DV’s Ingrassia refocused on track after football scholarship never materialized - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

DV’s Ingrassia refocused on track after football scholarship never materialized

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Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 6:00 pm | Updated: 5:15 pm, Fri Jun 3, 2011.

In the athletic environment Mike Ingrassia seemingly never hesitates unless it is to set up a defender or pull up before the finish line because he has a race handily won.

His decisions are made quicker than the former state hurdles champion's feet pump during a sprint.

It's probably why the Desert Vista senior is frustrated by his next step.

Ingrassia thought he had it all in place, or at least put in himself in a position that warranted it, after a breakout senior season in football where the decision would essentially be made for him by a scholarship offer or two.

It never came in the form of an enticing Division I offer. He could have played at Princeton of the Ivy League off, but without much financial help.

"It just didn't work out at Princeton," Ingrassia said. "I was down on myself for awhile there. I still have some football left and I don't want to stop playing. I've always used track to stay in shape for football and I didn't want to go the track route unless I had to."

Ingrassia went on an official visit to Rice last month, just came back from Arkansas and came away with partial scholarship offers in track from both programs.

He said, on Saturday, that he thinks he will either end up a Razorback or at Arizona where he has talked to both coaches about walking on for football while being a scholarship athlete in track.

"In general I just want to know what I am doing for the next four years," Ingrassia said. "I thought I would have better options, but it didn't pan out for me. I still have a lot of opportunities, another sport I can turn to and maybe have a chance to walk on for football."

If that bit of disappointment wasn't enough to push Ingrassia there is the fact that he missed just about all of last season in track because of a hamstring injury. He won the 300 hurdles as a sophomore with a time of 37.98 seconds.

The top three placers in the event last season, won in 37.24, were seniors and teammate Matt Smith was fourth. If it wasn't for Smith, Ingrassia wonders if opponents are going to know who is out front at some of the early season meets.

"I thought I'd get a chance to build off winning state," said Ingrassia, who finished fourth in the high jump. "I think some people did forget about me, but I am 100 percent confident in my hamstring. If I don't win another state championship it will be hard to accept."

Desert Vista boys coach Chris Hanson said before the season that Ingrassia getting back on top is a pretty good bet.

"Mike is as competitive as it gets," he said. "He has looked good leading up to the season and we will take it slow."

Before heading to Arkansas for his visit, he took part in dual meet against Gilbert Mesquite and won handily in the 400-meter dash.

"It felt good," said Ingrassia, who had more than 1,400 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns. "We wanted it to be just a workout for me and not even push it. I still posted a time in the 52s. It was a good confidence booster."

It was one of the first steps in Ingrassia's changing directions in his desire to be a Division I athlete.

"Football is more complex, fun and demanding," he said. "Track is just me in my lane running. It's doing just about everything yourself and the team points there at the end. In football there are no points if you don't play as a team.

"But right now I am all about track because I have to do what is best for me."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915, or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

 

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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