Mars’ Lydia Dennis continues to improve in her best event, the triple jump, and could be a WPIAL contender this year.
EAGLE FILE PHOTO
ADAMS TWP — Lydia Dennis won’t fly — or jump — under the radar this season. The Mars senior had a surprising WPIAL championship in the triple jump last spring with a leap of 37 feet, 9½ inches. This winter, she improved on that mark, jumping a little more than 38 feet at the PTFCA Indoor State Track and Field Championships late last month to place third. She was also second at the meet in the long jump. Yes, the word is definitely out on Dennis now. “That puts a target on my back,” Dennis said. “I’m going to have to perform at every meet this year. It helps me.” One of Dennis’ goals has been to get her name out there. Mission accomplished. Her goals this winter were by no means modest. “I just wanted to set my personal best,” Dennis said. “And I wanted to medal. I didn’t hold anything back.” Mars coach Dale Boring has seen Dennis blossom over the past 12 months. “Compared to last year’s indoor season, she added 2 feet in the triple jump,” Boring said. “That’s phenomenal.” Boring said he expected Dennis to do well during the indoor season. He said he was not surprised at her two medals at the state meet. “We knew she could get to the state meet and have a breakout indoor season,” Boring said. “I thought she would be right there. I thought she had a chance to get a second and third.” Part of the reason for her soaring success has been Dennis’ confidence. Winning events will do that. “When I’m on the runway, I feel like I own it now,” Dennis said. “I just want to continue to get better, whether that is an inch or a foot.” To do that, Dennis has been putting in copious amounts of work. Six days a week she is doing something to improve her skills. She works on her speed four days a week, lifts at least two days a week and works on her jumping form and technique two days a week. “It’s tiring,” Dennis said. “But it’s worth it.” There’s little time for Dennis to rest. Practice for the outdoor season has already begun. “We’re all ready to go and I know she is, too,” Boring said. “She knows what she can do.”