DALLAS TWP. — Dallas senior distance runner Jack Zardecki signed his National Letter of Intent to attend the Air Force Academy Wednesday, formalizing his recent verbal commitment to accept an appointment to the academy near Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Between the hard work and dedication I was putting into my school work and my athletics, I sought out a school to search for with like characteristics to that, but also still have fun with what I’m doing,” said Zardecki, the two-time Times Leader Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. “I just kind of explored my personality as a whole and what fits me.
“I actually looked at (Army-)West Point first. I originally was going to decide on West Point.”
Zardecki decided to take a look at the Air Force Academy before finalizing his decision and said he “wound up liking it just a little bit more.” He also made official recruiting visits to Pittsburgh, Duquesne and Providence.
The District 2 Class 2A cross country champion, like most college distance runners, is expected to be part of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams as well as cross country.
Zardecki was a three-time state medalist in cross country and twice was the lead runner on a state championship team. He helped the Mountaineers go unbeaten in the Wyoming Valley Conference in his four years of cross country, along with winning three district team championships.
Matt Samuel, Zardecki’s coach at Dallas, praised his dedication in an interview during the cross country season.
“He takes it very, very seriously,” Samuel said. “He’s very involved in the sport.”
Dallas finished eighth in the state when Zardecki was a freshman and fourth in his senior year.
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