By David Fong
TROY — By her own admission, Megan Studebaker did not grow up a lifelong fan of the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets.
A chance meeting at a college fair, however, led the Troy High School senior falling in love with the school and recently sign a national letter of intent to run cross country and track at the western Pennsylvania school.
“I was worried about where I was going to go to college, so I went to a (University of Dayton) college night,” Studebaker said. “They had a representative there from Waynesburg who was really nice, so I filled out one of their cards.”
Not long after, Studebaker had set up a college visit to Waynesburg — which pretty much turned out to be love at first sight.
“I loved the welcoming atmosphere, even though it was four hours away,” she said. “Everyone there made me feel really welcome.”
Going to Waynesburg also will give Studebaker the chance to continue her running career. Troy girls track and field coach Kurt Snyder said Studebaker has provided senior leadership and been a steadying force on Troy cross country and track teams loaded with younger talent. Last fall, the Troy girls cross country team finished second in the state in the Division I race.
“Studebaker is a kid who has battled illness and injury a lot through her career,” Snyder said. “I think she’s got a lot of potential to be a great college runner if she can stay healthy. She’s a kid who hasn’t got a lot of attention because of some of the other kids we’ve got on our team — but I really believe she’d be a top varsity runner on most any other team in the state.
“But she hasn’t let any of that stop her, which I think says a lot about her. She wants to get better as a runner, and she’ll get that chance in college. She’s also a great leader. She is definitely the leader of our distance girls.”
Much like she did at Troy, Studebaker said she’s looking forward to being part of the team at Waynesburg.
“Their team is up and coming — it’s really similar to ours (at Troy),” Studebaker said. “I just want to go and help the team. The team doing well is just as important to me as me doing well.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong