Dancing past helps champion Dallastown High hurdler
- Dallastown junior Taylor Forrester is the defending York-Adams 100 hurdles champion.
- Forrester believes her background as a dancer has helped her succeed on the track.
- Forrester and the Wildcats have a key meet vs. Central York looming on Thursday.
Taylor Forrester took up dancing when she was just 5 years old.
Forrester was a dancer for 12 years before she decided to focus solely on another type of steps: the ones between the hurdles.
The Dallastown junior's dedication to track and field proved rewarding.
She became a champion hurdler.
Forrester credits the countless hours she spent dancing for helping her succeed in the running and jumping events on the track.
"I built up so much in my leg muscles from dancing. I want to compete in college, so that's why I decided to concentrate on track in high school," she said.
Forrester won the York-Adams League title in the 100 hurdles last spring. She finished second to South Western star Lynne Mooradian in the 300 hurdles.
"I definitely enjoy the 100 (hurdles), that's a fun race," Forrester said. "The 300 is tough, you need so much stamina."
Forrester prepared for this season by competing in indoor track.
"My problem last year was that I took a stutter step before the hurdle. But I definitely improved in my form," she said. "I trained pretty much the whole year with the exception of September and October when I didn't do as much training."
Forrester plans to pursue the school records in both hurdles events, while at the same time helping the Wildcats go after the York-Adams Division I title. Dallastown, Red Lion and Central York all shared the division crown in 2015.
Big meet looms: Speaking of Central, the Panthers will be at Dallastown on Thursday for a dual meet which could a long way in determining the division champion. Central's team features a former teammate of Forrester's, Haven Evans.
Forrester and Evans were part of Dallastown's 1,600 relay team last spring (along with Emma Kange and Amari Johson) that captured a York-Adams title and set a school record. Evans, a junior, transferred to Central this year.
"We were really close," Forrester said. "It was kind of a shock when she transferred. We're definitely going for the league title this year, so we certainly want to win this meet."
Dallastown has a new head coach this season. Mike Schuler, who's been coaching track and field at Dallastown since 1999, primarily at the junior high level. He's in charge of the varsity this year.
"It wasn't too hard a sell because I love the sport," Schuler said. "I talked it over with my family and said you won't see dad for three months. I then dove into it 100 percent."
Central's visit to Dallastown will bring back memories for Schuler. He coached the Panthers back in the 1990s, including the 1995 Central boys' team that captured the District 3-AAA team title.
"Central's been one of the best programs in the area," Schuler said. "I think we're evenly matched, or maybe they have a slight advantage. We'll see."
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.