North Xtra: Vincentian senior enjoys golden moment

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Three years ago a PIAA title wasn't on the radar for Ally Bartoszewicz.

Now the Vincentian Academy senior has four PIAA medals to end her high school career.

Bartoszewicz placed first in the 100-meter dash at the Class AA PIAA championship Saturday at Shippensburg University and also won her distance of choice, the 200-meter, with a time of 24.72.

"It was an incredible experience," Bartoszewicz said. "Just ending my senior year with two gold medals and knowing that was my goal all around. That's an amazing feeling."

The McCandless resident also competed in the 400 and 1,600-meter relay events for Vincentian Academy. The 400-relay team took fourth with a time of 49.62 and the 1,600-meter relay team finished seventh.

Vincentian coach Dan Carlino said they considered dropping the 1,600-meter relay to conserve Bartoszewicz for her primary events, but she didn't want to let the team down.

"She did phenomenal," Carlino said. "She knew she'd have a busy weekend if she did well. She did awesome."

She competed in 12 race heats over the two-day event.

The new state champion didn't gain interest in track and field until her sophomore year. Originally a basketball player, she used to secretly race teammates in practice. Running is a family affair. Her mother Cindy ran track and field at Butler Area High School and IUP.

Bartoszewicz said she misses basketball, but her dribbling days are behind her as she heads to the University of Notre Dame next year to run track. Her father Joe is a Notre Dame alum, but that isn't why she chose the school.

"Upon visiting the school, I could just see myself fitting in," she said.

Currently her major is undecided, but she is interested in pursuing something in the English field.

Running will take up most of Bartoszewicz's time this summer. Last year she joined the USATF Club coached by Maurice Lucas.

"I think it helped her a lot because she does it two to three months more after her high school season is over," Carlino said.

"I think just running with other girls from throughout the WPIAL has helped her become a better runner as well."

Bartoszewicz credits much of her success to the extra practice. She said the extra time helped her perfect her form and add variety to her training.

And she did improve.

Last year she placed third in the 200-meter dash and fourth in the 100-meter at PIAA championships. Carlino said she ran too hard in the preliminary and semifinal rounds.

In addition to her individual accomplishments, Bartoszewicz helped the Vincentian girls earn second place as a team. Their 25 points put them behind Paul Robeson with 62 points.

"At the end of the meet when they announced that Vincentian girls came in second in the PIAA," she said, "the entire team started screaming. There were only five of us there. That moment stays with me."

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