NEW CASTLE —
Maria Fleck is not your prototypical hurdler.
The Mohawk High track and field standout doesn’t get off the blocks well and her form leaves a lot to be desired.
Yet, she wins the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles more often than not.
“It’s an oddity that she does as well as she does,” Lady Warriors coach Dave Bredl said. “I call her ‘The Anomaly.’ She’ll tell you this. Her starts are terrible. Her form is terrible, but the clock doesn’t lie.
“She’s not an orthodox hurdler, but what she has going for her is she’s extremely competitive and very strong. She’s a treat to work with.”
Fleck agreed with her coach.
“My form is a little rough,” the junior said. “I didn’t start 100 hurdling until my sophomore year. Even the 300 as a freshman, it wasn’t pretty. I consider any accolades that I’ve gotten for the 300 because of my running ability.
“My form is getting better. I try to work on it religiously. I will change things before a race if I need to. I don’t let those kinds of things get to me.”
EARNING THE NOD
The Lady Warriors standout qualified for the WPIAL Class AA individual championships in four events (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 400 relay and 1600 relay) at Shady Side Academy last week. She also won the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and the 400 relay in the WPIAL team playoffs on Thursday.
The performances earned her Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“Going to the qualifiers was a big change for me, because I haven’t had a ton of big competition up to this point,” Fleck said. “I got to see a bunch of girls that are really good in the hurdles. In the 300, I was trying to get my PR and I ended up tying it, so that was good. At the team playoffs, we wanted to get to the team championships and we did. I was just trying to do my best for the team.”