Coach proud of Penn Hills fitness team’s 2nd place finish at National Championships, Trib HSSN

Bob Martini can’t quite sum up the words needed to describe how he feels about Penn Hills’ fitness team this year.

The Indians set a goal of becoming national champions at the Marine Physical Fitness National Champions in Little Rock, Ark. Penn Hills didn’t quite reach the top, but Martini felt the team’s second-place finish was one of the best in program history.

The Indians program was founded in 1966 and Martini took over as head coach in the early 1980s.

“I’m not taking anything away from the fitness teams of the past as we have had several very good individuals and teams, both men and women, but for now this was the end of an era that I doubt we will ever reach again anytime soon, like ever,” said Martini.

Penn Hills was led by Jadyn Wright, who defended his title as individual national champion. Jadyn’s brother, Jacen, along with Montaz Meggett and Amaree Freeman, helped by consistently achieving top scores. The Indians added depth when Tyree Dean, Sawyer Kinney and Josh Shifflett joined the team.

“We started with a random group of guys and developed into a team that dominated every competition,” Martini said.

Six members form a team.

Each competition consists of five events, with three minutes between each event, including 100 sit-ups in two minutes, 60 non-stop push-ups in two minutes, three standing broad jumps, 30 pull-ups in two minutes and a shuttle of Run 300 meters in 44 seconds.

Martini was proud of how this group grew together. Most of this year’s roster also competed last season, when Penn Hills finished in third place nationally. Martini believes this Indians team will be recognized later.

Martini believes this group has accomplished enough to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame down the road. He knows there will be a lot of work for him to rebuild the squad for next season.

“It’s a long, hard task,” Martini said. “We have no game to play. You must have a passion for training and the dedication to be the best in a very tough sport. The result is that few people join the team.”

With fitness, no one was born to do 30 pull-ups or broad jumps of 30 or 10 feet. You have to work hard to achieve that.”

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