Sebest picks YSU, Kline to throw for Cincinnati
By BOB ETTINGER
Poland senior Maggie Sebest wasn’t always in love with running, but eventually she to love it. Her classmate, Sarah Boccieri, on the other hand, knew where her heart was and what she wanted to do. Newton Falls’ Isabelle Kline has always had a passion for one sport, but will leave it behind for another.
The one thing they all have in common is they will be competing on the Division I level while pursuing college degrees.
Kline, the daughter of Tony and Tonya Kline, will throw the shot and discus for the University of Cincinnati.
“I loved it as soon as I got there,” Kline said. “I got to know some people and I fell in love with it. The campus is beautiful. My [future] teammates and the coaches treated me like family.
“I had an instant connection and I didn’t want to leave.”
Sebest, the daughter of Mike and Heather Sebest, is headed to Youngstown State where she will run cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track.
“I’m super excited,” Sebest said. “I knew I wanted to run for YSU for quite a while. I couldn’t wait to sign and have it all done. I’m so excited. When the school year started, I was closing on YSU and it being my number-one choice.”
Boccieri, the daughter of John and Stacey Boccieri, is headed to Cleveland State on an academic scholarship, but will be a member of the softball team.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
“I’m really excited now that I’ve got it settled in. My decision came late, so there wasn’t a lot of [athletic] money available, so I got a lot for my academics. For me, it wasn’t about the big name [school] that I wanted to go after.
“I wanted the school that fit me. [Cleveland State] was closer to home, it’s a city school and the coaches were a good fit.”
Sebest will be continuing a career that nearly ended before the starting pistol was fired.
“I ran cross country and track in seventh grade,” Sebest said. “I quit and didn’t run in eighth grade because I hated running.
“When I was a freshman, my sister was in her senior year. The coach talked to me and said I had to run with my sister because it was her senior year. I did well.
“I got to go to state as a freshman,” Sebest said. “I loved the close relationships I have with my teammates, both the guys and the girls. I just knew I wanted to [run in college] during my junior and senior year.”
“I also learned it was OK to hurt and to push my body through it.”
Playing while pursuing a degree is a challenge Boccieri, a middle infielder, anticipates.
“Every level you go up is a challenge,” she said. “I’ll be excited to see that. As for a roster spot, I have to earn where I play.”
Kline’s passion lies on the hardwood with basketball, but it was her success in track and field that ultimately led her to choose that sport.
“I’ve always loved basketball,” Kline said. “It’s always been my passion. I still love it.
“I started track my freshman year just for fun. I enjoyed being there and my coached asked me if I’d ever consider doing it in college. I looked at him like he was crazy.
“I got better and realized I could really do something with it. I went to state as sophomore [sixth in the shot put] and again as a junior [second in the shot put].
“I loved every part of being on that podium. It was the best feeling. I want to do it in college. I fell in love with it.”