Eileen Moroz almost didn’t run this year.
She’s very happy she did.
Moroz, a senior at Archbishop Ryan High School, started running when she was at St. Anselm, and she’s always loved it. But a challenging senior year almost sent her to the sidelines.
“I take some pretty challenging classes in school,” Moroz said. “I have AP calculus, AP statistics and AP literature. I know the classes would be tough, so I thought I would spend a lot of time studying.”
That’s why she was idle, in terms of athletics during the fall, when she would run cross country. But by the time winter rolled around, she had talked it over with her coach, Mike Leonard, and she decided she’d give it a shot.
It was a smart decision.
In the indoor season, Moroz earned All-Catholic by placing fifth in the 60-meter hurdles at the Catholic League championships.
That was despite coming into the season without a lot of training. But once she got back, she picked up right where she left off.
“I’m really glad I came out because I love track and I wanted to do it,” said Moroz, who specializes in hurdles, but also runs sprints and on relay teams. “I never wanted to stop, but I was really busy.”
Her studies consumed a lot of time, but so did extracurricular activities.
Moroz is a musician. Prior to attending Ryan, she played the keyboard, the xylophone and the bells. When she arrived at Ryan, she decided to give the French horn a try and she’s now been doing that for four years.
While this was the first year she earned All-Catholic for running, last year she was All-Catholic in concert. And this year, she took part in both of the school’s plays, A Christmas Carol and Guys and Dolls.
“My favorite was Guys and Dolls, Moroz said. “I like the songs in that one. I liked doing both. It’s hard to juggle everything, I think I’m at my limit, but it’s working out. It’s probably because I love everything I’m doing.”
And the team loves having her.
Moroz is an asset to the Ragdolls because of her fast times, but she brings much more than that to the team.
“At the start of the year, she was nervous that she wouldn’t even be able to do track because of how busy senior year can be,” Leonard said. “She’s shown so much balance in her life this year, teaching the younger kids on our team, doing her homework while we’re at track meets and even running longer races on the relays just so girls on our team would have an opportunity to compete.
“I really can’t say enough about how awesome she is.”
Not only has Moroz been successful in track, she’s even better in the classroom.
She’s ranked №2 in the school, and next month she’ll serve as the salutatorian at graduation.
Giving a speech could be tricky, but she’s looking forward to it. She wants everyone to know how much Ryan means to her.
“I’m really excited about doing that, I’m not nervous because I know what I’m going to say,” said Moroz, who grew up in Parkwood but now lives in Bensalem. “I spent time reflecting on my four years for it. I love Ryan, but at the same time, I’m ready for a new beginning, a new chapter. I’m excited to meet new people.”
Next year, Moroz is set to attend Drexel. There, she’ll major in computer science because it combines many things that she enjoys.
“I wanted to do something in math, but I also wanted to do something creative, I didn’t want to just do something in math,” Moroz said. “I’m going in the five-year program, where I’ll go to school and do (internships). It seems like a rewarding career. I’m very interested in it and I think it’s something that if I work hard, I could be good at.”
Just as she is at everything she does, including track, music, the National Honors Society and the community service she does through her school. She is also the cantor at her church.
“I’m always tired because I do a lot of things, but I do as much as I can because I have fun doing it,” Moroz said. “I’m glad everyone helped me work it out.
“I try to set a good example because I’m a middle child. I’ve gotten a lot of leadership from my older sister. I try and help people like she helped me.”
Now she hopes she helps Ryan to a great finish in her final month at the school.
“Track has been great this year, we’re doing well,” Moroz said. “ I broke a season PR recently, so I hope to be running my best at the (Catholic League) championships (this) week. I want to keep running and having fun. I’m ready for college, and looking forward to it, but I still love everything about Ryan.”