SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

December 18, 2012

Peabody's Rocha to run at Providence College

Colleges all across the country wanted to land Peabody High running sensation Catarina Rocha, who committed to Providence College late last night.

Rocha received full scholarship offers, including a fifth year, from all of her final four choices. She had narrowed the decision down to PC, Boston College, UConn, and Georgetown. After visiting all four schools she felt Providence was the perfect fit.

“It was really a tough choice,” said Rocha, who ended her high school cross country career in a blaze by finishing second at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego earlier this month. “Providence was my first visit back in September. I wanted to stay close to home so I ruled out all the schools in the West right away.”

The Friars were runner-up to national champion Oregon at the NCAA Meet at the University of Louisville. Team members come from all over the country, Switzerland and Australia.

“Everything about Providence was attractive to me. The team dynamics, the coaches, the education, the campus, and the location. It’s only an hour and 15 minutes away from home so I can come home whenever I want. It’s just perfect; not too close, but not too far either,” Rocha said.

Both her mother, the former Gina Braz, and father Joe Rocha had starred at BC where her uncle Fernando Braz also had a Hall of Fame career.

“I thought Georgetown and UConn were a little too far away so my final choice was between BC and Providence,” she said. “All the scholarship offers were great, but in the end Providence was where I felt most comfortable.”

Rocha plans to run all three seasons for the Friars, but could wind up red shirting a season and use her fifth year. She said that will be up to the coach, and she will do whatever veteran coach Ray Treacy wants.

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