Novak to run cross country, track for USF
Lakewood Ranch senior Natalie Novak has committed to the University of South Florida, where she will participate in cross country and track.
Novak said her costs will be covered through a combination of academic and athletic scholarships. She also considered DePaul, North Florida and West Florida. Her main events in track are expected to be the 800 meter run and the mile.
"I went to an official visit to DePaul (Chicago) and it's a great school, but USF is a perfect fit for me. It has a great coaching staff and competes in the Big East Conference," Novak said.
Last spring she competed on Lakewood Ranch's 4x800 meter relay team that won the Class 3A state title. This past fall she finished 26th in the Class 3A State Cross Country meet with a personal best time of 19 minutes and 15.11 seconds.
"I am excited for her and think she will do well," Lakewood Ranch girls cross country coach Kristina Bratton said. "It's a perfect fit because of the weather and it's close to home. If she went out of state and ran in colder weather it would take her time to adjust. I think she will do best in the 800. She has great speed and is an aggressive runner."
-- Alan Dell, Herald sports writer