Birdlebough athlete heading to Canisius in the fall

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Cross-country standout Haylie Virginia and coach Andy Lewis are all smiles as Virginia signs her letter of intent to attend Canisius College.

Hard work, training and dedication have helped propel John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix senior Haylie Virginia to the next level, as she recently signed her letter of intent to attend Canisius College in the fall.

The standout runner, who specializes in the pentathlon, noted she has put in countless hours of training and overcome several injuries to get to where she is today.

“I ran about 350 miles over the summer,” she said. “I worked really hard this past season.”

That hard work paid off with an all-state selection, a third-place finish at the state meet, and the respect of her coach and peers, who selected her as team captain for the cross-country and track and field teams.

“She is pretty disciplined and very dedicated,” said coach Andy Lewis. “She has a good head on her shoulders and she is a role model for some of the younger kids on the team.”

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Virginia has also excelled in the classroom, where she is consistently on the honor roll. She maintains a 92 percent average while balancing sports, DECA and a part-time job at the YMCA.

With a broad range of interests, Virginia said she is considering taking business courses, although she is undecided if she will major in business or another subject that piques her interest.

Virginia is the daughter of Matt and Michelle Virginia.

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