Mete lands with Purple Eagles
Alissa Mete is the definition of a multi-sport athlete.
The Grade 12 student at Welland Notre Dame qualified for Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships in swimming, track and field, cross country and field lacrosse, and was part of a Pelham Panthers under-19 squad that placed second in the championship round of Basketball Ontario playdowns.
The 17-year-old Welland resident had a number of pathways to pursue a post secondary athletic career but ultimately chose running. That decision was validated recently when Mete signed a letter of intent to run for NCAA Division 1 Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y.
“We are incredibly excited to have Alissa commit to Niagara University. Alissa is, of course, a very accomplished athlete who will bring a distinguished running resume with her, but we know she’ll bring so much more,” said Christine Kloiber, Niagara’s head coach of cross country and outdoor track and field. “During our discussions, it was always very clear that Alissa possesses a thoughtful maturity and purpose in her direction which communicated a composure and character that would enrich any team she chose to be a part of. We’re so thrilled she felt NU was a best fit for her and are looking forward to welcoming her to the Purple Eagle family.”
Mete was delighted to signed with Niagara.
“It was a real exciting experience,” she said. “It was always a dream of mine to go away to a D1 school and be able to run there. When I got the opportunity to go to Niagara, it just seemed like the perfect fit.”
There was a lot of factors that attracted her to the Purple Eagles.
“The coach was so supportive and all the girls that I got to talk to on the team were super nice,” she said. “There is also the idea of it being so close to home for me which is really important. It is a Catholic school which I love and the program is perfect for me.”
She is planning to study Grade 7 to 12 education and major in biology. Her future career goals could lead her to become a teacher or a physiotherapist.
She had interest from other schools but none could match Niagara. Choosing it allows her to continue to train with her triathlon club and remain close to her family.
Mete signed her letter of intent at the end of January.
“It was an emotional experience for myself and my family,” she said. “I never thought I would be able to have this opportunity. I remembering looking at my parents and thanking them for everything.”
Her parents, Agi and Nadia, have played a major role in her running career and her father has also coached her in basketball and field lacrosse.
“They have been there for me in everything and have done so much for me. I have to give it all to them.”
She has no specific goals in mind for her first season of D1 running.
“I just want to go there, give it my all and see what it’s like being at a whole new level in the States. I want to have a fun experience and see what my running can lead me to.”
She is most looking forward to the team experience at Niagara.
“I want to have that family with all the girls on the team.”
Mete started running in Grade 3 at Alexander Kuska Catholic Elementary School and enjoyed plenty of success at the elementary level.
In Grade 6, she joined the Edge Triathlon Club and competed in triathlons until the pandemic hit.
She enjoyed a storied running career at Notre Dame. In track and field, she won two Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association 300-metre titles, finishing fifth and eighth at OFSAA and also won a silver medal in the 1,500 metres at the OFSAA regionals. In cross country, she ran to a pair of SOSSA silver medals and had a career best 10th-place finish at OFSAA in Grade 10.
“Going into high school it was kind of between basketball and running, but once I started getting to OFSAA for running I loved it even more,” she said. “I missed field lacrosse this year and I was so upset we didn’t get a basketball season, but I found a different love for running.”
Like all her peers, Mete lost her Grade 11 and 12 high school track and field seasons and her Grade 12 cross country season to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was really upsetting and it was hard to find a lot of motivation after we didn’t have a spring track and field season (last year),” she said. “My coaches made the situation the best that they could and we did some time trials, we did our own time trial triathlon and then in the fall we did a couple of cross country races that were hosted by the NOC (Niagara Olympic Club).”
Mete prefers not to dwell on what might have been.
“I am looking forward to the future knowing that I had a great high school experience and I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”
She wasn’t too worried the lack of competitions would stifle her post secondary ambitions.
“I knew that I had had some great performances in previous years and I was still confident. Everyone was in the same spot and everyone had missed out on the last year.”