Nicole Abbondandelo closed her high school running career in fine fashion at the 28th annual New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships in North Carolina.
The Huntington High School senior placed tenth in an exceptional field of 29 in the 2000m steeplechase. Abbondandelo’s time of 7:00.84 put her within striking distance of the top high school runners in the country.
The Blue Devil star reached the state championships this year. She is headed to Lehigh University where she plans to continue her track career. She also starred on Huntington’s soccer team.
“I took a day off after the states and then jumped right back into my training routine with a hard workout and a few long runs,” Abbondandelo said.
The Huntington teenager ran in the “championship” division of the nationals, squaring off against all of the top athletes in the country. The steeplechase requires competitors to scale obstacles of various heights and clear water jumps along with long stretches on the track.
“I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had all the opportunities I’ve been given,” Abbondandelo said. “While running at the nationals I knew it would be my last race in high school and that I had nothing to lose while I was out there.”
The senior said the key to her success academically and athletically has been “working hard at every goal” she has set for herself and channeling the support she has received from her family, teachers and coaches.
A member of the National Honor Society as well as the Italian, English, Math and Social Studies Honor Societies, Abbondandelo has been named a Distinguished Senior after notching an academic grade average of at least a 90 during every semester of high school.
She’s captured a long list of academic and athletic honors.