Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Vincent A. Wojnar 

(August 8, 1937 – January 18, 2018)

Vince Wojnar’s passion in life was the sport of running whether that was Track & Field, Cross Country, or Road Racing and he helped bring that passion to others in his eighty-year life. At E.L. Meyers High School, Vince excelled in Track becoming the Wilkes-Barre City Champion in the 440 Yard Dash, Long Jump and the 120 Yard High Hurdles. In 1955 Vince was the PIAA District 2 440 Yard Dash (meet record) and Long Jump Champion and placed second in the 120 Yard High Hurtles. He attended the University of Pittsburgh earning a Track scholarship where he competed on the Panther IC4A Indoor Mile Relay Championship Team in 1958 and 1959 (meet record). After graduating from Pitt in 1959 with a B.S. in Mathematics, Vince competed in many Air Force Championship Meets from 1960-1963.

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Upon returning to the Wyoming Valley, Vince began his coaching career with Track & Field at Wyoming Seminary in 1963. The following year Vince accepted a teaching position at G.A.R. Memorial High School where he taught Mathematics and Computer Science to hundreds of students until his retirement in 1993. That same year he started Cross Country at G.A.R. From 1964-1973, he coached Track & Field and Cross Country at G.A.R. mentoring many athletes and District 2 Champions. Vince’s most famous athlete at G.A.R. (1966-1969) was State Champion and future Olympian, Maurice Peoples.

 

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After coaching, Vince Wojnar continued to influence the lives of young athletes in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He was the PIAA District 2 Cross Country Meet Director for 27 years. He was a PIAA Track official and also served on the PIAA District 2 Committee for Cross Country and Track & Field for over four decades. In 1975 Vince was one of the founding members of the Wyoming Valley Striders. This running club’s biggest event is the Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial Cross Country Races held Labor Day weekend where close to a thousand high school runners compete in this early season competition. Vince Wojnar was the Meet Director for this event for nearly 40 years.


vince wojnar 4Vince helped promote the sport of running in many other ways. He timed numerous road races in Northeastern Pennsylvania and volunteered at many other races and events. He officiated Track Meets at Bucknell and Penn State Universities, ran the Boston and New York City Marathons, and was Race Director for 40 years for many Wyoming Valley Strider races up until his retirement in 2015. He was a 2009 inductee of the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame and a member of the E.L. Meyers High School Sports Hall of Fame. Vince loved competing, teaching, coaching, and encouraging the thousands of athletes he encountered.

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 Vince Wojnar Memorial Scholarship

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A scholarship in remembrance of Vincent A. Wojnar has been established to honor a college or trade school bound senior student who is graduating from a high school encompassing PIAA District 2. To be eligible, a student must have competed in and finished at the varsity level in both cross country and in an individual event in track and field at the PIAA District 2 meet during their senior year.    

                     

    

 

 

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