At the District 2 Class 3A Track and Field Championships, Wallenpaupack freshman Anastasia Ioppolo captured four gold medals. She won the long jump in a meet-record 18 feet, 2 1/2 inches; the triple jump at 36 feet, 7 inches; the 300-meter hurdles in 47.14 seconds; and was part of the victorious 1600-meter relay in 4:03.99.
Here is more from her Athlete of the Week interview:
Other sports I play: Soccer, winter track
Favorite teams: I don’t really watch sports much. Sometimes, with the World Cup, I’ll watch, but I don’t root for a favorite team or anything.
Athletes I admire: I look up my sister. She was an Athlete of the Week, graduated, goes to Hofstra now and plays softball. She’s a good role model. She’s good at sports and academics.
Favorite food: I love ice cream, I love candy. It’s probably bad but I love sugar.
Superstitions and rituals: I don’t really have much. Sometimes before I go into a jump, I may lean on my knee or something, just to get in position.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Albert Einstein, Robert Downey Jr., Usain Bolt
Did you realize your long jump was a district record? No. Calista Marzolino (of Abington Heights) came up to me after and said, ‘I think you broke the district record.’ I had no clue that it was that. I thought it was a lot higher, like 18-8 or something. I had no clue I had broken it until afterwards. What was your reaction? I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I mean, it (the jump) felt pretty good. But I had no clue it was going to happen.
Did that help give you momentum for your other events? After I won triple (jump), I started doing long (jump) and I fouled two of my three prelims jumps. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the finals. So I was kind of worried about long actually. Then after I won the 300 (hurdles), I was like, ‘OK, you can do this’ and I got really focused on my last (long) jump. I think having won the 300 hurdles helped me with that.
You were a replacement on the 1600 relay team? I would have done the 100 hurdles instead. But we kind of didn’t think I’d be able to beat Calista (Marzolino of Abington Heights), so it was probably better if I did the 4×4 because we knew we could win that. So (the coaches) put me in that. I didn’t want to do it at first. But once the time came around, I’m glad I did it. Had you run the event before? I actually did it my entire seventh- and eighth-grade career and then I did it once at the beginning of this season. Then they took me out of it and put me in the 300 (hurdles) instead. So I was nervous about that because I hadn’t run it (in a while). What leg did you run? The third leg. I think we were in fourth when I got the baton. One girl — I think she was from Dallas — I passed her on the second straightaway going into the third turn. Then I kind made up ground in the last 100 because I think the other girls started to slow down for the handoff. So I think we caught up there and then Kenzie (Mackenzie Turner) took it from there.
Do you have a favorite among the events you do? Long, maybe, since I’ve been doing it from the beginning. Especially now, when I’ve realized I’ve gotten really good. Triple is kind of new to me, so I’m not as sentimentally attached. But long (jump), I’ve been doing it since the first meet I ever had.
What got you interested in track and field? I did softball since I was a kid, but I really didn’t like it that much anymore. But I wanted to do a sport. I did a little clinic at one point and that was a lot of fun. So I decided I was going to do it.
Post-graduation plans: This year I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do so I know what classes to take in the future. I’m looking at the medical field in general, but maybe I was thinking a nurse anesthetist. I would like to do track in college, hopefully Division I.