Penn Hills’ Mitchell to continue track career in college
The decorated track and field career of Penn Hills’ Emmanuel Mitchell recently came to a close as he medaled for the third time at the PIAA Class AAA championships in Shippensburg.
However, Mitchell had one more piece of business to take care of before he could put he could officially close the book on high school.
After the possibility of college looked bleak at the beginning of the school year, Mitchell made the decision to commit to Notre Dame College in Ohio for track and field on May 31.
“The coach reached out to me and told me all about the team, and I did some research into the college. A few of my former teammates went to Notre Dame College,” Mitchell said.
“From what they told me, it was a good college with a great track program. The team sounds like a great fit for me. Everything about Notre Dame College sounds like it’s for me, and it’s calling my name.”
This season, Mitchell finished fifth in the high jump at the state meet with a mark of 6 feet, 6 inches. At the WPIAL meet, Mitchell finished second with a mark of 6-5, while McKeesport’s Terron Taylor won the high jump at 6-7.
During his junior year, Mitchell finished in a four-way tie for third with a high jump of 6-4 at states, while capturing the WPIAL title at 6-6.
Mitchell finished sixth at states and fourth at WPIALs during his sophomore year.
He was mulling track and field opportunities at Thiel, Wheeling Jesuit, Slippery Rock, IUP and Post University in Connecticut.
Mitchell, who plans on majoring in business, was also looking at Toledo if he didn’t want to pursue track and field or walking on at Geneva.
Then Notre Dame College, a NCAA Division II school, came knocking. The Falcons are coached by Charlie Massi, with assistant coach Ben Held focusing on the high jump.
The Falcons are a member of the Mountain East Conference, which consists of Charleston, Concord, West Virginia Wesleyan, Wheeling Jesuit, Glenville State and West Liberty.
“Coach told me I fit right in with the jumpers. He has two or three jumpers that jump over 7 feet. Hopefully, they can mentor me and motivate me to 7 feet and above,” Mitchell said.
Earlier in his senior year, Mitchell expressed interest in committing to Kent State when it was a possibility, but it didn’t pan out.
“I didn’t think I was going to college. I was talking to Kent State and they made it sound like I was for sure going to get money to go there and next thing you know they don’t accept me. I put all my time into them,” Mitchell said.
“I dropped five other schools because I thought I was going there for sure. Things didn’t turn out, and I kind of gave up from there.”
Mitchell admitted to being behind on filing the proper paperwork with the NCAA during the process. Even though he had family members pushing him to get caught up, Mitchell credits his teammate Jaden Rouse for hounding him to get his paperwork filed.
Mitchell and Rouse make two-thirds of the self-proclaimed “Dynasty.” Senior Alex Trower is the third member of the group. All three “Dynasty” members qualified for states this season.
“Earlier this year, I was slacking with my college things, and I didn’t think I was going to go to college. But Jaden would motivate me and check in on me, making sure I was getting all my stuff in and helping me out,” Mitchell said.
“You don’t see a lot of friends like that. I really appreciate him for being on my back for it. It was worth it.”
Andrew John is a freelance writer.