Penn State DuBois' Young named XC All-American
Buena Vista, Va. – Amy Young of Brookville has been named a United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-American after a sixth-place finish at the cross country national championship Friday at Southern Virginia University.
Young, 34, finished with a time of 26:53 on the three-mile course which featured rocky and muddy terrain and a 700-meter hill at 18 percent grade. A senior at Penn State DuBois, Young will graduate in the spring with a Physical Therapy Assistant degree. The winning time was 24:21 by Lindsay Calkins of Lyndon State. Two freshmen runners from Penn State DuBois placed 24th and 29th at the nationals meet: Korry Gluczyk of DuBois – 30:24, and Mylena Drake of Knoxville – 33:07, respectively.
Young's finish and All-American nod caps off two successful years with the Lady Lions as an undefeated runner. She was twice named Penn State University Athletic Conference state champion, in 2005 and 2006, under Coach Terry Feathers.
Young, married and a mother of two with two part-time jobs in addition to a full-time course-load at Penn State DuBois, has been running for about 10 years. Although never competing at the high school level, she has participated in various races over the years, but never considered competing at the collegiate level until encouraged by fellow teammate Jackie Andrulonis, 42.
Andrulonis, also a senior, medaled at the state level this year with a sixth-place finish, and has been the team's lynchpin for three of the past four years. (She was ineligible to run her first year due to her part-time student status.) Feathers knew of her passion for running and asked her to help recruit student runners for his fledgling team. Andrulonis decided to bump up to full-time student status her sophomore year, running with the Lady Lions in order to give Penn State DuBois a big enough team to compete, but in doing so also found herself running competitively with women half her age. Three years later, the Lady Lions have won their second consecutive state title.
"I thought I was too old to run for a college," Young said. "I never thought I'd win. I would always finish at the top of my age bracket, but who would have thought I could win at the collegiate level?"
Young trains on her own, something Feathers permits all of his runners due to their hectic and non-traditional schedules. Young says she trains all the time, running adventure trails in the Brookville area with friends, or at the high school track, or even on her treadmill. The pace of a cross country race, Young said, is entirely different from a marathon, in that the runners must go all-out and run hard for 20 minutes often over difficult terrain.
"Sometimes at bigger races, you see the 40-ish women get the win. I think sometimes there is an edge in being older, as long as our bodies hold out," Young said.
This season, another woman has inspired the whole team: Terry Orvosh, 53, of Rochester Mills. Orvosh finished 10th at the state championship in Scranton. Both Orvosh and Andrulonis are also grandmothers.
Drake said she was excited to discover her running talents. While she competed in other sports in high school, she never ran competitively, and decided to join the team just to keep in shape. She said she found the Southern University of Virginia course the most challenging she had run all year.
Gluczyk did run for DuBois High School on the track and field team and cross country team, and holds two district and four school track records.
"I do learn a lot from Amy. She works very hard and beats me," Gluczyk said. "I look up to her. I enjoy running with all of them."
Another mainstay, Feathers said, is reliable Maggie Dicks, 22, of Brockway, and an Erie McDowell High School graduate. Dicks is a model student, Feathers said, and poses an excellent example for the other runners in how to balance school work with sports. A wildlife science major, Dicks is also very active in campus activities and clubs and recently won a scholastic scholarship from Pennsylvania Wildlife Habitat Unlimited.
"We have been burning up the cross-country course all year, although a third-of our runners are considered 'adults,' " Feathers said. "But this is the strongest team mentally and physically I have ever seen. We will certainly miss Amy and Jackie, but on the plus side, Korry and Mylena will be back next year and are both very strong runners."