Lehigh Mountain Hawks senior Lucas Warning, left, and sophomore Katie Torman pose during practice on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at Rauch Field House. Warning and Torman both recently broke Lehigh track and field records, Warning in shot put and Torman in pole vaulting. (Toni Isreal/B&W Staff)

Hometown runners leave their mark in Lehigh record book


Sophomore Maura Henderson, a Harriton High School product, laughed alongside her teammates Katie Toman and Lucas Warning after a practice.

“Got a few townies over here,” Henderson said with a laugh.

Warning is from the Kutztown area while Toman is also from the Lehigh Valley. However, this isn’t the only common thread between the three.

All three student athletes have the title of Lehigh track and field record-holder attached to their names. Warning, a senior, broke his own record and Henderson added a second record to her resume while Toman, a sophomore, became a first-time university record holder, all in the month of January.

Warning broke his record in the shot put Jan. 14 at the annual Angry Birds Challenge with a throw of 18.09 meters. Breaking this record has seemed to be a habit for Warning throughout his Lehigh career. He has reset the school’s indoor record five times, but what separated this time from the rest of his record-breaking performances was the fact that he was able to break the 18-meter mark for the first time in the school’s history.

For Warning, he said it has been special because of how hard he has worked. Warning recalled how when throwing in high school, he never went farther than the district meet.

Warning enrolled in January 2014 after spending the prior fall and summer training in the sport he loved. He was also working and taking night classes to make sure he did not fall too far behind. Upon enrolling, Warning was able to step onto the throwing team and contribute right away.

“I got so much better, partly because I have an amazing trainer back home, and when I came here I just continued to grow, and that growth has been consistent throughout my career here,” Warning said.

That growth is exactly what Henderson is hoping for as well, as she is in her first year of being a full-time runner. Henderson was a part of the lacrosse team her freshman year and split time between cross country, indoor track and lacrosse.

On Jan. 27, at the annual Villanova Open, Henderson broke the school record for the mile previously held by junior Julia Perry, running a time of 4:53.32 and topping the previous record by almost 1.4 seconds. Henderson is also a part of the 4×800 team that broke the school record at the Patriot League Championships in 2016.

“It’s exciting to break individual records of course, but that relay record is more special to me, being that we did it as a team,” Henderson said.

The English major has attributed her success to her team-first attitude as well as her goal-setting habits. Henderson makes sure to set goals for herself each week, for everything from eating habits to her running.

“It’s all about competing, and doing something, anything better each week for me,” she said. “I think that is how I have been able to have success early.”

Toman also etched her name in the record books Jan. 21 at the 30th Lehigh-Lafayette dual meet in the pole vaulting event. Her throw of 3.64 meters broke the previous mark of 3.60 meters, which Toman tied during her freshman season. Toman talked about how tying the record gave her motivation through the offseason.

“It was frustrating because it’s like you’re so close to it, but you don’t have it to yourself,” Toman said.

Toman was excited to break the record and said it was a long time coming. When she was just starting track her freshman year, family friend and track and field coach Matt Utesch had to convince her parents that it would be safe for their little girl to participate in the field event.

All three athletes look to continue their recent performance. Warning’s record-breaking throw put him in first place in the league and No. 33 nationally. Henderson and Toman are both ranked fourth in the Patriot League in their events after their performances.

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