CLARION — With lots of former PAHS athletes reaching successful accomplishments at the collegiate level of late, one former Lady Chuck has been quietly running away at Clarion University— quite literally.
Milea Schall, a 2011 PAHS grad and long-distance event specialist, is described as a pretty quiet sort of athlete, who goes about her business by her former coach George Wehrle. But Schall has been making some noise as a freshman at Clarion, having made the transition to college athletics — and academics — seem quite seamless.
"A lot of high school athletes never pan out in college," Wehrle said. "But Milea has been a valuable contributor to her team and one of the better runners in the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference). I'm certainly proud to be able to say I had the privilege of coaching her in high school."
Schall's success as a freshman and a three-sport college athlete began in the fall, when she participated on the Clarion cross country squad.
Schall finished 63rd at the KSAC Championship meet, giving her Clarion's third-best time at 24:32.
In the winter season, Schall switched her athletic focus to the indoor track season, where she participated in the distance events.
Schall set the tone and established herself as a leader in the distance events by winning the 5,000-meter run at the Youngstown State Icebreaker Dec. 2 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Schall also qualified for the 5,000-meter at the 2012 PSAC Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships in February.
Schall's time of 18:50.42 was good for 18th at the conference meet, where she was one of five Golden Eagles competing.
Another honor — one that didn't surprise Wehrle — came Schall's way back in February, as well, when she was named to the NCAA Divison II United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) list of All-Academic runners.
"It's great to see Milea being so successful both academically and athletically as a freshman," Wehrle said. "She is very dedicated in both disciplines and appears to have made the often-difficult transition from high school to college look easy."
Schall's success has continued as she recently moved to the outdoor track and field season. The races have grown a bit longer — as she runs the 10,000-meter run in outdoor — but Wehrle said its no surprise that she's succeeding at the longer distances.
"I always thought Milea got better and better the longer the race distance, so for her to excel at 5,000 and now 10,000 meters makes sense," he said." "She is a very efficient, economical runner. Combine that with her mental toughness, and you have a pretty terrific long-distance runner."
In the season's opening meet — the Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Feb. 17 — Schall qualified for the PSAC championships with a seventh-place finish in 39:55.85.
Each weekend in April sees the Clarion track and field team at a meet, with the PSAC Outdoor Championships scheduled for May 3-5 in Bloomsburg.
To follow Schall and the Golden Eagles' progress, see their Web site www.clariongoldeneagles.com .