FARMVILLE, VA - At a halftime ceremony on Feb. 19, Longwood University recognized 126 scholar-athletes. South Plainfield High School 2013 graduate Gracie Piekarski was recognized as one of four women’s cross country scholar-athletes for the 2013 season.

While a senior at South Plainfield High School, Piekarski was awarded an athletic scholarship to run cross country at Longwood.  Piekarski for years had been one of South Plainfield’s top female swimmers. She took up running cross country her junior year. She did it just so she could prepare for her junior year swim season.  Piekarski fell in love with cross country and she has never looked back.

South Plainfield Tiger Shark swim coach Laurie Post had this to say about Piekarski: “I had Gracie for 11 years as a Tiger Shark swimmer. She started for me at the age of 6. She is a committed and devoted team member. Her success is no surprise. I would expect Gracie to excel both as a student and as an athlete.”

Piekarski is a freshman at Longwood majoring in therapeutic recreation. The university is located in Farmville, Va., and is ranked in the 2013 U.S. News & World Reports as one of “America’s Best Colleges” in the South.