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Perry Hall's Vince Ciattei cited as 'most decorated track athlete we ever had'

Athlete of the Year

By Tom Worgo, tworgo@tribune.com

5:44 PM EDT, June 24, 2013

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Perry Hall distance runner Vince Ciattei might just be the closest thing to the ideal student-athlete.

To that end, the Northeast Booster Reporter Male Athlete of the Year carried a 4.0 grade point average and finished his high school varsity career with seven state championships.

"Vince was the complete package as far as athletics, academics and character," Perry Hall indoor track coach Brian Moen said.

And what a senior year Ciattei put together. He won a combined six county, five region and four state championships in cross county and indoor and outdoor track.

Ciattei will attend Virginia Tech on a track scholarship after choosing the Hokies over offers from Georgetown and Yale.

"He is the most decorated track athlete we ever had at Perry Hall," Moen said. "That even goes back to the late 80s and early 90s when Perry Hall was very successful and there were a lot of very talented runners."

Ciattei not only shined in local events. He excelled in national ones, too.

Ciattei placed fourth in the Penn Relays in late April in the 1,600 meters. He posted a 4:09.72, which ranked as the seventh best time in the country and ninth fastest in the meet's history.

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Ciattei cherished his performance in Philadelphia.

"The Penn Relays have been going on for 120 years, or something like that," Ciattei said. "To be part of history is really cool. That's something I will always remember."

In the regular season, Ciattei won the 3,200 (9:10.25, top time in state) in the Northeast Invitational and the 1,600 (4:14.39, top time in state, meet record) in the Pikesville Invitational.

He dominated in the postseason as well, capturing three county titles (1,600, 3,200, 800), two region crowns (1,600, 800) and two Class 4A outdoor state championships (1,600, 800).

"He is very, very goal oriented," Moen said. "Nine out of 10 times, he achieves everything he sets out to do."

Ciattei also set records in the indoor season.

He won a state title in the 1,600 in 4:14.61 in late February, setting a record for all classifications.

"I wanted to set another one outdoor, so now I really appreciate that one," Ciattei said after falling short of that goal on a very windy day at Morgan State University in which he still finished well ahead of the Class 4A field. "I can always look back and say, 'I put Perry Hall in the record books.' Hopefully, it will stay there for awhile."

Ciattei's other highlights from the winter season included anchoring the winning distance medley relay (10:43.37, 15th best time in country) in the Montgomery Invitational in mid-January and earning All-American honors in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City by placing sixth overall in the 1,600 (4:11.77).

Ciattei said he significantly improved his cross country results in 2012 from the previous season because "I was more relaxed going into the meets all year."

He won a county championship (16:05, meet record), regional crown (15:46) and finished fourth in the state (16:40).

Ciattei biggest accomplishment of the fall came in the Manhattan Invitational, placing sixth in the Eastern states championship race in mid-October.

"There was national-caliber competition in that race," Ciattei said.

Perry Hall outdoor track and cross country coach Marilyn Bevans said Ciattei's toughness set him apart from so many other runners.

"Of all the athletes I have coached in 21 years at Perry Hall, he has the highest threshold of pain," she explained. "No matter how much he is hurting, he just keeps going."