Kurdziel continues her career at Lafayette College

Amelia Oates, Managing Editor

As May 1 rapidly approached, seniors felt increasing pressure to decide where they were going next year before the time runs out.  However, some seniors had the weight lifted off their shoulders earlier than others when they committed to a college athletics team.

Senior Tracy Kurdziel felt the pressure disappear when she committed to play at the Division I level for Lafayette College.  Tracy is field athlete on the NKHS girls track team, who participates in the discus, shot put, and hammer events.  She began track in eighth grade and has been with it ever since.

“I was always interested in continuing my involvement in track past high school, I just wasn’t sure how,” Kurdziel said.  “It was a great surprise when the Lafayette track & field coach contacted me and expressed her interest in me joining the team.”

It is no surprise that Kurdziel was approached by Lafayette.  Kurdziel has been acknowledged for her talents in her events.  She was awarded Most Improved Athlete-Outdoor Track in 2015, All-State (6th in state) in discus 2015, 20th in New England 2015 for discus,  All-Division Honors in shot put and discus 2015-2016, All-Class in discus and shotput 2015-2016, and she currently holds the school record for indoor shot put.

Lafayette is the perfect fit for Kurdziel. “I wanted to go somewhere far enough from home where I could have new experiences and not know many people, but I also wanted to be close enough so I could come home on a long weekend,” said Kurdziel.  “It also offered benefits like a small but gorgeous campus with rich history, and a strong engineering program. When I first visited the campus I had one of those stereotypical ‘I belong here’ feelings as soon as I saw it.”  She is planning to major in electrical engineering with a possible minor in neuroscience.

Kurdziel has lots to look forward to and the decision was easy for her.  “When I met my future teammates for the first time and I saw the sense of family they all had for each other and how they all pushed each other to be their best,” Kurdziel said.  “I could tell that being a part of that community would be fun and beneficial in my athletic and academic life for the next four years.”

Tracy is least looking forward to the double sessions and intense workouts that she will be expected to complete as a Division I Athlete, but she is excited to have the opportunity to compete against former teammate Bethany Nunnery, who will be running for West Point Academy.  “Tracy is the type of person who always has your back.  She’s easy going but really works hard to get better,” Nunnery said. “I’m going to miss her next year but it’s pretty cool that we’ll be able to see each other at meets.”

Kurdziel said “I’m most excited for the new experiences and independence that come along with moving away for college.”