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Vincentian grad Abdalah brings impressive resume to West Virginia track team

| Thursday, June 29, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Vincentian Academy's Marianne Abdalah finishes first with a time of 10:56.06 in the 3,200-meter run at the Mars Invitational on Friday, April 29, 2016.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Vincentian Academy's Marianne Abdalah finishes first with a time of 10:56.06 in the 3,200-meter run at the Mars Invitational on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Recent Vincentian graduate Marianne Abdalah promises to be a huge contributor to the West Virginia women's track team, but it may not happen right away.

Mountaineers coach Sean Cleary said Abdalah might be redshirted in the 2017-18 season.

“We will evaluate her progress over the summer and make a determination about her wearing the jersey in the fall,” Cleary said. “We want to do the best thing for the program while also ensuring Marianne makes the best possible transition.”

Abdalah, 18, of Marshall was a four-time WPIAL Class A girls champion and three-time PIAA champion in cross country. She led the Royals to two WPIAL team titles.

In track, she earned the WPIAL Class AA crown in the girls 3,200-meter run three times and the PIAA title twice. She holds the WPIAL record in that event (10 minutes, 45.54 seconds).

Abdalah also shined in the classroom, graduating with top honors in her class. She plans to major in pre-med or pharmacy.

“She brings an incredible academic and community-service resume,” Cleary said.

Cleary said the Mountaineers were interested in Abdalah for a few years before recruiting her.

“Marianne has very big goals,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to have her with us to develop her abilities.”

Abdalah said she hopes to reach the NCAA championships and make them a “team thing.”

The Mountaineers sent two competitors to outdoor nationals this season, the first time they had anyone qualify since 2015.

Vincentian coach Erika Suhy expects Abdalah to prosper.

“She's going to do great,” Suhy said. “She has talent and drive.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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