Today at Verona High School, track and cross country star Dave Oster signed the papers that will make him an official part of Syracuse University’s cross country team in the fall.
Coach Sebastian Powell and VHS Assistant Principal David Galbierczyk, Oster’s first coach at VHS, engaged in a bit of good-natured ribbing before the signing, especially about Oster’s uncharacterically buttoned-up look. His parents seemed almost as impressed by the sight of their son in a coat and tie as in his accomplishment at earning scholarship status to Syracuse’s vaunted running program.
As Superintendent Charles Sampson said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Oster is already considered to be one of the best athletes in VHS history. An All-American runner, he placed 15th in the 2009 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego, and placed third at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.
“The thing that makes him such a great runner is that he’s very focused,” said Galbierczyk today, “and he doesn’t feel the pressure. I have no doubt that he’s going to be successful at Syracuse.”
Syracuse’s cross-country program won the Big East Conference title last fall, and is considered one of the top distance running programs in the nation. Oster, a top student as well as athlete, has also cited the school’s academic reputation, as well as its location in rural upstate New York’s excellent running terrain, in his decision.
We wish Dave well. But we will miss seeing him flash past us as we sit at the light on our rounds of town, in all kinds of weather, his stride long and relaxed, his hair shining.