Dominic DeLuca turned a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state Class AA boys’ cross country title into a chance to compete as a runner in the Ivy League.
DeLuca recently selected Cornell after being recruited to be part of the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track and field teams at the prestigious Ithaca, N.Y. school.
“My goal throughout the whole thing was to not really limit myself,” DeLuca said. “I was really aiming to get into a school that I wouldn’t normally be able to get into without running.”
In the end, DeLuca chose Cornell over Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
“I really liked the campus and I liked the team,” said DeLuca, who will major in applied economics and management with plans to then attend law school.
DeLuca added cross country to being a distance runner in track when he went out for the team in the fall of his sophomore year.
“I just kept working harder and harder every year and it seemed like more opportunities were opening up,” DeLuca said. “I would set goals for myself and when I achieved them, more doors would open up.
“There are so many doors that a person can open up themselves just by how they do on a day-to-day basis. I feel like I did that pretty well.”
DeLuca said he is uncertain which events he will ultimately concentrate on in college.
“There are different distances,” he said. “Every year, knock on wood, I keep getting better.
“I’d like to see how I do on the collegiate level. I’m really looking forward to that.”
DeLuca finished 14th in the state in Class AAA at 3200 meters last spring in track season after winning the District 2 title.
The Dallas cross country program produced two Division I runners this season.
Regan Rome, the leader of the state championship girls team who was a state runner-up and two-time Foot Locker National Championships qualifier, committed to William & Mary earlier.