ARMOLD: West York's Moyer displays amazing versatility during record-breaking senior season
Like most standout athletes, West York's Andrew Moyer is always pushing for more.
In an effort to round out his track and field resume for the next level, the reigning York-Adams League 110 hurdles champion placed an emphasis on improving his skills in another discipline this year — the pole vault.
Moyer possesses an athletic versatility he plans to utilize as a college decathlete next year at Kutztown University. He combines that athleticism with a constant desire to improve, and the result has been a strong senior season as the Bulldogs' captain.
It's one that he hopes will culminate in taking his third-place league finish in the pole vault last season to greater heights, as well as success at the district level.
According to West York head coach Julia Haynes, the ascension of Moyer's pole vault skills had less to do with him grasping the basics, but more with a matter of timing. She was long confident in his technical abilities, having seen consistent improvement over his career.
"(Pole vaulting) is a lot of timing," Haynes said. "Once he figured out the timing, got him on a little better pole, he was golden."
Moyer's timing really clicked over an impressive stretch recently when he broke the Bulldogs' record on three consecutive occasions.
His run on the record book began when he first took down Andrew Allen's nine-year-old mark of 12-feet, 9-inches by clearing 12-10 April 7 against Dover.
A leap of 13-0 came April 11 at the Black Knight Invitational at Hempfield. The current record, 13-3, was posted April 14 on the road against Northeastern.
Not bad for an athlete in a high-flying discipline who admits to having a fear of heights.
Pushed to try pole vault his freshman year by older brother Alex, sibling rivalry provided Andrew with the initial spark needed to quickly push the fear aside.
Moyer credits gaining weight and strength in the offseason to his improvements in his craft.
A great debut: Another great illustration of Moyer's athletic talents came Tuesday, his 18th birthday, during his Senior Day performance against Susquehannock.
Having had a desire to compete in the triple jump for a number of years, Moyer appealed to Haynes for the opportunity to give it a go against the Warriors in his last home meet.
He was long held out of the event for fear the steps and timing of the triple jump stride might interfere with the precise footwork needed in pole vault.
With a spot open after a regular was unable to participate because of illness, and Moyer having expressed his willingness to participate, Haynes entered Moyer in the event.
On his final attempt, Moyer leapt to a new school record of 43-7.75. He bested Tyler Reisinger's 2008 mark of 43-4. Reisinger is currently a junior high coach with West York.
"I said I wanted to do it on Senior Night and she said: 'OK, I'll throw you in,'" Moyer said. "I was thinking 40 (feet), because I'm an athlete. But I wasn't thinking record, no," he said when asked if he thought he'd perform at the level he did.
Giving the Bulldogs bite: Haynes is quick to laud Moyer's ability to perform all over a meet as a huge asset to the team.
Aside from being a frequent victor in his mainstay hurdle races (110, 300) and pole vault, Moyer has filled in at high jump, long jump and now triple jump throughout his career. He's even offered to run relays if needed, although he's skeptical of his own speed.
"I couldn't ask for a better leader," Haynes said. "Kids look to him for an example. He works hard, takes everything in stride. Excellent athlete, I know I can get points from him in whatever."
As for the remainder of this season, Moyer hasn't forgotten about that hurdles crown, one he fully intends on keeping. But, he also wouldn't mind adding another title to his resume. However, he faces tough competition in reigning pole vault champ Danny Stoner of Biglerville.
"If I can," Moyer said, when asked if he'd like to add the league title. "But Danny Stoner is tough, he's a good vaulter."
Moyer is confident in his abilities. He's gone higher in practice. But he's also quick to point out that was only in practice, and that he needs to "do it when it counts."
Down the road: Having shown himself adroit at hurdles, jumps and pole vault, Moyer admits the throws will be the toughest test for him when he tries the decathlon with the Golden Bears.
"I've never touched a discus, shot or javelin," he said. "That's going to be a beast to conquer."
Haynes says plans are to one day have a series of record boards near the track to recognize the best Bulldogs.
Haynes, a standout athlete in her own right during her time at West York (1982 grad), then playfully added another mark for Moyer to chase, stating: "I teased him, I said: 'You've got to get your name on there three times,' he said 'Why?' I said 'Because my name will be on three times.'"
— Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org; @EADispatch on Twitter