Making the grade
Avon senior runner looks forward to next chapters of his life
By Mike Beas
Avon senior Ethan Maharas is the rare student-athlete whose grade point average exceeds 4.0 by an impressively comfortable margin.
Maharas checks in with an eyebrow-raising 5.06 GPA, ranking him eighth academically in a class of 719 students. Maharas leaves this summer for Villanova University in Philadelphia where he plans to major in civil engineering.
He had hoped to get in one final track and field season for the Orioles, but the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated any possibility of that. Maharas, a middle distance runner, missed last spring due to injury, but was being counted on to help lead the Orioles both on and off the track.
As it turns out, his final track competition was as a 10th-grader placing fifth in the 1,600-meter run at the Plainfield Sectional.
“Obviously, I’m pretty bummed out about the season being cancelled, especially for a kid like Ethan,” said 10th-year Avon track coach Zach Toothman. “He does things the right way, has a big heart and knows how to vocalize things to his teammates and coaches appropriately because he is so smart. Ethan is pretty versatile from a running standpoint and can train with any group. He probably would have been our best miler this season and one of our best 800-meter runners.”
Maharas participated in a Q&A with the ICON:
Q: What do you feel would have been your best event had there been a track and field season?
A: Probably the 1,600 and the 800. I probably would have run both. I like being able to go at it and use all the power in my legs consistently throughout the entire race. There’s really not a time to settle. You have to stay focused the entire time.
Q: Looking back, did anything valuable come out of not having a season?
A: Last season, I wasn’t able to run at all because I had a stress fracture in my lower left leg. One of the positives is that I had one last race with my teammates and coaches (the Orioles were second in the middle distance relay at an indoor meet at the University of Indianapolis).
Q: What other colleges were you considering, and why did you choose Villanova?
A: It was between Bradley, Villanova and Northeastern, but I loved the sense of community at Villanova. The campus life and all of the social events were the most fitting in what I wanted in a college.
Q: What would you like to be doing in 10-15 years after earning your degree in civil engineering?
A: One of my dreams would be to work on developing high speed rail networks, and I would like to be a high school cross country and track coach. I want to be able to share my love of running with a younger generation.