Upper Moreland Foursome to Compete in Collegiate Track & Field

On Monday, April 29, 2019, Upper Moreland seniors Yaa Aye Danquah, Jill Kelly, Shane Coll and Kevin Johnston were recognized for committing to continue their track and field careers at the collegiate level. To view photos of the event, please visit the photo gallery at the following link:  https://solsports.zenfolio.com/p874083054

Yaa Aye Danquah– York College (Track & Field)
Major:  Nursing
Final list of colleges:  York, La Salle, East Stroudsburg
Reasons for choosing York:  “I actually applied there as a joke – I didn’t know anything about it. I got an e-mail that I got accepted, so I was like, ‘Oh, let me look more into it.’ As I looked into it, I was like, ‘Okay, this is my school.’ I liked everything about it – I liked the campus, how it’s not too big, it’s pretty. I know people who go there, so it’s even better.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track and field at the collegiate level?  “The more I throw the better I am, so I know that if I keep doing it in college, I can be really good.”
Coach Kelsey Lesser says:  “Yaa was one of our indoor and outdoor track throwers for shot put and discus. She was a captain and one of the best leaders on the team. She has a good attitude about everything we did and always kept everyone laughing through the hard workouts. She will do great things at York. We’ve very proud to have her.”

Coach Doug Smith says:  “Yaa is a leader and one of the hardest working individuals I have ever had the privilege of coaching.  She is dedicated to her craft and is not afraid to help the younger throwers out when it comes to technique and motivation.  Yaa was a captain of the girls’ track team and her leadership, dedication and spirit will be missed in the future.” 
About Yaa:
Favorite food:  Lettuce Wraps
Favorite movie:  Remember the Titans
Favorite music:  All music

Shane Coll – Dickinson College (Track & Field)
Political Science
Final list of colleges:  Dickinson, Gettysburg, Scranton, Pitt
Reasons for choosing Dickinson:  “I just thought it was the right fit. I knew I wanted that smaller school feel. When I had my overnight with the team, it really felt like home, and I really connected with coach (Don) Nichter and the guys, so that’s what my deciding factor was.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track at the collegiate level?  “I just love to compete, so the longer I can do that it’s a privilege. Just being able to go out there and push myself and push my teammates is what I’m all about.”
Coach Kelsey Lesser says:  “Shane runs cross country, indoor and outdoor track, and he is a middle distance runner. He was a very strong leader on our team throughout the year. He puts everything he has into all the workouts, and the results show it. We’ve been very proud to have him as a runner, and we look forward to what he will do.”

About Shane:
Favorite food:  Hibachi
Favorite movie: Star Wars: A New Hope
Favorite music:  Country

Jill Kelly – Monmouth University (Track & Field)
Final list of colleges: Monmouth, U.S. Air Force Academy, Brown, La Salle, St. Joseph’s
Reasons for choosing Monmouth:  “I had a lot of variety in my school choices, but Monmouth just fit me. It was not too far from home. I had decided that I wanted to be closer to home, but I also wanted to be somewhere different, so that’s why I chose somewhere out of state. It’s also a small artsy campus, and that really fit my personality better than somewhere bigger, so I never really considered any huge school. Monmouth has really good athletics. They got third in the 4x800 at the Penn Relays against big schools, so it’s kind of the best of both worlds. They’re a small school, but they’re still competing, and they specialized in my event, which is the 800. They have a pretty solid 800 group.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track at the collegiate level?  “I didn’t know that it was an option for me until after my junior season. I started track just last year, so I’ve been running for two years. I did cross country sophomore year. I didn’t do anything special. Junior year I qualified for states, and then I went on and decided to do indoor track. I qualified for states in indoor track and I qualified in outdoor track as well. I ran in the final of the mile and placed 10th. I had run some pretty decent times, and I started to get contacted my coaches. I really just decided I wanted to run last summer.”

Coach Kelsey Lesser says:  “Jill is a three-season athlete – she competes for cross country, indoor and outdoor track. She’s a middle distance runner, and she really hit her stride immediately during her junior year. She was a captain for our team and a great leader. I’m really excited to see what she’s able to accomplish in her college career.”
About Jill:
Favorite food:  Avocados
Favorite movies:  Harry Potter series
Favorite music:  Taylor Swift

Kevin Johnston – Misericordia University (Track & Field)
Coach Kelsey Lesser says: 
“Kevin is a three-season athlete – he’s a cross country runner, an indoor and outdoor track runner. He’s motivated to do well on and off the track. He was a middle distance runner for our team, and he takes the time every day to do more than required for every workout - including drills at the end - to prepare for meets. He will be a great addition to his school.”