Orchard Park’s Jenna Crean is one of the fastest girls in the country. What’s even more impressive -- she’s only a sophomore.
“We knew she was something special in eighth grade,” Crean’s indoor track coach Greg Lardo said. “I mean, she's been to states the last two years and she's only a sophomore, so we're excited to see how good she can get."
Crean says she has plenty of room to grow, but she’s been setting records from the start. As a middle schooler Crean broke the Varsity indoor track record in the 300 meter run. Then, in the spring of her eighth grade year, Crean broke both the Orchard Park and Erie County Interscholastic Conference (ECIC) outdoor track record in the 400-meter run.
In ninth grade Crean broke even more records. During the indoor season, Crean won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) state title. At the time, she was the fastest freshman from a public school in the country in the 300 meter run. Crean then broke the Orchard Park High School record in the 55 meter, along with Section VI record in the 300 meter. To top off the year, Crean was named the Female Track Athlete of the Year for large Schools by Section VI.
"You wish her the best because you know she's a great kid and she's not rubbing it in or gloating or anything like that,” Lardo added. “She's just like yeah, and kind of accepts it, and keeps working hard, so it's cool to see such a good kid get awarded for a lot of awards she's starting to receive.
Crean also plays on the Varsity soccer team, and her speed helps her a lot on the field. While Crean says she loves soccer, her passion is running, something she’s been doing as long as she can remember.
"I would go run field days in elementary school,” Crean said with a smile on her face. “I would have so much fun. My fifth grade teacher Mr. Wert told me I should try track, and I did."
Since, Crean has spent coutless hours trying to perfect her craft and one day hopes to run in college. Since she’s only a sophomore she can’t talk with any colleges about her future athletic plans yet.
Crean says her coaches and teachers have helped her so much and that Orchard Park "is the best school in the world."
While running in college is her long term goal, Crean and her coach say that her focus now is on getting better every single day.
“I just try to give it my all and put in every little ounce of effort I have," Crean said about her success.
Congrats Jenna on being named the Super 7 Athlete of the Week!
Super 7 Countdown
#1 – Jenna Crean, Orchard Park Indoor Track
#2 – Brad Benson, Maple Grove Football
Brad Benson led Maple Grove in rushing with 140 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of Maple Grove’s 56-20 semi-final win over Sidney. Benson sat out the second half with an injury but says he’s good to go in the state championship game.
"Brad had a great game,” Maple Grove football coach Curt Fischer said of Benson. “I mean, his line opened some holes and once he gets to the second level, you aren't getting him down. Then, once he rolled his ankle, most guys wouldn't have thought about playing. He got back on the field and finished out the half. That shows the type of attitude the guy has."
Benson and Maple Grove will play for a state title in Syracuse on Friday against Cambridge.
#3 – Samantha Burgio, Eden Girls Volleyball
“She was easily one of the most dynamic kids in the gym, regardless of any class,” Eden coach Stephen Pierce said. “Teams just could not stop her. She had 27 kills, 14 digs, and 5 aces on the day. Her power at the net allowed us to separate from our opponents early in nearly every game."
Burgio is the reigning Gatorade Player of the year and is graduating early so she can start her college career with national powerhouse Maryland
#4 – Kenyatta Huston, Canisius Football
The Junior running-back scored a 39 yard touchdown to help the Canisius Crusaders knock off the St. Francis Red Raiders in the Monsignor Martin Championship. Huston was named to the All-Catholic second team.
"I've got to take advantage of the opportunity they give me,” Huston said. “When they put the ball in my hands I had to do something special with it.”
Huston is still a Junior and will play a big role in Canisius’ title defense next season.
#5 – Madalyn Bowen & Quinn Payne, Panama Girls Volleyball
Their coach calls them the dynamic duo. The two have been playing together for five years and were pivotal in Panama’s state championship.
“Quinn willingly moved from libero to setter this year and did a great job,” Volleyball coach Chris Payne said. “She is also our leading server. She was selected to 1st team for our league and to the all-tournament team at the state tournament.”
“Madalyn is our leading hitter and our steadiest passer,” Payne added. “She was selected the MVP of our league and was also the MVP at the State tournament.”
#6 – Conor Doran, Lockport Cross-Country
#7 – Carissa DiTullio, Lockport Cross-Country
Two of the top local finishers in the 2016 NYS Federation Cross Country Championships come from Lockport. DiTullio finished in 33rd with a time of 19:37 while Doran finished 20th in a time of 16:43.