TRACK & FIELD: Female Athlete of the Week, Greencastle-Antrim's Erica Helm starting strong
Through the first two weeks of the track & field season, not many athletes are off to the start that Greencastle-Antrim's Erica Helm is.
Helm opened up the season with three top-10 finishes in the Tim Cook Invitational, and in the Blue Devils' first dual meet of the season against Shippensburg on Wednesday, she was even more impressive.
She took first place in three events – the long jump (13-10), triple jump (33-3) and high jump (4-10). She is this week's Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
"Erica has been a standout performer for us for the last three years," Greencastle coach Devin McCauley said. "This year, she has taken her focus and preparation to the next level, and it's nice to see her earn some reward for the work she's done."
Helm, a senior, competes in all three jumping events and also does hurdles for the Blue Devils, but her best and favorite event is one that she just started last year.
"I got 5-3 last year in the high jump, and I just fell in love with it," Helm said. "I almost made it to states, so my goal this year is to get back to that point."
Helm received even more good new last week – she will be on Shippensburg University's roster as a multi-event athlete in the fall. She will compete in the hurdles, long jump, high jump, 200, 800, shot put and javelin.
"I was undecided about where to go to college, but I knew wherever I wanted to go, I wanted to try to make it in Division II," Helm said. "Just this past week I got an email from the coach, and he said he'd love to have me on the roster and meet with me."
Helm's main goal is to make it to states this season, but she also wants to do her best to prepare for the college level.
She said, "I want to do as well as I can to prove to my coach and my future coaches that I'm a hard worker. I want to improve in all of my events and try to set new personal bests."
McCauley said, "I don't want to put any pressure on her, but I am confident that she will be as good as she is capable of because of her work ethic. She takes the weight room very seriously."
Helm will major in exercise science at Ship, and she then plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Sport: Track & field
Events: Jumps and hurdles
Parents: Bill and Michele Helm
Other interests: She works at Brothers Pizza, and she also enjoys the outdoors.
Favorite team: University of North Carolina
Pro athlete most admired: Lolo Jones
Three people she'd like to have dinner with: Jones, J. Cole, Audrey Hepburn.
Statistics: Helm has had a fast start to the season ... After a strong showing in the Tim Cook Invitational, she had a three-win day against Shippensburg on Wednesday ... She took first in the triple jump (33-3), long jump (13-10) and high jump (4-10).