3 locals headed into track/CC Hall of Fame Doehla, Moldovan, Blosser to be inducted Friday.
After her career at Concordia High School, Alissa (McKaig) Doehla went on to incredible heights as a distance runner at Michigan State, Indiana Tech and ultimately as a professional. But in many ways, those achievements paled in comparison to what she did as a Cadet. In fact, she admits that those honors were only possible because of what she achieved in high school.
Friday Doehla, the two-time IHSAA champion, will be inducted into the Indiana Track and Cross Country Coach’s Hall of Fame.
Other area honorees in this year’s class include Northrop state champion Bobby Moldovan and former Wayne coach Bill Blosser. The induction banquet will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Sheraton Hotel – Keystone at The Crossing in Indianapolis. Another ceremony will be held Saturday at the hall of fame, located in Terre Haute.
Doehla won the 2003 state cross country title and a 2004 state track title in the 1,600-meter run. She was also a Footlocker National finalist. Running for Michigan State, Doehla finished 10th at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships to earn All-America status. Then after transferring to Indiana Tech, was a three-time NAIA National Champion.
Post-collegiately Doehla was a nationally-ranked marathoner, making the U.S. 2007 World Marathon Team and placing eighth in the 2012 Olympic Trials. Now living in Tryon, N.C., she is a professional triathlete.
But everything Doehla accomplished after Concordia was simply because of what she accomplished at Concordia.
“I think about it occasionally. Those were two incredible days,” Doehla said of her state championship victories. “Winning in cross country gave me a lot of confidence for my senior track season. Then, that state meet, under the lights, in front of a big crowd. It was amazing.”
Doehla said she carried those two titles confidently into her collegiate career.
“Indiana was and still is a great state for distance running, so when you are a state champion – and there is only one class – it means a lot,” Doehla said. “People around the country know who you are.”
Moldovan feels much the same way about his high school career, which included the 2006 state title in the 3,200 meter run. Moldovan was a standout for North Carolina State, running in four NCAA Cross Country Championships. He was also perennial Atlantic Coast Conference champion and made the United States Junior World Cross Country team and competed in Scotland.
But there was nothing like those final 400 meters of his state title run in which he caught and passed the state meet favorite, Brock Hagerman of Pendleton Heights.
“My goal was just to stay near the front and then make a strong move at the end,” Moldovan said. “The race was really slow the first mile and then picked up. Brock made a few moves and I covered them. With 800 to go, he really took off. But with 400 to go, I was 15 meters back. I wasn’t sure I would catch him, but I started kicking. It happened so fast. I caught him with just under 200 to go and had another gear still in me coming down the homestretch.”
The dramatic victory propelled Moldovan to great heights.
“That gave me the belief that if I stuck with a race plan and never gave up, I had a chance at the end,” Moldovan said. “It was a springboard to college racing and carried me for several years.”
Moldovan now instills such confidence in his high school charges at the University School in Twinsburg, Ohio where he teaches and coaches. After a couple of years’ rest, Moldovan is happy to be competing again and plans to race in the United States Half-Marathon Championships in Columbus this April.
Blosser, a member of North Side’s 1968 state championship cross country team, went on to coach and teach in Fort Wayne for 41 years before retiring in 2015. Blosser was the head coach of Wayne’s 1979 state champion girl’s track team. Blosser also coached 13 individual state champions. <br>
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