Monday, June 27

    Skoczen still running


    Emily Skoczen’s track career was cut short by the Coronavirus but the Independence senior isn’t finished running.

    Skoczen signed a national letter of intent last month to continue her education and athletic career at Kent State University.

    “I am really excited about the future and what college has in store for me,” Skoczen said. “I know running while in college is going to be an amazing opportunity to grow as an athlete, student, and person.”

    A four-year member of the cross country and track teams at Independence, Skoczen will continue to run both sports in college.

    “I am going to stay focused on middle-distance to distance and I would love to try different distance events that the collegiate level has to offer,” she said.

    While the Coronavirus Stay-at-Home order made it more difficult for many student-athletes to choose their colleges, Skoczen had an idea of what she was looking for and previous visits to Kent State’s campus made her decision an easy one.

    “I knew I wanted to go to a bigger school and Kent seemed to offer everything I was looking for with size, location, and the programs offered there,” she said. “Luckily, I’ve got to be at Kent’s campus several times before the shutdowns so I knew I liked the atmosphere and feel on and off-campus.”

    A four-time regional qualifier in cross country, Skoczen qualified for the state meet twice. She also competed in the regional track meet three times in the 800-meter run and twice in the 4×800-meter relay. She qualified for state in the 4×8 last spring.

    She also was named Academic All-Ohio twice in cross country and once in track and was Independence’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year for the class of 2020.

    Now, she’s focused on adding even more to her resume at the college level.

    “I would love to push myself in my training and continue to drop my times for cross country and track,” she said. “I would also like to overall become a better athlete and runner at the collegiate level.”

    Training during the shutdowns has presented some challenges but Skoczen has remained active.

    “Luckily, as a runner, the roads or trails are all you need so I have been starting to put in my mileage for the summer,” she said. “I keep myself motivated by running with friends and adding different workouts to my training plan.”

    Skoczen plans to major in nutrition at Kent State with the goal of becoming a registered dietician.

    “As a runner, I have always been interested in what I eat and how I fuel my body to compete,” she said. “I would like to focus in sports nutrition and help other athletes.”

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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