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Ewaskey runs down different path


Tracy Jenkins knew her son, Blake Ewaskey, needed something to do during the fall and winter.

He didn’t participate in football during the fall, and it would be a long time until lacrosse. However, he needed to condition himself for the spring, when he would play his final high school season before continuing his lacrosse career at the University of Hartford.

So, Ewaskey joined the winter track team. And the rest was some new entries in the Central Bucks West track and field record book, as well a track scholarship to the University of Tennessee.

“My mom told me to find something to do,” recalled Ewaskey, who was a wide receiver on the football team. “She told me that I could do anything. She runs and encouraged me to go out for winter track.

“I played football my freshman and junior years, and I really didn’t like it that much. It was my senior year and I wanted to focus on lacrosse and then track came along. With lacrosse, there is a lot of running and the transition was pretty easy.”

Ewaskey began to hone his skills notably as an 800 runner and as a member of CB West’s state champion 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams this spring. In the 800, he won the conference – setting a new record – district crown and finished seventh in the state.

Ewaskey endured the ultimate juggling act as he maintained his status as one of the area’s elite lacrosse players and also as one of the budding track standouts.

“It was a lot of timing and balancing between the two,” noted Ewaskey. “There were days when I couldn’t participate in track when I had lacrosse and vice versa. I just stayed positive through it all, and knew I could do it.”

In the middle of May, Tennessee called, and Ewaskey understood it was time to switch sports.

“I went down there and didn’t know what to expect,” said Ewaskey, who will run middle distance. “One of my current coaches ran with one of the coaches from Tennessee. But I knew it was the right place when the entire track coaching staff spent time with me and had breakfast with me.

“It just felt right.”

Head coach Greg Wetzel soon realized Ewaskey’s future ahead.

“He was playing lacrosse and running track and doing very well in both,” said Wetzel. “He was a natural in the 800 and the relays. He adapted and excelled in a quick fashion.”

Ewaskey began running in middle school, and he knew it would likely have a place in his future. However, he also began playing lacrosse at the same time, and it felt like a natural fit.

“I always have liked to run, and my whole family are runners,” he said. “I started playing lacrosse also in middle school, and it really clicked for me. I decided to stay with it, but I figured I would run again someday.”

The strong competition Ewaskey faced as a Buck will also likely help him transition to Tennessee.

“We have some of the best 800 runners in Southeast Pennsylvania and also in the western part of the state,” he said. “I feel very prepared running against the best of the best. I have been fortunate to run against some top competitors around.”

Ewaskey plans to travel down south around the middle of August.

“I know this will be a good fit,” he said. “It will be a big climate change from Hartford. The pace is slower and it may be a culture shock.

“But this will be a role that I will grow to love.”