Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Season Is Jumping for Gateway Junior

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Season Is Jumping for Gateway Junior

Article excerpt

Track and field meets are at once both individual and team specific.

Katey Lauer, a junior long jumper at Gateway, stands out both ways.

Lauer posted a long jump of 17-7 this season, the second-best mark in WPIAL Class AAA so far; Latrobe's Caitlyn Hewitt has an extraordinary 18-9 1/2.

Lauer's best jump last year was a 17-1. She credits the improvement in her mark not so much to her own individual of- season training, but to a new atmosphere on the team.

"I feel stronger this year, but the reason I am doing better, I think, is because the team is different," Lauer said.

"We lost some girls from last year and brought some new girls in and the atmosphere is different. Coach [Tom] LaBuff is big on the team working together and supporting each other. I think we do that a lot more this year, and it is helping me be better."

Lauer realizes, of course, that team spirit in such an individual sport can only help so much. When she is standing in preparation for her sprint into the long jump, she knows the keys to her success lie almost solely on her own abilities to use the proper technique and take-off.

"A lot of [what makes her successful] is technical work," she said. "I have to spend a lot of time working on little things to get better. Things like knee drive, leg extensions and things like that. Now, I am doing less and less running and more and more work on the technical things to get better."

LaBuff said the extra time Lauer spent in the weight room and working out in the off-season are paying dividends now.

"She's very strong," LaBuff said. "One of the keys for her is her work ethic. She'll do whatever she needs to do to get better. She's really stepped up and become a leader on the team."

LaBuff said he is not surprised by Lauer's improvement from last season to this. What caught him off-guard, he said, was the performance she put on as a sophomore. …

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