The End Zone Seat: Champions to the Very End
The PIAA track and field championship meet always has its share of outstanding performances, heartbreaking moments and unusual happenings.
This past weekend, the throngs filling the stands at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium saw all of that.
But at the end of a long two days, one thought came to my mind.
When Elk Lake’s Mike Bedell collected his seventh-place medal for the 800 run, it was the end of a marvelous era for the Warriors track and cross country teams.
Bedell and classmates Seth Carney, Bryan Grosvenor and Cassie VanEtten closed out their high school careers last weekend.
Between them, they have collected 11 PIAA track and field medals.
Grosvenor, Carney and Bedell each have a pair of medals for the 3200 relay in 2010 and 2010. Bedell added a seventh-place medal in the 800 this year. Carney captured a seventh-place medal in the 400 last weekend.
VanEtten matches Bedell and Carney, with a sixth and eighth place medal in the 400 the past two seasons. She also ran a leg on the medal-winning 1600 relay in 2009.
Bedell, Carney and Grosvenor also have eight cross country medals, including state championship team medals from 2008 and 2010.
The three boys especially were appreciative of the time they’ve spent training together through the past three years.
“You always want a couple more,” Grosvenor said of his personal medal count at Shippensburg.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to go with three other teammates than these guys,” Grosvenor said after collecting his medal in the 3200 relay.
“We’re so close,” Carney said of Bedell and Grosvenor. “I’ve run with them every day for six years now. It’s awesome.
“It’s going to be so sad on the bus ride home today.”
“It’s been fun running with the guys. I’m glad we got to go out the way we did,” Bedell added.
“I’m going to miss my coaches and team so much next year,” VanEtten said. “We’ve grown into such a big family. I don’t know what I’ll do without them.”
Everyone who had an opportunity to watch the Elk Lake foursome compete will have fond memories.
Surely, we will not see their like again for a very long time.