Schalmont High School senior sprinter Mia D'Ambrosio made a verbal commitment to attend North Carolina State University Thursday, becoming the second Section II running star to do so in the past year.
D'Ambrosio, whose junior outdoor season was littered with championships and record-setting efforts, will join former Saratoga Springs distance runner Kelsey Chmiel on the Wolfpack roster in the fall of 2020. Chmiel announced her decision to attend N.C. State in early November of last year and is currently a freshman at the Atlantic Coast Conference institution.
More recently, Section III distance stars Claire Walters of Fayetteville-Manlius and Jenna Schulz of Liverpool committed to N.C. State.
"The team is definitely growing a lot," D'Ambrosio said. "I'm happy to be a part of it. I hope to make an impact there."
The 17-year-old D'Ambrosio made an official visit to N.C. State in early September, and last week, she took an academic tour there. She will work closely with N.C. State assistant coach Allen Johnson, whose focus is the team's sprinters and hurdlers.
Johnson was a three-time Olympian, and in 1996, he won gold in the 110-meter hurdles.
"I got home from the gym today and said I've got to call him," D'Ambrosio said. "I think I caught him off guard, but he was ecstatic. He goes, 'I wish you could come right now.'"
D'Ambrosio made other official visits to Penn State and Purdue.
"I like everything about it," D'Ambrosio said of N.C. State, where she will be a nutrition major and compete on an athletic scholarship. "It's a good fit athletically and academically, and I felt comfortable with the coaches."
Johnson's wife, Torri, is a volunteer coach with the N.C. State track and field team and is also a former Olympian.
"It's exciting to know that I will be coached by Olympians," D'Ambrosio said.
D'Ambrosio set Section II records last spring in the 100 and 200, and at the state meet she placed third in the 100 and second in the 200.
"At the New York Relays, I ran the 400 and started to see my potential," D'Ambrosio said. "Every single meet after that, I ran with more confidence."
D'Ambrosio said she took a couple weeks off after competing at the season-ending national track and field meet before beginning to prepare for her senior year.
"I started to work out in early July and haven't stopped," she said. "I am getting stronger and faster every day."