#NationalSigningDay2022: Barger tracks with Raiders at Shippensburg University
On February 2, Melanie Barger signed her National Letter of Intent to Shippensburg University to run Division II track and field for the Raiders.
From the start, Barger has always been very dedicated to the sport.
“She will do whatever she can to help her teammates and herself. She accepts all challenges presented to her. She has even run a few events she was not fond of. Some encouragement and a fresh pretzel changed her mind,” Coach Jason Shipley said.
She will do whatever she can to help her teammates and herself. She accepts all challenges presented to her. She has even run a few events she was not fond of. Some encouragement and a fresh pretzel changed her mind.”
— Coach Shipley
She has always been an outstanding contributor to the team, practically coaching half the team and accepting all challenges, even if she had never done anything like them before.
“This year she came up to the coaches and said, ‘I think I want to try the high jump.’ She’s never competed in it before, but she did it and she did great,” Shipley said. “The heart that this girl has is amazing. She gives it her all, all the time. In the long history of Linganore track, she will dub her name at the top of the list, in all sprints, hurdles, and relay races.”
In middle school, Barger went to the Junior Olympics where she completed the 100 hurdles, 200 hurdles, and the long jump. In high school she was fifth in states at the 300 and competed in the 4 x 200. During nationals she was the MVP for indoor track in her freshman year. As a junior she led her team to regional championships while excelling at the 300 where she came in second.
Barger has been running ever since she was five years old. Her greatest supporter, pushing her to continue track into college, was her friend Peyton Arneson.
“She is equally as good as me for the same events, and she has pushed me to do better and supported me for doing college track,” Barger said.
Barger found that making the choice between Shippensburg and Slippery Rock College was difficult. The closer travel distance of Shippensburg won it out for her.
“I plan to major in Exercise Science to become a personal trainer,” Barger said.
Interestingly enough, Barger’s mom did track when she was in high school and went to Shippensburg herself.
“I’m really happy and excited to see her follow in my footsteps, so to say,” Kelly Barger said.
“It’s definitely going to be an adjustment, but I think I will do ok with it because I’ve been doing it for so long,” Barger said.
However, when it comes to moving onto a higher level, she’s definitely a little nervous, but mostly excited.
“The track team is really good, and competitive, being as it is a Division II school but plays a lot of Division I schools, so it will push me to be better and to practice even harder, so I’m also excited,” said Barger.
“She’s a great person. She is a dependable person. We can get each other’s jokes. As a former college coach, I know Ship will be glad to have her on the team,” Coach Shipley said.