Dock Indoor Track Club: Small But Mighty (By Justin Feil)

Small but Mighty 
by Justin Feil

Austin Kratz already had the best time in the United States in one race when he added another and then another.

The Dock Mennonite Academy senior ran an US number one time in the 200m in early December. Then he ran a US number one in the 300m on December 23rd.  He then blazed to an indoor personal record and meet record of 21.38 against former meet record holder Eric Allen Jr. of Bullis School in Maryland, at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic at The Armory in New York on Dec. 29, 2017.  Kratz’s 200 meter time now sits No. 2 nationally , but he still holds a 33.93 seconds national best in the 300 meters from the Bishop Loughlin Games at the Ocean Breeze Complex on Staten Island, N.Y., where he also recorded the No. 6 time in the nation in the 55 meters of 6.40 seconds.  Those times have brought more widespread attention to Kratz, but he’s not the only Dock track and field athlete turning heads. A small but mighty Dock group is flourishing this winter thanks to making a more serious commitment. Their investment has paid off and brought more recognition to the Dock indoor program that is supervised by two-decade outdoor head coach Tim Eger and veteran assistant coaches Bob Reagan and Earl Alcott.

Recently the Dock boys won the Bishop Loughlin Games team championship over much bigger schools. Kratz was the Athlete of the Meet with wins in the 55 and 300 meter races, but it took more than him to win the team trophy. Dock finished second in the 4x200 with a Pennsylvania best 1:31.37 with Kratz (20.9 seconds), Nick Smith (22.9), Austin Nice (23.4) and Dylan Rush (23.9) showcasing the results of their training and talent this year.  Alex Martin took 4th in the shot put and Nick Smith also placed strong in the 55 meter high hurdles to complete the team scoring.  The week after that, at the Ursinus College Holiday Invitational, Dock’s Kratz, Nick Halstead, Marques Brockington and Nick Smith won the 4x400 relay at the Ursinus Holiday High School Open in 3:36.40, the ninth best time in Pennsylvania this season.  Senior thrower Alex Martin blew past his outdoor personal record when he threw 50-feet-10¾ for the shot put, good for fourth in all of Pennsylvania.  Another senior, Nick Smith, is only in his second year with the team, but he already ran 6.71 seconds to rank ninth in Pennsylvania in the 55 meters. Smith also is closing in on some all-time best hurdles times at Dock. He ran 8.15 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles in early December for 15th in Pennsylvania.  Praise Zoegar, who started triple jumping last year in the spring, already has exceeded 40-feet in his first season of indoor and is ranked in the top 25 in the state. Halstead and Rush are in their first year training indoors with Dock and have been steadily improving as contributors. Isaiah Denlinger has established new personal bests in the mile and veteran 400 meter runner Ian Anderson is looking to make his mark in January. 

On the girls side, Lindsey Rupert already eclipsed her personal best in the high jump at 4-feet-7. Their sprint corps looks strong as well with Abbie Woods, Molly Hand, Kate Landis, Alison Keach and newcomer Olivia McCure to rely on this winter. The middle distance looks very promising with two freshmen ladies pushing each other in the 800m.  Isa Rodriguez and Lydia King are looking to establish themselves as contenders on the track.  It’s early, but their investments are paying off richly.

National Articles:

Standing out Among the Crowd  Milesplit article by Cory Mull:

12 Pennsylvania Individuals & Relays making national noise already

Excellent Article called “Flying on Faith” by Brian Towney of Dystat.

Check out the Milesplit top 50 rankings for week 2.  Austin climbs 14 spots to ninth overall.

Pennsylvania Articles and Links:

Winter Ramps up in PA & NY:  Week 2 Recap:

Watch Austin Kratz and Miles Green Battle to US #1 & US #2 in the 300m at Bishop Loughlin

PA Comes Away with three US #1s

Photos/Interviews/articles from the Marine Corp Holiday Classic: