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Amanda Crooks Amanda Crooks

Amanda Crooks dominating at Moravian

Friday, March 20, 2020 by Steve Andres Special to the Press in Sports

It didn’t take long for Amanda Crooks to leave her mark on the Moravian Track and Field program.

Crooks set the indoor mark during her sophomore season at Moravian College. It happened in December while competing at Lehigh University Fast Times Before Break. She finished in 7.83, setting the new school record that was previously held by Erin Recker who set it in 2005 with a 7.88 mark.

Crooks finished second in the race held Dec. 6-7 at Phillip Rauch Field House. The 60-yard dash winner was East Stroudsburg University’s Tiana Webster who crossed the line in 7.65 seconds.

Sports Information Director Mark Fleming said that their indoor season runs December through March, indicating that Crooks is putting her stamp all over the record book during this indoor season. In her first season of competition, she holds the four fastest times in the 60-yard dash. Additionally, Crooks has earned Landmark Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Week, an honor she shared with teammate Carly Danoski for their performances the first week in February.

Crooks, who graduated in 2018, is continuing her strong indoor season by recently capturing first in the 60-yard dash at the Ithaca College Bomber Invitational held Feb.1 at Ithaca’s Glazer Arena. The meet featured 12 teams with Crooks finishing in 7.86 seconds to lead the field. Her mark qualified her for the All-Atlantic Region Track & Field Championships in March.

That mark was the second fastest time in school history. Combine that with the 7.88 she ran during the preliminaries, and the sophomore’s name now appears in the top three spots in the record book.

But Crooks lowered it yet again, shaving one hundredth of a second off the record, winning the 60-yard dash at the Alvernia University PLEX Shootout with a 7.82 mark. Her recent second-place finish at the Penn State University Tune-Up saw her run another 7.88, but at the Landmark Conference Championships Crooks set a conference record with a 7.66 on her way to being named the Women’s Rookie of the Year. Moravian dominated the event with 201 points in the women’s meet, almost double second-place Susquehanna which had 110 points.

Moravian track and field head coach Jesse Baumann said that he knew from watching her in high school that she was a gifted sprinter. Baumann said that her burst, acceleration, and turnover, have combined to make her one of the most dynamic sprinters he’s coached.

“When she wants to accelerate and turn it into another gear, it’s something that you don’t see that often,” said Baumann who’s currently in his ninth year guiding the program. “It’s a gear I don’t know I’ve ever seen as a coach.”

He admits that he’s often amazed while watching her compete.

“Your jaw drops,” Baumann said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Baumann said that Crooks’ quick insertion into the school record book isn’t something he’s seen to this extent on the girls side during his tenure. Some boys have made an immediate impact, but for Crooks to begin her track career and quickly own the top three spots in the 60-yard dash is quite unique. Her dominance as a first-year athlete is something that is truly remarkable.

Crooks said that she decided to take a year off from track, a decision she felt was necessary to give her body some rest because she’s been running since fifth grade.

Crooks said that she decided to get back on the field in the summer of 2019, and that led her to begin competing that fall, quickly setting the school record.

Crooks has a long career ahead of her and who knows how many records she’ll own once it’s complete.

“Just wanted to say thanks to the excellent coaching staff at Moravian College as my goal is, with God’s help, to continue to excel at track, making my parents and Moravian College proud,” said Crooks.

Unfortunately, Crooks won’t have a chance to add to any records this spring as the season was recently canceled due to the coronavirus.