GA All-Comers Meet returns
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
La Salle’s Ford enjoying his time on the track
By Kev Hunter
WHITEMARSH » The AllComers Meet more than lived up to its name on a hot and humid June 19, attracting athletes of various ages and events.
La Salle College High School’s Eric Ford, no stranger to speed, shed his hockey pads and stick to run a few sprints on the blistering Germantown Academy track.
“He ran a low 23 in the 200 (-meter dash) first time he ever ran it. He’s got some talent,” Explorers sprints and hurdles coach Marty Madeira said with a grin. “So I have him out training this summer, just to see what he can do. Today’s a big test, to see if he can get under 23.”
Ford came close, placing third in his heat with a strong 200. In the midst of his club hockey season, the rising junior is also enjoying steep improvement on the track.
“It’s pretty similar,” he said. “You’re using a lot of the same muscles, just different ones up front. But I feel like hockey players are pretty good at running, pretty explosive.”
The All-Comers Meet, its mission “to provide excellent competition for all athletes of all levels in running, jumping and throwing in the spirit of community and friendship through the sport of track and field” has athletes ranging from age five to 80.
La Salle has looked to the ice before in order to bolster its sprints group.
“I’ve had a couple guys,” Madeira said. “It seems like track translates very well for hockey players. They have to get out of that skate mode, where they’re moving side to side, and I have to get them directed straight ahead.
“But once they get it, they’re hard workers. And they’re usually very fast.”
La Salle is coming off a tremendous year in cross country and track. The Explorers captured the 3A State Title in XC, then followed that up by racing to third place indoors. Underdogs going into the spring, La Salle still claimed the Philadelphia Catholic League title.
Ford is looking forward to his second year of high school track and could be in line to make a bigger impact.
“I started in seventh grade and I just fell in love with the sport,” he said shortly after finishing his 200. “I’m trying to switch over to the 400 and get really good with that. I’m working really hard in the summer, going to all the GA meets and everything I can, practicing every day.”
The next GA Meet was scheduled for June 26.
Competition can provide a nice break from straightup training.
“I wanted to break it up a little bit, give him a few meets,” Madeira said. “(I like his progress) a lot. I’m really looking forward to what he’s gonna do next year because I think he’s gonna be one of the top sprinters in the state.”