ST. MARYS - Of the major players seeking the services of St. Marys High School standout distance runner Maggie Drazba, it turned out that the school in her homestate won the lottery.
During a National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Friday in St. Marys, Drazba made it official that she will be attending West Virginia University beginning this fall.
Morgantown turned out to be the perfect fit because it catered to her nutrition major - a field of study that was lacking at several higher institutions that were on Drazba's short list. Among the universities she also considered were Syracuse, Georgetown and Iowa State.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
St. Marys distance standout Maggie Drazba has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend West Virginia University.
"It was kind of a tough decision, but in the end it came down to what WVU had to offer," Drazba said. "It will probably be a big transition since I'm used to going to a small school, but I am looking forward to WVU. I really liked the atmosphere in Morgantown and feel I will do well there."
With the fate of her senior track season yet to be determined, Drazba has racked up a phenomenal resume. After finishing third in a regional meet for the Footlocker Championships, she advanced to the national level and finished 22nd in San Diego and eventually was named the female recipient of the McCoy Award, which recognizes the state track athlete of the year by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association.
In terms of her high school cross country career, she won the individual state title for Class AA/A three times. On two occasions, Drazba has been named the Gatorade Cross Country honoree for West Virginia.
As for the track season, she is attempting to defend her state championship as the Class A state record-holder in the 800, 1600 and 3200. She also anchored the St. Marys 4 by 800, which won a state title last year.
"This year, qualifying for nationals in San Diego was a dream of mine - it was a lot of fun," Drazba said. "It wasn't my best race, but I was just happy to get the experience at the national meet."
Her parents, Charles and Kathleen Drazba, have three children. Maggie Drazba is the middle child with her older brother, Charles attending his freshman year at Lehigh University and her younger brother Tony playing soccer, baseball and golf as a sophomore at St. Marys High School.
"It was very special to have my coaches and my family at my signing," Drazba said.
"My parents have been very supportive in whatever I wanted to do. They've been very accommodating as far as taking me to places. Without them, it would have been hard to train the way I have."
Drazba can remember gaining an interest in competitive running as a middle school student. One of her cousins provided the influence.
"My cousin seemed to enjoy it," Drazba said. "As far as doing well at running, it was probably my junior year in high school that I started getting good and I wanted to see how good I could become."