Poland’s Sebest ties letters record
Versatile athlete to finish career at state track meet
By Brian Dzenis
Maggie Sebest’s athletic career at Poland is an eclectic, but decorated one. With 16, she’s tied with Kim Grisdale as the school’s all-time leader in varsity letters.
This weekend’s state track and field tournament in Columbus will be her fifth state trip.
The 3200-runner has three state bids in cross country and two for track, all of which came from running distance. She also played soccer, basketball and boys tennis.
Running initially lagged behind basketball, soccer, swimming and tennis as her sports of choice.
“My older sister started running, so I did some road races. I did it seventh grade, but quit in eighth grade because I hated it,” Sebest said. “[Mrs. Grisdale] was like ‘you got to run your freshman year. I ran cross country and made state.”
Even with the state bid, Sebest wasn’t into running. She elected to play boys tennis in the spring — opting out of the girls game in the fall due to conflicts with soccer and cross country — her freshman season. In a doubles pair with Kiernan Kiske, they advanced to the Division II district finals.
“My sister did it the year before and the boys were pretty accepting of it,” Sebest said. “[Opponents] didn’t really want to shake my hand if we won, but it is what it is.”
She eventually came around to running when she realized it was her best shot at success.
“I’m not built for sprinting, I’m better at distance,” Sebest said. “It’s cool to see all the work you do in practice come out in track in competition when the time comes.”
Someone who concurs with that sentiment is Youngstown State coach Brian Gorby. She’ll continue to run for YSU this fall.