RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Recent high-school graduates Jasmine Bruton (Newark, N.J./Weequahic), Monika Dlugosz (Clifton, N.J./Clifton), Valentina Gonzalez (Wood-Ridge, N.J./Wood-Ridge) and Anna Piedel (Garfield, N.J./Garfield), along with junior-college transfer Alexis Jones (Clayton, N.J./GCIT), have signed national letters of intent to continue their women's track & field careers at Felician University, Felician head coach Rob DeCarlo Jr. announced today.
Felician is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. The Golden Falcons, as a second-year intercollegiate program, finished ninth in the 2016 CACC Championship meet.
Bruton, Gonzalez, and Jones intend to join the Felician women's cross-country team, also coached by DeCarlo, this fall. The Golden Falcons received a commitment from Rowan College at Gloucester County graduate Kelly Murphy (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) for that sport during the NCAA early-signing period in November.
"Our returnees, along with this class and some non-scholarship runners, give us veteran leadership up front AND a bright future," DeCarlo said. "We look forward to watching the Felician University women's cross-country and track & field programs develop into conference and regional contenders. That all begins with this group!"
Bruton helped Weequahic High of Newark to multiple state sectional track & field championships. Primarily a high-jumper, she also competed in distance running events. She intends to major in psychology at Felician. "Jasmine is an excellent all-around athlete," DeCarlo said. "Her versatility will make our team stronger across the board."
Dlugosz threw the shot put and the discus for Clifton High. In the shot, she was named all-league and all-Passaic County, won a state sectional championship, and qualified for both the indoor and outdoor State Meet of Champions. She is undecided on a major course of study. "Monika's athletic success and potential to develop impressed us during the recruiting process," DeCarlo said. "She has displayed a positive attitude and strong leadership skills as well."
The Colombian-born Gonzalez participated in distance running events for Wood-Ridge High, where she was also a cheerleader. Both the Blue Devils' track & field and cheerleading programs honored her with their Most Improved Award. Gonzalez expects to study communications. "As a distance runner whose high school did not offer cross-country, this will be Valentina's first foray into this aspect of running," DeCarlo said. "She has the determination, desire and discipline to develop into an excellent college runner."
Piedel, who competes in the throwing events, was an all-league honoree for Garfield High, where she was coached by DeCarlo's wife, Meghan DeCarlo. She also competed in volleyball and swimming for the Boilermakers, and hopes to walk on to the Golden Falcons' women's volleyball team this fall. She is undecided on a major. "Anna only began throwing as a junior in high school," DeCarlo said. "She will rely on her overall athleticism and internal drive to continue to develop."
Jones transfers to Felician after two years at Rowan-Gloucester, where she was a 2016 NJCAA All-American in the 3000-meter steeplechase. She is a 2014 graduate of Gloucester County Institute of Technology in Sewell. She intends to enroll in Felician's teacher education program. "Alexis' career at RCGC and her performances on the regional and national levels give us not only athletic ability but another veteran to help our teams continue to develop," DeCarlo said. "Her talent is evident."
Felician University, the Franciscan University of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic university founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician University welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician University currently enrolls more than 2,100 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level.