BALLSTON SPA — Ahead of Friday’s Section II cross country championships, Faith DeMars already feels like a big winner.
DeMars, a senior at Ballston Spa, committed Saturday to run at Penn State University. There, she will compete for the Nittany Lions in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. At the end of her recruitment, DeMars said she decided between Penn State and Syracuse after also visiting Binghamton.
Penn State was the final school she visited.
“And I ended up going to my favorite choice,” DeMars said Monday night, “so it’s awesome.”
DeMars, 17, said she is undecided on what she will major in at Penn State, but that she is interested in biology.
“I really enjoyed the whole vibe of the school and the dynamic of the team,” said DeMars, who visited Penn State two weekends ago. “The campus is beautiful, and the facilities there are just amazing.”
Even with the biggest races of her senior season still ahead of her, DeMars has already produced a memorable high school running career. The senior has participated at the state championships in all three running seasons during her career competing for Ballston Spa coaches Matthew Germann, Garry Preece and Theresa Rousseau.
DeMars is coming off a third-place finish Saturday at the Suburban Council championships at Saratoga Spa State Park, a meet at which she finished in 17:31.10. Saratoga Springs sophomore Ella Kurto won that race in 17:27.59, while Shenendehowa senior Jada Dennis took second place in 17:28.63.
DeMars finished in second place in the Section II Class A championship race last year and took third in 2017. Both those races were won by Saratoga Springs’ Kelsey Chmiel, who won four consecutive area championship races and now competes for North Carolina State.
DeMars said she is glad to have her college decision made before the most important races of her fall arrive.
“It definitely takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” DeMars said. “Now, I can focus on the championship season.”