Courtney Tedeschi can run fast over a long distance. The Berne-Knox-Westerlo senior can jump, too.
She showed off that combination last spring with a Division 2 victory in the steeplechase at the state track and field championships in Syracuse.
“She had a top-20 national performance when she won the state title,” said Bulldogs coach Bill Tindale. “Put that on top of the cross country and the other track events, and it seperates her from other athletes. She so versatile. That’s what got her the package.”
College interest in Tedeschi increased after she covered 2,000 meters in 7:00.29 at the state meet and won the small-school title by more than nine seconds. In all, Tedeschi received letters from over 50 Division I schools, and got phone calls and emails from over 20 of them.
“I was getting a good amount of interest. After the states, the phone kept ringing,” said the 17-year-old high-honors student. “People say its crazy, and it is, but it’s exciting, too, knowing a lot of people want you to run for them.”
Tedeschi’s recruiting venture officially came to an end Friday when she signed a national letter to attent DePaul University on a full athletic scholarship. Tedeschi will major in business with an eye on sports marketing.
“Her work ethic is rare. I’m always impressed by the amount of effort she puts into athletics,” said Tindale. “The training, exercise, nutrition. Listening to her coaches. And put a great attitude on top of that. It’s well deserved.”
Tedeschi made official visits to the Chicago school, as well as Boston College and Iona, and researched several other institutions before her decision to become a member of the Blue Demons’ athletic family.
“She’s a very determined kid. Very goal oriented,” said Berne-Knox-Westerlo athletic director and girls’ basketball coach Tom Galvin. “She knew from a young age she wanted to run in college, and she put a lot of her life on hold to make it happen. She’s made some sacrifices.”
Tedeschi was heavily recruited by DePaul assistant track and cross country coach Andy Craycraft.
“It’s an awesome campus. It’s a strong academic school. The coaches and the team, everyone is so friendly. I knew I wanted to go there after my visit [in September],” said Tedeschi. “There’s a lot of good things about DePaul, but the determining factor was the coach Andy,” Tedeschi said. “He contacted me in the beginning of summer, and came to our house. He’s a lot like my coach here, and that was important to me. He cares about me as a person, a student and an athlete.”
Tedeschi will be a busy athlete at DePaul, competing in the fall, winter and spring. Berne-Knox-Westero does not have an indoor track team.
“It will be cool to have an indoor season. I’m excited about that. It’s going to be fun and different,” said Tedeschi, whose past winters have included competitive snowshoe racing. “I’ll probably run the 5k, but it could be a little bit of everything. I think we’ll do some experimenting my first year both indoor and outdoor.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do in the future,” said Tindale. “I think she’ll make an impact in her first year or two. She does, too. She’s got a lot more in her.
“I’ve tried to hold her back a little in terms of training,” he added. “I think she’s still on the way up. I believe the best years for a young athlete should be in college.”
Tedeschi had a big finish to her junior outdoor season, including victories in the 1,500, 3,000, steeplechase and 3,200 relay at the
Section II Class C championships as a prelude to the state event.
This past fall she placed third at the Section II Class D cross country championships, fifth at the state meet, and 37th at the Federation race. Tedeschi was selected to the all-state first team after earning second-team honors as a junior.
Beatty to St. Anselm
Jillian Beatty, who helped Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake win Section II soccer championships in each of her five varsity seasons, is set to sign Wednesday with Saint Anselm College.
Beatty was selected a Suburban Council first team and Section II Class A all-star four times, and earned all-state honors as a freshman (third team) and sophomore (second team).
With Beatty in the lineup as a forward and midfielder, the Spartans reached the state semifinals three times.
Division II St. Anselm (Manchester, N.H.) is a member of the Northeast-10.
Huntington picks Maine
Defensive tackle Schuyler Huntington has made a verbal commitment to the University of Maine, giving Shaker’s Section II Class AA championship football team its third Division I-bound player.
Offensive tackle David Morrison and running back/linebacker Ryan Griffin previously committed to Dartmouth and the University at Albany, respectively. Both Huntington and Griffin will compete in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Huntington was named the Daily Gazette All-Area and Liberty Division Defensive Player of the Year before his selection to the all-state Class AA second-team. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior played a significant role as a blocker and a tackler as Shaker won a school-record 10 games and its first Section II title. His defensive stats included seven quarterback sacks.
Huntington was a starting defensive end for Shaker as a sophomore and junior, and was tabbed a Liberty Division first-team all-star after each season.
The three Blue Bison will ink their national letters Wednesday, which is the national signing day for high school football recruits.
O’Connor steps down
Greg O’Connor has stepped down as Schuylerville’s varsity football coach after a nine-year run in order to devote more time to his family.
The 48-year-old Schenectady native and father of three guided the Black Horses to their only Section II championships in 2004 and 2005, and led teams to area finals again in 2007 and 2008. His nine editions put together a 60-28 mark, with his 2004 squad setting a school record with 11 victories.
Schuylerville won regional games in 2004 and 2005, and each time lost in the state Class C semifinals to Dobbs Ferry.
O’Connor served as an assistant football coach from 2000-03 at Schuylerville, where he is a math teacher. He spent five seasons before that in the Stillwater program.
Schuylerville went 4-5 last season which was highlighted by a 20-19 upset win over top-seeded Lansingburgh in the Section II Class B quarterfinals.
Shenendehowa junior Ryan Gordon set a school 100-yard breaststroke record with a 59.63 in last week’s Suburban Council swimming and diving meet with Guilderland/Voorheesville.
Gordon’s resume is full of fast times, including a Section II-record 50.13 he churned out while winning the state 100 backstroke championship last season.
Shenendehowa improved to 9-0 with a 104-71 victory.
Miller among elite
Argyle senior Jacquelyn “Jax” Miller is closing in on the girls’ all-time Section II record for three-point baskets made.
Miller nailed four threes in Wednesday’s 76-34 win against Hartford to boost her career total to 210, and season total to 40. She made 49 threes as a freshman, 51 as a sophomore and 70 as a junior.
Only four other Section II players have made 200 threes. Natalie Mosconi of Fonda-Fultonville (2007 graduate) and Katie Kaidas of Schenectady Christian (2006) both finished with 228, Julie McBride of Catholic Central (2000) netted 225 and Maria Tobin of Bishop Maginn (2005) notched 200.
Miller reached the career 1,000-point mark as a junior, and helped Argyle win Section II and regional Class D championships.