Timmins teens earn U.S. athletic scholarships

·4 min read

What do Macy Turcotte and Jordyn Bartolomucci have in common?

In addition to being best friends since childhood, they’re both graduating students at École secondaire catholique Thériault who have earned athletic scholarships to two U.S. universities.

Turcotte, 17, is going to study math at Northern Illinois University, while Bartolomucci, 17, will pursue exercise science at Southern Utah University.

Both are members of Thériault’s cross-country team and have been running since they were young.

Running with Turcotte made Bartolomucci “really, really” grateful for all people she’s had in her life growing up.

“We’ve done every practise together. Even now, during COVID, we’ve been running four times a week together just to keep in shape,” Bartolomucci said. “We’re best friends in running but also out of running as well. It’s really nice to have something you can share your goals with.”

Turcotte said it’s been great to train with Bartolomucci. They share “tons of things” in common and they both strive for excellence and to do well in running and in school, she said.

“She is truly a friend and someone I can count on. We go through the same struggles with running. With COVID, it was a bit less motivating because there were no races but we really tried to push each other and motivate each other,” she said. “Even if we’re going somewhere completely different, I know she’s there for me and in my heart we’re not really that far away.”

When Bartolomucci was offered the scholarship, she said she was super excited and a little bit nervous because she’ll be far away from home.

“But I really like the coaches and the teammates that are already there, I got to talk to them on Zoom,” she said. “And so I felt a lot more comfortable with my decision once I got that done.”

Since she was little, she’s dealt with a “fair share” of injuries, such as fracturing a foot and having several hip injuries. Pursuing exercise science will allow her to help other athletes go through the same experiences and “make it easier on them,” she said.

Bartolomucci got into running when she was in Grade 3. For her, running means a lot.

“My sister always ran when she was little and I always looked up to her, so I always wanted to do the same thing she was doing,” she said. “It’s not only a sport. It’s more of a place where I can clear my head after a long day. Running with my teammates also means a lot to me.”

Her plan is to leave for Utah in early August to have time to adapt to the altitude change. She looks forward to improving, seeing what she can do and meeting new people.

“I would like to thank my coaches because they’ve played a huge role in my life and getting me where I am today. And my teammates as well,” she said.

Receiving an athletic scholarship is something Turcotte said she has been dreaming about for a long time. She got into running thanks to her mother, who also used to run in various Timmins races.

“To finally have it happen and it being real was really incredible,” she said about the scholarship.

Running is like an escape for Turcotte and is something she truly enjoys doing, she said.

“I kind of just fell in love with the sport and I kept practising, got a little better, here and there, and then it’s all history from there,” she said.

She said she’s going to miss her family but she is also “super honoured” to experience studying abroad and training with other people.

Turcotte said she looks forward to having new teammates, developing different friendships and a new relationship with the coach and experiencing a different town and setting.

“The only reason I’m able to get this scholarship was because of Thériault, so grateful for that experience,” she said. “I’m hoping to get better, keep loving the sport, turn it into a lifestyle.”

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com