A number of factors steered Hopkinton High School senior Sean Golembiewski to the University of Pennsylvania, including a top-notch education, a beautiful urban campus and a strong track and field program.
Ultimately, he said, the Quakers provided “the best all-around fit.”
“There were a whole array of reasons,” Golembiewski said. “I feel like I made a good connection with the coach during my visit and they have world-class facilities. I really liked the team and the campus.”
Golembiewski started his recruiting process early and ultimately took three official visits, checking out two of Penn’s Ivy League rivals, Princeton and Cornell. Eventually, it came down to Penn or Princeton, and Golembiewski said he felt a stronger connection with the coaching staff with Penn. The Philadelphia school also had academic majors that better fit his interests. The campus was yet another standout.
“It’s a big city, but once you’re on campus and in the middle of it, it doesn’t feel like you’re in a city at all,” he said. “It feels like any normal campus in a suburb.”
During his visit, Golembiewski was hosted by a Penn high jumper who won a national title in his home nation of Singapore.
“That was a great start right off the bat,” he said. “I could tell there was a lot of skill there and it was great to meet someone from a different country with different experiences. It showed me the different kinds of kids I would be able to meet.”
He said his family, including parents Jeanne and Craig and older sister Maggie, were a huge help and a great source of support to him throughout the recruiting process.
Golembiewski, who was Tri-Valley League Large School Division MVP for soccer and led the Hillers to the Division 2 state championship game in November, will compete as an all-around athlete for the Penn track and field teams, taking part in the heptathlon and the decathlon. He has had a standout high school career at Hopkinton, capped off by earning a sixth-place finish and All-American status at last spring’s Nike national competition.
“I wasn’t seeded anywhere near six, so to be able to go in there and perform on a not-so-great day weather-wise was amazing,” Golembiewski said.
With two more seasons (indoor and outdoor) of high school track left, the most important thing for Golembiewski is to make sure he has an injury-free few months after tweaking a hamstring last year.
Hurdles is Golembiewski’s favorite event, but he is going to try to learn some new events during his final high school seasons in order to be able to compete in the five- and 10-event competitions in college. He has minimal experience with throwing events and pole vault, but he said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I feel like I am a pretty good all-around athlete in track, so I feel like I could excel in the decathlon,” he said. “It’ll be fun to do all the other events.”