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BRIGHT FUTURES: Nadia Dudley’s Perseverance Leads Her to a New Home at Nazareth University

Cato-Meridian Junior-Senior High School senior Nadia Dudley has committed to Nazareth University, where she will run on the cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field teams. She is considering a degree in media and communication with a track in writing and editing and possible minors in English and musical theatre.


Thanks to her academic and athletic accolades, Dudley received offers from several local schools. She set her sights on Nazareth after touring the campus.


“I originally picked Nazareth because I did a tour there and it felt like home,” said Dudley. “Then I looked into the running program and heard a lot of really great things about the coaches and girls on the team and decided I wanted to do that.”


She quickly realized that running at Nazareth wasn’t a guarantee. Last fall, Nazareth’s head coach Michael Heymann informed her that she wasn’t quite meeting the marks on her times and would likely have to try out for a roster spot. But Dudley didn’t give up. She worked hard to improve her times and stayed in contact with Heymann throughout the year. Heymann was so impressed that he offered her a roster spot on all three teams.


Not many students would go to the lengths that Dudley did to earn her roster spot. She credited Cato-Meridian Junior-Senior High School teacher Lisa Byrne for instilling that confidence and perseverance in her.


“She (Byrne) has been with me throughout my entire high school career, whether it was drama, English class, public speaking, or student council,” said Dudley. “She always finds a way to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone without making you uncomfortable, which is just a talent in itself.”


Dudley thanked Ryan Ellis, Cato-Meridian’s varsity track and field/cross country coach, for always believing in her and supporting her dream of running. She also expressed gratitude for her parents, who have been supportive of anything she wanted to do and never let her give up.


At Nazareth, Dudley believes the key to success will be managing her time, which she’s learned at Cato-Meridian by juggling academics, athletics and other extracurricular activities.


“I think being on my own and having to make and stick to a schedule will be a really great thing for me,” said Dudley.


In the future, Dudley hopes to travel and enjoy new experiences. Right now, Italy is her number one destination.


“I’m ready to go out in the real world, even though it’s a little scary.”


Nadia Dudley


Nadia Dudley


Nadia Dudley