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Running to YSU

Dellimuti set to join Penguins

Staff file photo / John Vargo Howland senior Maria Dellimuti runs in the mid-September Spartan Invitational at Boardman High School. Dellimuti recently signed to run at Youngstown State University next season.

Maria Dellimuti just came off of a 7-mile, solitary run.

It’s what the Howland High School senior does: stay motivated and on schedule.

It’s that kind of determination that helped her become the runner she is today. Off-season? There really isn’t one for this multi-sport athlete.

It’s cross country to basketball to track with continuous training. She’s hopeful the spring sports season will happen this year. As of Friday, schools are closed until April 6 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I just look at the positive with this three weeks,” Dellimuti said. “I’m pushing on my own. It’s been a goal of mine to make it to state for track.”

The determined Howland senior will continue her career next season. The Youngstown State University’s track and field program announced Tuesday that Dellimuti will run for the Penguins next season. She’ll also run cross country for YSU.

She visited Mercyhurst, Walsh, Ohio Dominican, Heidelberg and Lake Erie before deciding on the Penguins.

“Being involved in a lot of sports has kept me fit,” Dellimuti said. “Going into the next season, I don’t need to slow down. I can go right into the high mileage. I don’t need a couple of weeks. Being a multiple-sport athlete, it really helps with my physical stamina.”

YSU track and field and cross country coach Brian Gorby said Dellimuti is a gifted runner and likes the fact she does multiple sports.

Gorby said she’s comparable to YSU sophomore distance runner and Poland High School graduate Maggie Sebest, who competed in soccer, tennis, cross country and basketball for the Bulldogs.

Gorby said he’s excited about Dellimuti’s potential at YSU.

“They have a desire to win and compete (differently) than a typical runner who goes out every day,” Gorby said about multi-sport athletes.

Robin Kapalko, who coached Dellimuti in cross country during her middle school and high school years at Howland, said she is heading in the right direction.

The Tigers girls cross country team made the state meet for the first time in school history this past fall. Dellimuti made the state meet in 2017 as an individual, tore her calf muscles her junior season and rebounded to help the Tigers make state in 2019.

Dellimuti’s best time is 19:10.20 in cross country.

“She’s a very hard worker,” Kapalko said. “She was an awesome team leader for me this fall. She’s very persuasive to her other teammates.”

Gorby believes Dellimuti can push herself to be a runner who can eventually hit low 18 minutes to high 17 minutes at YSU.

“We believe her ceiling is going to be really high,” Gorby said.

For now, Dellimuti hopes there is a track and field season at Howland. She’s run 5:39.62 in the 1600-meter run and 11:45.67 in the 3200. Her goal is to get to this year’s state meet, pending there is a high school spring sports season in Ohio.

“I’m hoping that I can work really hard this track season,” she said. “I trust all the coaches that I play for and that can show off with my times.”

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