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Huebner has relay good senior season

Ryan senior Brendon Huebner had many reasons to celebrate this year. He led two relay teams to states and nationals. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Brendon Huebner expected this to be a great year individually.

He was only half wrong.

Huebner is a senior on the Archbishop Ryan High School track team, and as an accomplished sprinter, he expected to have a great year.

But an injury during the indoor season partially derailed his hopes of having a great season.

“I pulled my hamstring during indoor, and it kind of set me back, but it made me come back into relays more,” Huebner said. “I’m not at 100 percent. I’m starting to come back, I still have issues, but the past two or three weeks, I’ve been able to get my speed back. It’s been pretty good. Honestly I’m liking the 400 relay, because of when I jumped into endurance because I couldn’t stress my leg. I ran miles by myself, just go out and run by myself.

“However many miles a day, I would just do it, did that for three weeks. Hamstring got back, but my speed wasn’t back. I did some solo events, and it wasn’t there. I gravitated to the leadership side of relays, getting the team together.”

Huebner must be a very good leader because the Raiders had two relay teams qualify for the state meet and also qualified for the national meet that will be held later this month at the University of Pennsylvania.

He led the boys 4×100-meter team, which also included Jake Kelly, Azaan Flowers and Brad Cantoral. He also guided the boys 4×400-meter team, which included Andrei Frigura, Tymir Bradley and Cantoral.

Cantoral had a great day at states, finishing second in the 300 hurdles, an event teammate Corey Demas also qualified for. Cantoral also qualified for nationals in the event.

On the girls side, the 4×800-meter relay team of Chelsea Ritter, Rebecca Dalton, Aleah Lazar and Anna Lombardi qualified for states, as did Allie Palmer (javelin) and Olivia Smiarowska (100-meter high hurdles).

Had he been healthy, there’s a strong possibility Huebner would have been competing for an individual medal, but he wasn’t disappointed.

In fact, he couldn’t have been prouder to guide the relay teams to Shippensburg University for the PIAA meet that included the top athletes from all of Pennsylvania, especially because it let him work with Cantoral.

“It’s so awesome having guys who can push you and that was Brad for me,” Huebner said. “We get to juggle back and forth responsibilities, and I think that helps a lot. You’re not leading by yourself. We did both relays as freshmen and we looked forward to taking over the team and being leaders, and we did.

“I would have loved to compete in individual events, but I really love being a part of the relays. The other guys aren’t young, but they’re new to the relays, so it’s fun to watch them get a chance. And we qualified for nationals, so you know they’re doing a great job. The relays have really been great for me.”

It’s not only good for Huebner, but great for the Raiders.

Track is an individual sport, but this squad looks at it differently. They’re all hoping for each other to do well, and when they can succeed as a relay team, that just makes them closer.

But soon, Huebner might be running against his friends.

Prior to this year, Huebner saw his future in the military. But after talking to some college coaches, he’s decided to try running at the next level.

Originally he committed to the University of Vermont, but he changed his mind and decided to stay closer to home.

“I really liked everything about La Salle, and I liked that I would be representing Philadelphia, that was important to me,” Huebner said. “Being able to compete for the city I was born and raised in is a great experience. I don’t want to do it just for myself, I want to do it for Philly. I hope to do that.

“I really enjoyed running with Brad. We are friends, teammates and next year, we’ll be competitors, hopefully and we’ll continue to push each other.”

Huebner will be just as active in the classroom. He’s thinking of majoring in philosophy, political science or economics.

“Honestly, over time the study of philosophy has been interesting, learning about the mind and how it works. Politics, I’m very argumentative so getting into a job that’s all about arguing and helping the community, and I would really like to do something to help Philadelphia. I want to help the city. I think it needs all the help it can get and it would be better if everyone helped. Economics is a third thing, knowing how money and the world works. Having an understanding can get you to a lot of places.”

But first is nationals, and after that, he’ll be looking forward to having a restful summer, but he’s still going to put in the miles.

“After I graduate I’m going to ask for La Salle’s training program,” Huebner said. “I hope to go down the shore, rest up and heal. I’m almost there, and I feel good. This was a great season for me.”

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