Northeast duo The Daily Review newcomers of the year
Northeast Bradford freshmen Lydia Werner and Levi Upham each had plenty of success as junior high runners and this year as freshmen they continued that success at the high school level.
After strong freshmen years the two are The Daily & Sunday Review All-Region Newcomers of the Year.
Werner started her year as a state medalist in cross country and followed that up with a strong basketball season for the Panthers, before capping her year as The All-Region co-newcomer of the year in track and field.
"It was amazing," Werner said of her freshmen year.
Having such a strong cross country season helped set the tone for the rest of the year.
"It definitely did help a lot to know I could do as well as I did," she said.
While she was a state medalist in cross country, perhaps the biggest challenge of her freshman year was basketball.
"That was tough," she said. "I played post and everyone is a lot taller than me and older than me."
For Werner she wasn't sure she would get as much playing time in basketball as she did.
"I was very shocked that I played as much as I did," she said. "It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it a lot."
Finding out she was the newcomer of the year is an honor that Werner was excited by.
"It feels pretty great," she said.
And, after having so much success as a freshman it is just making her want to work harder for the future.
"It will make me work that much harder to try and get better as I go on," she said.
Because she was able to step in and contribute at the varsity level as a freshman Werner knows that will help in the future.
"It will become a lot easier, because I know what to expect, what is going to happen," Werner said.
For Upham it was the absolutely perfect start to his varsity career as he was part of the Northeast Bradford boys' cross country team that captured a state title.
"I am happy for my performance and glad that my teammates pushed me all year, that really helped," he said.
"It was definitely really nice to step in and redeem our 2010 team (the Panthers squad that just missed winning a state title)."
After winning a state title as a freshmen it has set a pretty high bar for the rest of Upham's career.
"It's definitely a mark to train for to try and reach again," he said.
After starting his freshmen year with a state title, Upham ended his year with a state medal in the 4x800 relay at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
He knows that having a lot of talented upperclassmen teammates is something that made his freshmen year better.
"They helped me a lot, they all pushed me and made me work harder," Upham said. "I am definitely suprised to end up with two state medals. It just shows that hard work always pays off."
And, being named newcomer of the year for all sports was a nice way for Upham to end his freshman year.
"I am really pumped," he said. "I am happy with it, it's a really good thing."