By Jay Young
HUMBLE, Texas - The Chautauqua Striders added another entry to their impressive resume on Saturday when a fourth member of the track club earned All-American honors at the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at Turner Stadium.
Hope Pietrocarlo of the Chautauqua Striders runs to a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships on Saturday.
Hope Pietrocarlo of Bemus Point took home fifth place in the 17-18 division of the 3,000 meter run with a time of 11:00.68 for her first ever All-American honor.
The win came just a few days after Jordan Powers, Josh Odell and Ryan Hetrick earned All-American status in the 17-18 2,000 steeplechase.
Despite an early start with temperatures already in the mid-90s, Pietrocarlo was up to the challenge.
"She went out really well and it is almost a two-mile race,'' said Liz Aldrich, one of the Striders coaches. ''The first mile was good. I think the heat took a toll a little bit for the second half of the race, (because) she has run faster before.''
Pietrocarlo qualified for the national meet after running a 10:58.32 at the USATF Region 2 at Richard Stockton State College in Gallaway, N.J.
See PIETROCARLO, Page C3
From Page C1
"It wasn't her best time, but considering the conditions it was pretty good," Aldrich said.
As a sophomore with the Maple Grove, Pietrocarlo had an exceptional year in both cross country and on the track.
In track and field, she helped lead the Lady Red Dragons to a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association title and took third in the 3,000 at Section 6 qualifying in Olean.
While running cross country, Pietrocarlo was named to the New York State Sportswriters Association Class D first team for the fourth straight year and won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D championship in Queensbury while leading Maple Grove to a second-place finish.
Taking home fifth place at a national meet and being named an All-American can now be added to the top of her growing list of accomplishments.
"This is kind of at the top of the list, because not a lot of people get to do this from our area, and it makes me happy that I get to experience this kind of competition," she said. "It kind of topped off my whole year as an runner, being named an All-American at the best-of-the best race.''
Pietrocarlo did her best not to let the high-temperatures affect, but in the end it was impossible to totally ignore the conditions.
"I try not to think about the temperature too much, because then I can psych myself out," she said.
But by the time she was halfway through the race, "My feet were really really hot by the fourth lap and it got to me, it was difficult," Pietrocarlo added.
Luckily, training in Jamestown this summer afforded Pietrocarlo a chance to run some races in high heat and humidity, which paid dividends in Humble.
"Going into the race, there were a couple of days in Jamestown with high humidity that helped," she said.
The majority of Pietrocarlo's competitors were native Texans, and she was the only member of the 3,000 finals to hail from New York.