CHRISTOPHER DOLAN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Wallenpaupack’s Anastasia Ioppolo competes in the triple jump during a track meet against Western Wayne on Tuesday in Hawley.

Wallenpaupack junior Anastasia Ioppolo set a Lackawanna Track Conference record in the long jump at 18 feet, 8¼ inches, breaking a 12-year old record. She also won the 100 and 300 hurdles and the triple jump in a 79-71 win over Western Wayne.

Other sport you play: Soccer.

Do you have any pre-meet superstitions or rituals? I have like a gold necklace with a cross on it that I got for communion. I like to wear that for meets.

What’s been the hardest thing to overcome this past year? Probably trying to stay motivated was the biggest thing.

What’s been the biggest area of improvement for you this season? Definitely my jumps. I went into the season not knowing where I was going to be after the long (COVID-19) break and I was kind of worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get back to where I was. Then coming out with the 18-8 really reset my confidence and it excites me for what’s coming down the road. I also improved in my 100 hurdles and finally went sub-16 (seconds), which has kind of been my goal for a while.

What was your previous best in the long jump? 18 feet, 2½ inches (District 2 meet record).

Who’s been the most influential person on your track career? Probably coach (Mark) McHugh and coach (Bob) Donovan.

Your sister Angelina was an all-region softball player. What made you lean toward track and field? I played softball since I was a kid. I played Little League and everything and I always thought softball was pretty slow. I never really liked it that much. I just didn’t want to play softball and I wanted to do a sport. So I thought, I’ll go out for track and see how it goes. I’m glad because I wouldn’t rather have gone into any other sport at this point. 

Do you have an athlete you admire? Honestly, my sister. She’s really great. She’s really great because like she’s a Division I softball athlete, and honestly she’d been doing softball in her life, but she didn’t plan on doing it (at Hofstra), and she wanted to just try out kind of for like the club team, but then she kind of saw that she was better than she thought she was and actually walked on and then started at first base her freshman year.

You are not the first person in your house to earn this award. Your sister was an Athlete of the Week for softball. I thought about that actually. I thought that was pretty cool. 

Favorite sports team: I guess the women’s national team for soccer, but I don’t really watch sports, to be honest.

Other than sports, what is one thing you would like to do in your lifetime? I think, if I could get the chance, I’d like to go to Europe, Italy, maybe because I have family from Italy. I think it’d be really cool to be able to go there.

Three people you would like to have dinner with. Usain Bolt, Albert Einstein and my sister.

Favorite food your mom or dad makes? My mom makes really good chicken parm. The chicken is just breaded really well always. And there’s just a nice red sauce. And then I always just dump red pepper flakes on top because I just love spicy food. 

When things get tense, who are you turning to for a laugh? Devon Kiesendahl. Usually we have a bunch of inside jokes and just think every little stupid thing is funny. Sometimes something will happen in this class and we’ll look at each other and just know that we’re thinking the same thing.