By Ryan Kaczmarski
Magnificat senior Abbie Marquard applied to many universities, but it was Duquesne University that won out for her athletic services on the track and trail. She will be competing on the cross country and track and field teams starting this fall.
She also applied to Xavier, St. Louis University, Butler and Wake Forest, but the school located in Pittsburgh seemed to have everything she was looking for.
“I decided on Duquesne, because it has a great physical therapy program, I liked the campus and it was the right distance away from home for me,” Marquard said. “The team and the coach were also very welcoming.”
She was a part of three state-champion cross country teams at Magnificat, as well as a four-time individual qualifier for the state cross country championships. She also was a three-time state track qualifier and seven-time letter winner.
“I like cross country better, because I like the variety of running on different courses as opposed to a track,” she said.
Marquard also was a nationally ranked speed skater, finishing second at the U.S. Speedskating National Championships in Green Bay, Wis., earlier this year.
“My parents have helped me get to where I am today, because they always encourage and support me,” she said. “They both competed in speed skating at a high level – my mom was on two Olympic teams in long-track speed skating – and she also ran in college, so I inherited some of their athletic ability, too. They coach me in speed skating, so they guide me through their coaching.
“I hope that at the college level, I can continue to improve, place well at conference meets and beyond … and have fun,” Marquard said.
She sees her high school years as key in her development as a complete person.
“What I have learned at Magnificat will help me succeed, because I have gained a holistic education while learning the skills to be independent,” she said. “I have taken a number of tough courses, so I think I will be able to fit into the demands of college academics as well.”
During her high school career, Marquard has maintained a 4.1 GPA, is in the National Honor Society and has been on the honor roll every semester throughout her four years at Magnificat.
Studying physical therapy at Duquesne is a six-year program, and she will end up with a doctorate in the field.
“I think it is a great opportunity to be able to attend Duquesne,” she added. “It seems like a good fit with their physical therapy and running programs.”