Catherine Stow is joined by her parents, John and Michelle, at a signing ceremony last week when the Gilford senior made her commitment to Michigan Tech. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
November 18, 2021GILFORD — It's safe to say that Catherine Stow has known for a while just what she wanted once her time at Gilford High School came to an end.
In eighth grade, the Golden Eagle standout already had Michigan Tech on her list of schools she wanted to attend.
And on Wednesday afternoon, Stow made her commitment to the school official on National Signing Day, signing her letter of intent to attend Michigan Tech and join the Nordic skiing team.
"I liked the opportunity, school-wise and it's hard to find a place with a Nordic program and a business and computer science program," Stow said after her signing ceremony in the Gilford High School auditorium. "I've been really excited about college ever since middle school."
She pointed out that when she was in eighth grade, she was thinking about schools and doing the research and Michigan Tech was on her list even back then.
"I wanted to have an experience not on the east coast," she said. "And I was pretty drawn to the coaching staff and the environment."
"Today we're celebrating Catherine's success here at Gilford High School," said Athletic Director Rick Acquilano in welcoming people to the celebration. "Sometimes, as ADs, we get caught up in stats, but beyond that, what stands out is the person she is.
"She is kind, she is thoughtful and she is friendly," Acquilano said. "She's someone, when I think about our best kids who come through here, she's one of the best of the best."
The Eagle AD said he knows all the work that goes into preparing to move on to compete at the collegiate level.
"It's a testament to if you work hard, results follow," Acquilano said. "She's a natural leader who tries to make places she goes better."
Acquilano pointed out that Stow is also Class President and has won the Golden Eagle Award, the school's most prestigious athletic award, four different times and is also a top 10 academic student.
"Michigan Tech, you're getting a good one," Acquilano said.
Gilford Nordic coach Nina Gavryluk, herself an Olympian, noted that Stow has big goals and possibly reaching that level has always been one of them.
"She's always been dedicated to the team, always trying to convince other people to come and ski," the Gilford coach said. "And she's always helping.
"Her big goal is to maybe make an Olympic team," Gavryluk said. "That's a good goal to have."
Stow pointed out that the business and computer science program she is interested was key to making the decision to go to Michigan Tech, along with the Nordic program.
And while the future may be in Michigan, Stow also has another winter season ahead of her in Gilford, with both the high school and the Gunstock Nordic Association, where she started skiing in the first grade.
"I am really excited to watch our team grow," Stow said of the high school squad and noted the goal for the GNA team was to possibly make Junior Nationals.
And while Gilford will be home for a few more months, Stow is also excited for what the future holds in the coming years.
"I'm happy to know I'm excited to be somewhere and I'm happy to know I'm going to be in a good place," she said.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.