Graduate transfer Abdalah breaks barriers

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In the course of this season, the cross-country team has had a successful year. Marianne Abdalah was named Athlete of the Week for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference for two consecutive weeks. These honors came after her multiple appearances at invitations where she kept her time under 20 minutes.

“At first I was surprised, it was such an exciting honor,” said Abdalah.

Abdalah says improving her times has been exciting and she has fun doing it. She came to Slipry Rock as a graduate of West Virginia University, where she was also a member of the cross-country team. Slippery Rock is closer to home for Abdalah, a Pittsburgh native who plans to continue her studies as a medical assistant at The Rock.

Coach John Papa has known her since she was eleven when she ran indoor events. Her training at a young age accompanied her into adulthood. “Getting up early, running, visiting the sports trainer and eating healthily keep me in check,” said Abdalah. She added that outside of cross-country skiing, she enjoys cooking, napping, and doing her schoolwork.

“When I was younger I focused more on the individual placement, but now I see how the team aspect and progress as a whole team is more effective,” said Abdalah. The motivation of others on the team helps her improve in hopes of winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). According to Abdalah, running requires keeping her structure and being disciplined.

The student sportswoman had a love of running when she was a child, as her parents enjoyed the sport. Abdalah is the daughter of Marvin and Kim Abdalah, who were both ex-Wheeling Jesuit college runners. Abdalah started running at the age of seven and decided it was something that she wanted to make competitive. Whether it’s a marathon or family jogging, the focus was on running.

She has had an impressive career in college and is not finished yet. She said that while running on a flat surface, she hopes to break 22 minutes. For the future, the goal is to motivate your team and keep them profit-oriented.

Abdalah, an honorary member and Dean’s List student, has great success in the The Rock uniform for long distance running. She has not been beaten by any other college runner since joining PSAC.

At the Lock Haven Invitational, Abdalah was number 17 with a time of 22:17. Abdalah doesn’t quite break the 22-minute goal and tries to get that goal in The Rock’s only home game on October 9th.


Madison is a junior communications major with an emphasis on convergent journalism and a minor in sports management. She is an active member of WSRU-TV and sports editor of The Rocket. Upon graduation, Madison plans to work in the broadcast industry and train volleyball.


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