Sewickley Academy's Thorpe commits to Notre Dame
Sewickley Academy senior Summer Thorpe was awed by the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind., during a visit and has made a commitment to join the Irish women's track team next season.
Thorpe, 17, of Ohio Township, placed second at the WPIAL Class AA championship meet and third in the state in the girls 300-meter hurdles last year.
Her time of 43.21 seconds at the PIAA championship made her a candidate for the National Federation of State High School Associations' Honor Roll.
She has been a standout this season as well, placing first in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles at the Butler Invitational on April 22.
Notre Dame coach Alan Turner expects Thorpe to be an asset in hurdling and sprinting events for the Irish, who had their best finish at the NCAA outdoor championship by tying for 13th place with Stanford in 2015.
“If Summer works hard and pushes herself in our workouts, she will contribute right away in the 400 (hurdles),” Turner said. “She has the skills to be very good at the (NCAA Division I) level.”
Thorpe chose the Irish over Connecticut, Villanova, Pitt and Fordham.
“Notre Dame is an extremely well-rounded university with great prestige,” she said. “The track program is phenomenal and just within my short visit, I truly blended with the girls on the team.
“I want to leave with success in track, academics and my social life.”
Thorpe is undecided about a major.
She will become the second member of her family in two years to join a college women's track team.
Her sister, Aja, is a freshman hurdler and sprinter at Yale.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.