SPRINGVILLE—Harley Maloy didn’t have an opportunity to compete in this year’s high school track and field Erie County Interscholastic Conference championships or the state qualifiers, but nobody really expected him to.
At 5-feet-3 and approximately 90 pounds, the eighth grader has been running for Springville the past few seasons, and while he admits some of the grueling cross-country paths help build his ankle strength, the real path he’s trying to follow is that of legendary sibling.
“I’ve been running for a very long time, my brother’s Chad Maloy, so I’m trying to follow in his footsteps,” Harley said this season.
Older brother Chad was a three-time most valuable runner while at Springville, who went on to become a state champion. He also made his mark after Springville as a Griffin at Canisius College. His first year alone garnered a first-team all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection as well as MAAC Rookie-of-the-Year in 2010 at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-I level.
Springville cross country coach and assistant boys track and field coach Chad Russell has coached both Maloys and even with the successes of so many runners in the Springville program this season, Russell couldn’t help but single out Harley’s end-of-season progress.
“It was kind of a cool day and we had about eight guys lined up to encourage [Maloy] in the 800 and out of nowhere, he had a personal best of 2:51. No, that’s not a competitive time right where it is, but he’s an eighth-grader running against juniors and seniors,” Russell said. “The next week, he was excited about his new PR and with new enthusiasm from feeling progress, ran the 800 in 2:47 and followed that about 90 minutes later by out-doing himself with a 2:44.”
Russell admits that it’s runners like Maloy that give him the greatest satisfaction at trying to help his runners improve.
“We’re out here coaching 40-45 kids and not just the top-two that look shiny and new,” he said.
“For me, I like to focus not so much on who had the most impressive time, but who had the most personal impressive time and that was [Maloy].”
Inspirational for sure, but Maloy will tell you it’s not hard to get inspired when a local legend shows up to cheer you on – referring to his brothers impromptu appearance at competitions during the final weeks of the season.
For Russell, the ear-to-ear smile of the younger Maloy after repeatedly improving his performance is all the motivation he needs from a coaching perspective. While Maloy’s numbers in the 800 continue to improve as Russell looks on, both continue to have an overall “good time” in the process.