No stranger to competing in, and winning, big races throughout her high school career and prior, Warsaw cross country star Joey Rastrelli announced last week that she will continue her running career on an even bigger stage. The senior is set to bring her talents to the Big Ten, committing to Indiana University to run for the Hoosiers.
“I’m really excited. It feels so good to have committed and know where I’m going to be for the next four years,” Rastrelli said. “I’m thrilled to be a Hoosier and I’m really looking forward to all of the new experiences and the next chapter of my life.”
Rastrelli chose Indiana over the University of Florida after visiting both schools.
“It was a really hard choice to make, both schools are so awesome. One of them was a few hours driving and the other was a plane ride away,” Rastrelli said. “Florida has had a lot of success so being in that atmosphere was so cool but Indiana just felt like home.”
The news is yet another positive in a year that has been fantastic for Rastrelli already. In February, Joey was one of 12 athletes nominated for the Indiana High School Sports Awards Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Back in June, while competing for the Warsaw track team, the senior shattered the school record in the 1600M race at the state finals, finishing in second place. She’s been nearly untouchable in her latest cross country season this fall as well, consistently finishing in either first place or not far behind.
“It’s been a great year, honestly for Warsaw cross country as a whole,” Rastrelli said. “The girls have been great. This season I’ve been training with the boys team, and they’ve been so welcoming and it’s awesome they’re letting me do that. It’s been a little different but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s nice to have a group to run with.”
With the state cross country meet about a month away and Rastrelli poised to make another run at the state title, the senior says her commitment will go a long way in helping her preparation.
“Now that I know where I’m going to school I can put all of my focus on my running,” Rastrelli said. “All of the little things this next month like getting some extra sleep, eating nutritious food and focusing on my recovery, those are going to ramp up. I just hope I go into that last week of October feeling my best.”
The senior distance ace also wanted to make sure to take the time to thank everyone that has helped her on her journey.
“I want to thank my parents and sisters for always having my back and being there for hugs and support,” Rastrelli said. “Coach Dave, Coach Davis, Coach Pete, Coach Campbell and Coach Flemming have always believed in me, putting the goals in my mind before I even realized I was capable of accomplishing them.”
While Rastrelli and Warsaw will have to wait and see how things play out the rest of the season, one thing is for certain: the rest of the Big Ten is going to be put on notice when Rastrelli arrives in Bloomington.