Although Dennis Albright just began his first year as Wetzel County Superintendent of Schools, he is no rookie athlete. Albright holds several high school records and has been a Maryland State Champion.
He graduated in 1975 from Beall High School in Frostburg, Md., and ran the 880 and mile run, as well as the mile relay. He is the school's record holder in both events and won the 1975 Maryland state title in both events, as well. He was an all-stater three times in track and twice in cross country.
In the mile relay, Albright was just as effective, as his squad was state runnersup in the mile relay.
He and his teammates would flip to see who was going to compete in the mile relay. Or, the athlete who was feeling his oats at the time would compete in the event.
High school competition was conducted under slightly different rules, which have evolved over time. For example, in 1980, high schools converted their running distances from Imperial (yards) to metric.
Thus, instead of running conventional international distances - like the 1,500 meters in place of the mile run, a more equitable but non-standard 1,600 metre was chosen. For the two-mile run, they would run the 3,200 metre. And in the long hurdle race, they run 300 metres instead of the 400. So, into today's terms, Albright ran five more yards than those who compete in today's 800 meter run.
In addition, school classifications were different. Back then, a school was either A, B, or C instead of the Class 3A, 2-A and 1-A like it is today. Beall High School competed in the smallest division, C. Now they have four classifications like we have today.
Albright's fastest time in the 880 is 2.00, while his mile run was 4:32.
He practiced on a cinder track back in the day. Once, he got out of school to compete in several road races, including a few marathons, before the wear and tear took a toll on his knees. Today, Albright is an avid walker.
Of his two daughters, Molly and Amy, it was Molly who followed in her dad's footsteps and became a long-distance runner.
Although retired from running events, Albright and his new bride Jane enjoys watching our student athletes compete not only in track and cross country meets, but in all sports, as well as in the arts and any other extra-curricular programs too.