The success of Dallas runners extends beyond those who split time between the cross country and track and field programs.
Catie Gawlas is the best example of that.
The 2012 District 2 Class AAA 100-meter dash champion and two-time state qualifier in the event was one of four Dallas track and field athletes to participate in a signing ceremony at the school March 14 to announce their commitments to college programs.
Gawlas will continue her sprinting career on the NCAA Division I level at Duquesne University.
“I was looking at schools for my major and I found Duquense,” said Gawlas, who will major in occupational therapy. “I contacted their coaches and met with their coaches. I love the city of Pittsburgh.”
Gawlas was unable to defend her district title last season when she got off to a slow start because of a leg injury. She did, however, meet the state qualifying standard then advance to the semifinals at Shippensburg before finishing 15th.
“Last year, I knew I had to push myself and get my name out there, so I could push for colleges,” Gawlas said. “I knew since the beginning of high school that I wanted to run in college because it was something I really enjoy doing.
“It was really my year to stand out and I got some pretty good times.”
Gawlas follows two brothers into college athletics. Robert played football at Penn and David plays at Harvard after competing at Holy Redeemer where they also excelled in track and field.
“She does everything that we ask her to do,” Dallas coach Matt Samuel said. “She’s a very integral part of the leadership of this group. She’s a huge part of that process.”
Gawlas, who prepared for the outdoor season by running on the distance medley relay team that placed 12th in the state at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Indoor Championships, also considered Quinnipiac, Misericordia and Pittsburgh.