For South Western freshman Lynne Mooradian, gymnastics used to be her life.

She would regularly practice up to 25 hours a week. It was her passion.

Her passion that is, until seventh grade. That was when Mooradian entered her first track meets, and won them. From that point on her passions started to change and, unfortunately for the rest of the YAIAA, she chose to stop gymnastics and continue to pursue track.

"After winning that first race, the feeling was addicting," she said. "I love winning, but I enjoy competition in general whether I win or not. During the season it's fantastic.

"I am always in the best mood during track."

It appears to have been a good choice as Mooradian dominated every track she stepped on to this year in route to being named The Evening Sun Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

She attributes much of her success on the track to her time spent at the Hanover YMCA working on her gymnastics.

"My gymnastics coach, Mrs. Irena, and the sport of gymnastics helped me become the athlete that I am and helped harness the talent that I had," she said. "It helped me realize that I could work hard and train hard and it built my will to win. It helped me build a lot of muscle and got my core strong which has helped me in running a lot."

Mooradian was confident that she would come in as a freshman and be extremely competitive but as the season went on and the accolades continued to pile up, the success surprised even her.

"I didn't quite anticipate how far I got in districts and states," she said.

South Western freshman Lynne Mooradian has been named The Evening Sun Girls’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
South Western freshman Lynne Mooradian has been named The Evening Sun Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year. (The Evening Sun -- Clare Becker)

The freshman entered the season with several goals. Her first was to be the fastest person on the track, but her second one was to set a school record which she did at the district meet in the 200. The previous school record was 25.58, and she finished the race with a time of 25.46. The biggest goal she had all season long was to help the Mustangs capture their 21st league championship. They had missed out on the past two years but after defeating Red Lion, they clinched the league.

Mooradian holds the rare feat of having broken a school record in cross country as well as in the 200 in the same season.

"I am much better at sprinting, but I am ok at cross country," she said. "I mainly get through it and run fast times because I have the will power to keep going and keep going fast. The will power is what gets me through cross country. I have a lot of natural talent in track and that is why I am good at track."

Mooradian won the 100 and 200 at the YAIAA meet, 100 at the district meet and finished second in the 200. At the state meet, she finished seventh in the 100.

Despite all of those personal accomplishments, the moment that she cherishes the most from the season is when her 4x100 team blew away the competition and shocked everyone for a district championship.

"It was the best feeling of my entire track season," she said. "It was the most fantastic thing I ever experienced. It is hard to explain. We knew we could win it, but didn't realize we would win it by that much. We blew our previous times out of the water. That overshadowed my win in the 100 and second place in the 200. It was the best moment in the meet. I didn't even care that I wont the 100."

Now that Mooradian has set the bar as a freshman, the question is, what will she do for an encore next year?

"I am not sure," she said. "It's kind of making me nervous thinking about it. My goal for states as a sophomore is to place in the top 10 and medal in the 200 and place in the top five in the 100."