Loyola cross country/track completes women’s class with 13 student athletes

Mon, 07/11/2011

Loyola University New Orleans head cross country and track coach Andy Canegitta completed his 2011-12 women’s recruiting class- adding eight additional student athletes to this year’s group of 13 newcomers.

Natalia Barbosa, a hurdler from the Academy Our Lady of Peace in San Diego, comes to the Wolfpack with a personal best of 16.19 in the 100m hurdles and 46.24 in the 300m hurdles.

Canegitta on Barbosa: “She has great chance of making it to nationals her freshmen year in the hurdles. As, we focus on strength and technique she will be an excellent hurdler and probably will look for her to contribute to our relay teams during the track season.”

Katherine Collier is a distance runner from Perkiomen Valley High School in Trappe, Pennsylvania. She has personal bests of 2:42 (800m), 5:56 (1600m), 13:20 (3200m), and 21:20 (5000m).

Canegitta on Collier: “Katherine, I believe has potential to exceed what she has accomplished in high school and will definitely expect to see improvements in her times. She has great character and is excited to be part of the Wolfpack family.”

Naja Cowen is a sprinter from Rossview High School in Clarksville, Tennessee. She has personal bests of 13.15 in the 100m and 27.79 in the 200m.

Canegitta on Cowen: “Naja is another great addition to the Wolfpack family; she is ambitious and excited to help continue to develop our sprint program. I look for her to be part of our 4x100 relay team.”

Islam Galgal joins the Wolfpack from Berkmar High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. As a distance athlete, she is the 5k record holder at Berkmar with a time of 19:48. She was the 2011 Gwinnett Senior Athlete of the Year as well as 2008 and 2010 All-Gwinnett County Cross County Team. Other personal bests include 2:28 in the 800m and 5:43 in the 1600m.

Canegitta on Galgal: “A determined and hard working student-athlete, who will push the PACK. Coming in with the fastest 5K time in high school, she has not reached her full potential. I expect her to improve each year.”


Distance runner Christina Paparo prepped at Irvington (NY) High and was a member of the 2009 New York Section 1 runner-up team. Her personal bests include 2:29 (800m), 3:20 (1000m), 16:06 (4000m), and 20:56 (5000m). She has equaled the Loyola record of 1:10 in the 400m hurdles as a high school athlete.

Canegitta on Paparo: “A multi talented runner and student, in track Christina competed in hurdles, jumps and all distance events. As a music student she plays three instruments clarinet, saxophone and bassoon. Christina is ambitious student-athlete and will definitely push the PACK next year.”

Denise Powell comes to Loyola from Our Lady Academy in Gulfport, Mississippi. A distance runner who competed in track and cross country, her track personal bests include 2:28.90 (800m), 5:29.00 (1600m), 12:32.43 (3200m), and 16:48.40 (4000m). In cross country, Powell finished in a career best 3rd place in the Mississippi Class 2A State Championship and in 4th place in 2010. She was a member of the Class 2A Cross Country Team Championship and finished second in three events (800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters). This past year, Powell was the Mississippi State Champion in the 800 meters and second in the 3200 meters.

Canegitta on Powell: “Talented distance runner out of Mississippi who brings championship experience and will develop into an excellent distance runner for the PACK. Denise will have an immediate impact for the Wolfpack and improve our conference standing from last year and achieve our team goals. “

An East Jefferson High graduate from Metairie, Laura Rohm joins the Wolfpack as a distance runner. Her personal bests include a 14:32 in the 3200m and a 22:55 in the 5k. She lettered in softball, soccer, track and cross country for the Warriors.

Canegitta on Rohm: “Laura has great potential and with proper and consistent training she will grow to be a great asset to our cross country program.”

After a successful career as a soccer player and sprinter in high school, Jessica Williams comes to Loyola from Duxbury (MA) High. She will run middle distance for the Wolfpack.

Canegitta on Williams: Jessica’s experience in high school will translate well to middle distance in college. She has the potential to have a successful cross country career for us at Loyola.

“I am really happy with this year’s women’s recruiting class. We added talent and depth to our distance program, while increasing our ability to succeed as a full track & field program with stronger sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers,” Canegitta commented on the class. “Just as important as the athletic talent we have coming in, these young women fit our program culture and philosophy. They are wonderful group and I am excited to get an opportunity to coach them.”

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