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RUNNING FOR MORE: Keystone’s Abbi Sell Has Set Two Track and Field Records at School, But She Isn’t Done

KNOX, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Abbi Sell smiled so much it hurt.

Seeing her name on the school record board for track and field that is fastened to the wall in the lobby at Keystone High School made it all sink in.

Sell had a remarkable season for the Panthers, breaking records in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.33 seconds and as part of the 4×100 relay with Alison Sterner, Ashlee Albright and Ava Patrick at 52.22.

“I was very happy to be able to accomplish those goals,” Sell said. “But I want more. I want the 100. Maybe the 400 and maybe the 4×400.”

Why stop at just two records, right?

“That’s how I see it,” she said, laughing.

Sell had been gunning for that record in the 200 for some time and finally eclipsed it at the District 9 Track and Field Championships on May 17. She was third, just a fraction of second from qualifying for the PIAA championships.

The record she broke in the 200 belonged to Samantha Schwabenbauer, who came to the school in late May to pose in pictures with Sell in front of the record board.

Sell certainly doesn’t lack in ambition or motivation. She is gunning for more of Schwabenbauer’s marks and is hoping to qualify for the state meet next season.

To take her mind off her athletic passions, Sell likes to work with her hands, restoring old and broken things.

She took a ramshackle wooden bench and refurbished it. She often sits down on it to think — it brings her clarity.

“I just kind of like doing things like that,” Sell said. “I like seeing something old and restoring it, I guess.”

Track and field is her focus in sports.

Sell also played volleyball for two years, but decided not to play this past fall. Soccer, she said, helps her keep in top condition for track.

She doesn’t know if track will be in her future beyond high school.

“Depending on what major I go into,” Sell said. “I feel like doing a sport in college is a lot of work. Balancing schoolwork with sports is sometimes hard. It gets hard.”

But hard has never stopped Sell before. Getting more records will certainly be difficult, but she’s ready for that challenge.

“More records would be nice,” she said. “But I just want to have fun.”


Name: Abbi Sell

School: Keystone

Year: Senior

Sports: Soccer and track and field

Q: How would your coaches and teammates describe you?

A: Well, I get called a tryhard. (Laughing)

Q: That kind of has a negative connotation, doesn’t it? I hope they say that jokingly.

A: (Laughing). Yeah, I think so. I’m going to change that to hardworking. I like to do what I’m told and work hard.

Q: What have you learned about teamwork from your experiences playing sports?

A: Teamwork plays a big role in sports. If you can’t work together, then you can’t succeed. Like our relay, if we couldn’t work together, we wouldn’t have been able to break the record.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a family member, coach, teammate, etc. while playing sports?

A: What you put into it is what you get out of it.

Q: Tell me about your best and worst days as an athlete and what each taught you about yourself?

A: My best days have taught me that hard work does pay off and the worst days taught me that there are better days to come.

Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

A: (Long pause) I don’t know. (Laughing). I feel like most people know everything about me.

Q: So Abbi Sell is an open book?

A: Right!

Q: Complete this sentence: In my fridge you’ll always find (blank).

A: Vitamin water.

Q: What three famous people would you like to have dinner with and why?

A: (Laughing) I feel like I know no famous people.

Q: You don’t have to know them. You just have to want to have dinner with them.

A: (Chuckling) I don’t listen to much music. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I guess my cousins who live in Virginia. I’d like to have dinner with them.