles and Ean Mann to win the 4×100 relay. This was the final meet before the conference meet.
“One of the biggest differences that college is different from track is that in high school or at least in my high school, track has only been during the spring,” McMickens said. “Now that I am on the college track team, track and field is almost year-round.”
By the time he closed out his Elizabethtown career at the Landmark championships, he had re-applied to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. He reported to West Point on July 15 as part of the Class of 2020. He made his announcement on social media.
“Tavin wants to be a general,” his father, Keith McMickens, said. “I am very proud. He is his own man, he worked hard and I support him.”
Shoemaker Throws at Eastern
Cade Shoemaker (Lewistown/Mifflin County High School) ended his freshman campaign at Division III Eastern University with an 11th-place finish in the javelin at the Middle Atlantic Conference Outdoor Championships at Widener University on May 2-4.
Shoemaker’s best mark was 44.49 meters as the Eagles were second overall in the team standings. Shoemaker was consistent in his three throws, recording 43.88 and 43.66 meters in his other two attempts.
He also excelled at the Widener Invitational on April 19-20. Shoemaker recorded a 47.13 in the javelin, which also was 11th.
He opened the season at the Danny Curran Invitational, held at Widener on March 29-30. Shoemaker placed 26th in the javelin at 43.47 and 40th in the shotput at 9.07.
Shoemaker then had back-to-back fifth place showings. He recorded a 47.21 in the javelin at West Chester University’s Bill Butler Invitational on April 6, and a 43.73 at the Gwynedd-Mercy University’s Mid-Week Twilight Invitational on April 10.
At Widener’s Chester Quarry Classic on April 13, he placed fourth in the javelin at 47.38 and 10th in the shot at 9.79.
Trio on track at Lock Haven
Two Midd-West High School products and another from Mifflin County certainly had standout spring seasons for Division II Lock Haven University.
As a freshman, Logan Shoemaker (Middleburg/Midd-West) turned in solid performances in the 200- and 400-meter distances.
At the Juniata Invitational on March 23, Shoemaker finished in eighth place overall in the 400 with a time of 55.12 seconds.
Shoemaker followed that up with a 24th-place showing in the 400 at the Jim Taylor Invitational. He ran a 55.00. In the 200, Shoemaker took 46th in 25.37.
At the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University on April 13-14, Shoemaker ran the 800 in 2:13.31. He also anchored the 4×800 relay, which placed 10th in 8:35.90.
Shoemaker wrapped up the year at the LHU Qualifier on May 3-4 with an 11th-place showing in the 400 in 54.81 and 13th in the 200 in 25.15.
Freshman Lance Miller (Lewistown/Mifflin County) competed in the challenging 3,000-meter steeplechase. Miller placed 21st overall at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invite held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on March 14-16. His time was 11:44.72.
At the Juniata Invitational, Miller finished third in 11:31.50. He was also 16th in 11:31.78 at the Jim Taylor Invitational then ended the year with a fifth-place showing in 11:56.9 at the LHU Qualifier.
Jace Kreamer (Middleburg/Midd-West) competed in the distances as a junior. He finished ninth in the 1 mile at the LHU Qualifier in 5:01.94.
Two other local athletes were rostered on college track teams in the spring.
Benjamin Falkner (Belleville/Mifflin County) was listed on the roster of distance runners at Division III Messiah College but was injured and did not compete this spring. He hopes to return in the fall to run cross country for the Falcons.
Andrew Montgomery (Lewistown/Mifflin County) was listed on the roster as a distance runner for Division III Marywood University, but he did not compete this spring.