The recent Archbishop Ryan graduate broke three records on the school’s track team during her senior year.
Megan Kirn wouldn’t make a very good disc jockey.
She breaks too many records to be in that line of work.
Kirn is a recent graduate of Archbishop Ryan High School, and this year alone, she was responsible for breaking three records on the Ragdolls’ track team.
Early in the season, Kirn established a school record for the javelin, a record held by Valerie Ramirez that stood for 14 years. The next day, she broke her own record. And at the District 12 championship, she broke the district record.
“The school record was the one I was really happy to break because it’s a good one,” said Kirn, who threw a personal best of of 128–1 this year. “But I didn’t even know I broke that one at the time. I found out later when my coach told me. I did it at the Lady Hatters tournament. Then I broke my own record the next day. That was fun, too, because it was at Ryan and I did it in front of my family. Breaking records is so exciting, everyone loves it when someone does it.”
Getting your name in the record books is a great accomplishment, but Kirn accomplished a lot more. And she did it in a variety of events.
Kirn earned first-team All-Catholic in the javelin. She took second team in the pole vault, clearing 8-foot-6, and took third team in the 800-meter race.
During the indoor track season, Kirn took second in the pole vault and the 800 meters. In the fall, she was two spots away from taking All-Catholic in cross country, a sport she did just because she wanted to be in shape for track.
“I don’t like running long distances, I’m pretty good at it, but it’s not my favorite thing to do,” Kirn said. “It’s good to do, you want to stay in shape and be ready, but it’s not one of my favorite things to do.”
That would be the javelin. Originally, she joined track to strengthen her arm for softball, but this year she decided to give up that sport to focus on track.
It seems she made the right call.
“I don’t miss softball at all, I only miss playing with my teammates,” said Kirn, who was on the Philadelphia Spirit travel team. “I had a pretty good arm because I played softball, but I got better in track because I worked a lot with my coaches and my teammates.”
This year, she was more than an athlete.
Because she enjoyed so much success as a junior, first-year coach Mike Leonard sought Kirn’s help in teaching other girls the ropes.
“We would break up in groups and I would help out, but it was like (Leonard) teaching them because I was using the things I learned at Ryan,” Kirn said. “I liked it. I had people who helped me and I think if I could help anyone else, that would be good.”
That attitude epitomized what Kirn brought to the team. It’s also what made her so successful during her four years at the school.
“She’s been a tremendous leader since the first day of practice,” Leonard said. “A lot of kids in her position would want to focus on their specialty, in her case the javelin. She put the team first all year as a key member of our 4-by-800-meter relay, which also made it to states, and as a pole vaulter. I really can’t put into words how much she means to this team.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach Megan since her sophomore year and from the very beginning I knew she was special. Sure, she is gifted, but it’s been her work ethic, toughness and dedication to her events and her teammates that have put her over the top. She gave our program as much as any athlete could give, both as a performer and as a leader.”
She’s not leaving with the respect of just her coach. She’s also going out with a lot of mementos.
During the course of her career, Kirn earned 13 All-Catholic designations. Every time you are honored, you get a laminated certificate.
Kirn hasn’t taken the time to enjoy the honors, but they’re in a special place.
“I always just give them to my mom,” Kirn said. “She takes care of them. I know she has them in a special spot. It’s fun to win them, but I give them right to her because I know she’ll save them.”
Next year, Kirn will continue her track career at Kutztown University, where she’ll continue to throw the javelin and run the 800-meter race. She’ll also take part in cross country.
“The coach put me on the roster, but I’m not sure if I’m just working out or actually running,” Kirn said. “I’m going to major in criminal justice and minor in accounting. I hope to work for the FBI, dealing with counterfeit money and those kinds of things. It’s something I’m interested in and you can make the world a better place, you know, help people.”
And she’ll continue to help teammates while working hard to improve every day.
“Track is good because you’re not competing with anyone but yourself,” Kirn said. “In track, you’re your own worst enemy, but that’s what makes you work harder. The harder you work, the better you do.” ••