What made Patrick Spychalski choose Villanova?


What made you decide to commit to Villanova? 
I've been a fan of the school for most of my life because I have family living up in Philadelphia and they've raised me to know and love Villanova. The school felt like home immediately, and the coaching staff and team were great people that I could see myself running with. It's been a long-term dream of mine to run for Nova, and it seemed right from the beginning.




How did you make the final decision and who was involved? 
I made my final decision by weighing the pros and cons of each school and determining which school would be the best fit for me. My parents and I (shoutout Mom and Dad) talked on multiple occasions and we narrowed it down to what we believed would make me the happiest.

What did you experience on each visit?  
Each visit was unique in its own way, and it was great meeting all of the coaches and teams. It was really interesting to see how each college ran their program, as well as travel to new places and tour different athletic and academic facilities. I loved each school I went too, which made it a very difficult decision.

What were your top five choices? 
I actually had it narrowed down to three, which were Villanova, Duke, and Clemson. I spent a lot of time narrowing my college choices down to those three, and I knew that after visiting the schools I would have a very hard choice to make.

How did you get involved in the sport and why? 
I first got involved in the sport by trying it out for my mom's friend's team back when I lived in Philadelphia. When I moved down to South Carolina, I joined Mount Pleasant Track Club, and Coach Tami (Dennis), as well as the rest of the volunteer coaches, taught me the fundamentals of the sport and how to make myself a better runner. Without Mount Pleasant Track Club, I'm almost positive that I wouldn't be in the position that I'm in today.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
My biggest challenge so far was definitely my freshman year. I had a severe case of cystic acne that basically caused nonstop pain across my back and neck, and I wasn't able to fully move the area spanning my back to my head. I also had to deal with adapting to a new school and team, which is a challenge almost every new high school runner faces.

What did you learn from the experience? 
The hardships of freshman year taught me pain tolerance and helped me learn how to deal with adversity when trying to overcome a huge obstacle. It made me grateful for everything I have, and showed me that things could be much worse.

How is training now that the season is over? 
When the season wraps up, I plan on taking a couple weeks of break to recover from the last couple months of hard workouts, and then get to work on getting in shape for the upcoming track season.

Are you preparing for top events already preparing for the upcoming seasons? 
I'm planning on competing in Foot Locker this year, and I'd also really like to try and compete in the Penn Relays and New Balance Nationals during the upcoming track season.

How do you look at your time at Wando? 
My time at Wando was incredibly memorable, and I enjoyed the opportunity to represent my school in as good a manner as possible. There were too many great moments to count, and the school, memories, and community will always hold a special place in my heart. 

What will you miss the most? 
I'll definitely miss the team the most because they were what got me through the tough days. My teammates were amazing through the years and taught me more about life than I could have imagined. Without them, the practices would have been immensely tougher, and I can't thank all of them enough for the support and good times throughout the years. Big shout out to Coach Davis and Coach Goodman for everything they do, as well as Caleb, Dudley, and Shea for sticking with me through the end. 

What would you say is the biggest memory you have? 
The biggest memory I have is definitely Wando winning the team state title my sophomore year. It was a surreal moment and proved to all of us that hard work can get things done. The team consisted of a great group of guys that year, and it was a relief to accomplish the goal we worked so hard to reach.

What do you hope to study and otherwise achieve in college? 
I hope to study business and to learn as much as possible while competing to the best of my ability for the track and cross country teams.

How does it feel to have the decision made prior to the season? 
It was a relief for my family and me to wrap up the college decision process, and it took a lot of stress away from me to finally commit to Villanova. My goal these past four years was to have the opportunity to run at the collegiate level, and it's surreal to actually have gotten there.

How did the Villanova coaches react when informed?
The coaches seemed very pleased, and I hope to make them, my family, and the community proud for the duration of my career.

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