Saratoga Springs distance running star Kelsey Chmiel will continue her academic and athletic career at North Carolina State University of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Saratoga Springs High School announced Chmiel's collegiate decision Tuesday on its @TogaAthletics Twitter site: "Kelsey Chmiel has committed to North Carolina State to run Cross Country & Track. Congratulations Kelsey - we will miss you very much!"
"Kelsey wants to be a veterinarian, and North Carolina State was the best combination," said Linda Kranick, who, with her husband Art, coaches the Saratoga girls' cross country and track teams. "They've got a very good athletic program and a highly-rated veterinary science program."
Chmiel will be running for Laurie Henes, the North Carolina State women's cross country coach and the institution's associate head track coach who works with indoor and outdoor distance runners. Henes led the Wolfpack to 2016 and 2017 ACC and NCAA Southeast Region cross country championships.
“I’m very excited about my commitment to N.C. State,” Chmiel said “The academics were really important to me, and N.C. State has a great animal science program, and along with the impressive tradition in cross country and track and field, it was a good fit. Coach Henes is extremely knowledgeable and I can’t wait to run for her and the team.”
Shenendehowa graduate Julia Zachgo is a sophomore at N.C. State and is running for the Wolfpack.
On Friday, Chmiel became the second runner to win four consecutive Section II Class A cross country titles, and she did so while breaking her own course record at Saratoga State Park. She will be competing at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships Saturday at Sunken Meadow State Park. Chmiel won the state meet Class A race as a sophomore, placed second as a junior and was third as a freshman.
Chmiel was selected the outstanding cross country runner in her class as a freshman, sophomore and junior by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Additionally, she has received several All-American honors.
Saratoga had never had a cross country runner compete abroad before Chmiel, representing Team USA, won the 4-kilometer Great Edinburgh XCountry Challenge in Scotland back in January.