By Steve Svetovich
Often, good hard working people have a knack of making memories with their accomplishments.
Take Dunmore graduate Jill Korgeski for instance.
Daughter of Brian and Janet Korgeski, Jill, 23, capped an outstanding scholar-athletic career with her selection as 2019-20 Middle Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes student-athletes for their strong academic and athletic accomplishments and excellence.
It is the most prestigious honor given to a student-athlete by the conference for combined academic excellence and athletic achievement.
Jill earned the award despite not being able to complete in her senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled the season.
Jill was a two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, earning All-America status at the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships by placing fifth with a school record toss of 47 feet, 1 inch.
As a freshman, she finished 13th in the shot put in the national championships.
Three times, she was named to the USTFCCCA All-Region team. After finishing second in 2016 and 2017, she won the shot put title at the MAC Championships in 2018. Jill was a three-time selection as the conference’s Field Athlete of the Week.
Academically, Jill is scheduled to earn a graduate degree as a physician assistant major. She has an impressive 3.7 academic average.
Jill was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2017 and three times was selected to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team and twice to the MAC All-Academic team. She was three times on the MAC Academic Honor Roll.
“I was really excited when I heard about receiving this award,” Jill said from her Dunmore home. “It is a tribute to the coaches who always put school above athletics. All of the coaches at King’s preach that.”
Jill said she is looking forward to obtaining her graduate degree this August and then obtaining employment as a physician assistant preferably in orthopedics or as a hospitalist.
Also a three-year member of the women’s volleyball team at King’s, Jill was also a member of the women’s indoor track and field team at the college. She played three years of outdoor track at King’s, missing a fourth due to COVID-19.
She talked about what it takes to excel as a shot putter. “It takes a lot of repetition and focus on technique. You need to get in the weight room and build strength.
Jill was a three-sport standout student-athlete at Dunmore. She played four years each of volleyball, basketball and track and field while excelling in the classroom.
An outside hitter in volleyball, Jill was Regional Player of the Year twice and an All-State volleyball player as a senior at Dunmore.
She graduated from Dunmore in 2015 and received a B.S. in biology at King’s in 2019. She will receive her graduate degree in the physician assistant program this August completing all of her studies and course work in five years.
Jill praised Kevin McHale, her track and field coach at Dunmore. “Coach McHale taught me the importance about being passionate about a sport or anything in life. He was great with our workouts. We had a lot of them. He showed us how to put passion into our weight lifting program.”
The scholar-athlete said she also learned a lot from Michael Kolinovsky, her track and field coach at King’s. “He taught me the importance of dedication to the sport. He taught me to take the good days with the bad days and don’t harp on the bad days. Keep pushing towards your goals.”
The hard driving graduate student said she found her King’s College experience very much like her four years at Dunmore High School.
“It is very similar to Dunmore. Everyone knows each other. There is a lot of support and plenty of athletic programs. It is a tight knit college and a lot like Dunmore High. People help each other out.”
Jill said she enjoys music and would like to see country artist Kenny Chesney in concert. She has been keeping busy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic studying and working towards finishing her graduate studies. “The school and professors are doing a great job getting us ready for graduation,” she said.
Jill credited her parents for much of her success as she looks to the future. “They taught me about hard work and that there are no shortcuts in life. If you put your mind to something or towards a goal, then do it with passion.”