ShareThis Page
Chartiers Valley runner rises above ‘sophomore slump’ |

Chartiers Valley runner rises above ‘sophomore slump’

| Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:00 a.m

“Sophomore slump” is a term commonly used in sports.

For Alex Coyne, the slump she suffered through early this year — her sophomore season — was brought on by an injury.

Coyne, a member of the Chartiers Valley cross country squad, suffered a high-ankle sprain while competing at a meet in Mingo Creek Park early in the season. Coyne said she turned the ankle on a hill early in the race. The injury kept her out of competition for nearly three weeks.

“I told her it might be hard to replicate such an impressive first year,” Chartiers Valley Coach Lori Poe said. “I told her there will be ups and downs. She needs to learn to bounce back.”

After returning from the injury, Coyne finished 91st out of 459 runners at the Red, White and Blue Invitational at Schenley Park. Her time of 21:17 was the best of the Chartiers Valley squad.

She finished 134th out of 433 runners at the Tri-State Championships at Cooper’s Lake in Slippery Rock. Her time of 21:48 was second on the Chartiers Valley team.

She returned to Mingo Creek Park for the Mingo Classic earlier this month. This time, she completed the race with no incident and finished 20th out of 110 runners with a time of 22:06.

Coyne competes on Chartiers Valley’s basketball team and track squad. She said she can’t say what her favorite is, as her heart is in whatever sport is in season.

“She is really competitive,” Poe said. “You can’t teach that.”

Coyne’s success as a cross country runner with limited experience is a rarity. Poe said she has freshmen on the team who have more experience in the sport because of running while in middle school. Poe said Coyne has yet to tap into her true ability.

“With Alex never running before her freshman year, she needed to experience more races to improve,” Poe said. “Entering more competitive races and competing in the summer will help Alex compete at a higher level.”

Last year, Coyne entered her first season of cross country to stay in shape during the basketball off-season.

Little did she know how successful the season would be. Her first season led to a 15th-place finish at the WPIAL championships, which qualified her for the PIAA championships.

Making it to the PIAA championship was a first for a Chartiers Valley freshman, either boy or girl, Poe said.

“It feels good knowing I have done something no one else had,” Coyne said.

At the championships in Hershey, Coyne finished 62nd out of 285 racers in the 5K with a time of 20:24.

The run to the PIAA championships last season has pushed Coyne’s competitiveness to make another visit to the state meet.

“It’s a goal,” Coyne said. “It always is. Last year, I didn’t know it could be a reality. Now, I do, and I want to improve on it.”

Coyne and her Chartiers Valley teammates will compete at the WPIAL Championships today at Cooper’s Lake at Slippery Rock.

The top 20 finishers, not including team scorers, will qualify for the PIAA meet on Nov. 6 in Hershey.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.