In what is turning out to be a year to remember for St. Dominic Academy, another student/athlete has signed a national letter of intent to participate in college athletics.
Isabel DeBari, the standout cross-country runner, signed her scholarship letter with Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“I loved the atmosphere,” DeBari said. “I liked the fact that it was 10 minutes from the beach. I’m a big beach person. The campus is beautiful. It was a hard decision to make, because there were three other schools that offered. But once I visited Coastal Carolina, I knew I wanted to go there.”
DeBari said that she was a little torn going to a school so far away from home, but joining a track program that is coached by former South African Olympic distance runner Zola Budd Pietrese, better known for running barefoot, was an added plus.
“The coach was so nice,” said DeBari, who will major in public health at Coastal Carolina with the hope of going into the physical therapy field. “It’s a great relief to have this burden off my shoulders. I’m so happy that it’s over. I’m happy for all of us.”
DeBari said that she looks forward to her final month of high school.
“I want to make lasting memories with the best of my friends on the track team,” DeBari said. “I’m so excited for the rest of the year. I never want to stop running. I just love it. I love running cross country the best. I think I can get used to the weather there.”
SDA veteran head track and field coach and athletic director John Nagel was pleased with DeBari’s decision.
“She did a lot of the hustling to get this done,” Nagel said. “She made the initial calls. I just followed up with it. But Isabel is a self-made runner in a lot of ways. She’s a nice runner, but I think she will get better in college. She has the ability to want to work. She’s a nice kid who works hard and made herself into a runner. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.”
Speaking of Nagel, the long-time coach received a nice honor last week, when the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders decided to erect a plaque in Nagel’s honor in Lincoln Park in Jersey City, presented to Nagel for his 40-plus years of coaching at St. Dominic Academy.
The running track at Lincoln Park was named after Nagel. It’s a great honor, especially when someone is still around to appreciate the honor like Nagel is…
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Hudson Reporter High School Softball Top Five: 1. Bayonne (16-5). 2. Hoboken (14-4). 3. McNair Academic (15-3). 4. Snyder (14-4). 5. Ferris (12-6). –Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com