Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 12 February 2010 00:00
One of Roslyn High School’s premier athletes will be continuing her mastery of the track world in Philadelphia next year.
On Feb. 4, Emily Lipari, a senior at the high school, signed a letter of intent with Villanova University, which has offered her a full athletic scholarship.
Emily is a two-time New York State cross-country champion, a four-time Nassau County champion, and is currently ranked seventh nationwide among high school long distance runners in the Milesplit National poll. The signing ceremony at Roslyn High School was attended by teammates and supporters, and covered by local media, including News 12.
Villanova is long renowned for its top-ranked track program. In recent decades, such greats as Marty Liquori and Dave Patrick have run track at that university. Every Summer Olympic games since 1948 has seen at least one Villanova track star on that squad. Villanova athletes have won 13 Olympic medals, including nine gold and four silver. In addition, both the men’s and women’s teams have each won eight NCAA team titles. This is a great tradition that Emily hopes to contribute to.
The signing is the culmination of a career that has made Emily one of the top high school track stars in America. Her pre-eminence was marked by a cover story that appeared in the Oct. 5, 2009 issue of Rise magazine, a publication put out by ESPN. Her recent performances including winning the high school national mile last spring by coming from behind 20 meters off the pace. Emily then won the mile event at the New Balance Games on Jan. 23. In the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 29, she finished fifth in the New York Road Runners Girls High School Mile.
Other college track powers, such as Georgetown, Oregon, and Providence all recruited Emily, but the trip to Villanova made a lasting impression on her.
“Every time I went on a visit I was like ‘Oh my God, I like this place’ or ‘this place is awesome,’” Emily told Christopher Hunt of VU Sports. com, a publication of Villanova University. “But Villanova always stayed in the back of my mind. There was just something about Villanova.
“It’s kind of all by feel,” she continued. “You go there and you can ask all the questions you want and get all the answers you want, but in the end you’re just going to go where you feel comfortable.”
But it wasn’t just track where Emily was being wooed by college recruiters. Soccer coaches from Georgetown, Harvard, Kentucky, Tennessee and Yale also recruited the multi-talented athlete. Which leads us to another sport where Emily has excelled.
Emily is a track star who began playing soccer at the age of 4 and now plays outside midfielder and forward for the Syosset Sting of the Long Island Junior Soccer League.
“Emily is a game changer, pure and simple,” said Sting coach Joe Agiato. “Upon seeing her make a run down the field, other teams invariably end up changing their defense in order to account for her speed. As effective as she is on the attack, she also impacts our defense. By lining her up against the top player on the outside for the other team, she just tires them out.
“She is like the Eveready Bunny, she keeps going and going,” continued Coach Agiato. “She simply has the ability to take over the game.”
Emily, Coach Agiato said, started running for a CYO track team as a young girl, believing that it would help her with soccer. Along the way, she became a champion distance runner.
“Emily is universally liked by all her teammates and they all understand when she has to miss a soccer event for a track meet and they are okay with it. The Sting would not be State Cup Champions and we would not be on top of the National League and be Region 1 Champions without Emily,” said Coach Agiato.