Tanner Hostetler is fast finding her place in the Pettisville School District history books, and she achieved that place by being fast.
This season Hostetler, an eighth grader, has shattered junior high records in three separate events in track and field.
The 14-year-old ran the mile in 5:25.2 seconds, beating the previous record of 5:36 set by Abby Cordes in 1996 by 10 seconds.
Hostetler ran the 800 meters (half mile) in 2:30.2, bettering the record of 2:37 by almost seven seconds, toppling another record set by Cordes in 1996.
Hostetler’s new record for the 400 is 1:05.9, two-tenths of a second faster than the record set by Brady Avina one year ago.
An all-around athlete, Hostetler is competing in not one, but two sports for each of the three seasons this school year.
In the fall she played on the soccer team and ran with the cross country team. During the winter, Hostetler played on the basketball team and ran in several indoor track meets as an unattached runner.
This spring she competes with the track team and plays on the school softball team.
With all those practices, meets, and games, Hostetler still manages to do well in her school work, and is active in her church youth group.
She also raises a pig for a 4-H project, and helps in the family peach orchard.
Her parents are Jeryl and Jill Hostetler. She has three younger sisters: Lauren, a sixth grader at Pettisville, Kamryn, a second grader, and Karsyn, who is 4 years old.
Tom Wagner, longtime Pettisville track and cross country coach, says Hostetler is an allaround fine person.
“She is very nice to everyone and is an excellent student, besides being a good athlete,” Wagner said.
“Sometimes when you talk about a good athlete, those other things are missed. But Tanner is all those things, and yet very humble.”
When asked if she had any secrets that made her so fast, Hostetler smiled and said, “Not really. God just gave me this talent.”
Hostetler trained all winter to help develop her talent, running on a treadmill at home when the weather was too bad to run outside.
She has some goals she would like to reach, including running a mile under 5:20 and competing in the state middle school championship meet on May 25. Her current times would place her near the front of the pack in state competition.
In many of the smaller meets where she competes, the mile run is combined- boys and girls all compete in the same race.
In those, it is not unusual for Hostetler to beat most of the boys, although there are usually some boys who are faster.
She said that’s a good thing, because it helps give her someone to chase… to spur her on to run faster.
Despite her obvious talent for running distance races, Hostetler says her favorite sport is still basketball. She was part of the eighth grade team that won the Buckeye Border Conference league this past winter.
But she does like to run, and especially likes it when the races are over.
“Running is fun when I’m done,” Hostetler said with a big smile. “I feel good when it’s over.”