Story by Anya Tikka
ELDRED February 12, 2013 Friends, family, coaches, and school administration joined in to congratulate mid-and-long distance runner Alex Campanella on signing a letter of intent to run cross country and track for DePaul University, a Division 1 school in Chicago.
“I really like the coaches and the atmosphere at the school,” said the Eldred senior, who will receive a half athletic scholarship worth $23,000 per year.
“I’m very excited,” continued Alex. “The process of applying for college can be very stressful, but this was not too bad. I’ve been talking to the [DePaul] coaches since last spring. They showed me how to get better at running. I like the school and coaches. I’ve worked really hard, and I want to see what I can do next and where I end up, middle or long distance.”
Campanella’s high school resume includes a second and third-place finish at the New York state high school cross country meet in 2011 and 2012. He is currently the top 3,200 meter runner in the Section IX indoor season.
Alex’s mom Dianne who came to the signing and celebratory party said, “We’re very proud of our son, but Chicago is a long way. I’m going to miss him.
“He’s had a lot of health problems last year, but he keeps smiling through all his problems,” Dianne continued, referencing Alex’s struggles with a stress fracture, muscle strain, and mono in the last year.
His dad Joe attributed Alex’s success to his dedication.
“Commitment is the way to succeed,” said Joe of his son, who shows that commitment by running every day without fail.
Coach Frank Schorling added: “There’s no secret (to being a great runner). You have to keep practicing even when we’re not here (the coaches). Alex has worked extremely hard to be on that national level despite his health issues. He’s matured and learned how to handle these setbacks. I expect him to do well in the spring.”
Eldred’s track team has sent students to Division 1 colleges before, most recently Christine Donnelly and Breanna Brucher who are now running for Sacred Heart and Manhattan College respectively.
Eldred athletic coordinator Jolene Porter said, “I wish him good luck. He’s a good athlete and a good student. It’s going to be nice to see how far he can go.”
An after-school assembly recognized Alex’s achievement and his parents brought in cake and refreshments for a track-team party.