Griswold distance runner Alyssa Brehler signs with URI
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Feb. 10, 2014
Alyssa Brehler, who has burned up the track and the cross country course for four years at Griswold High School, signed a letter of intent Feb. 7 for the University of Rhode Island, where she will compete as a three-season athlete in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track under veteran Head Coach Laurie Feit-Melnick.
Brehler, who has a string of ECC, state and New England titles under her belt, plans to study speech pathology in the school’s communicative disorders department. “At URI, I have the potential to do the five-year program” for a master’s degree, she said. As a consistent high honors student at GHS, “I think I have the capability of doing it.” She said she had also considered the University of Connecticut and that the decision “was really hard. I was really torn.”
Brehler’s parents and younger sister were on hand for the signing ceremony, as were her cross-country teammates and her coach, Mike Flynn. “I was extremely impressed about how much the URI coach cared about Alyssa and her future, not just her running,” said Flynn. At the college level, the pressure on standout runners eases up a bit, he said. “In high school, when you’re pretty good, you’ve got a lot of people watching you. [At URI] she’s going to be with a lot of girls who are as good as or better than her. It’s more about the girls she’s with, the memories they create, the opportunities to travel.”
Brehler said that joining an established team will give her a chance to grow during her college career. “I’m entering a team that’s already established and I’m obviously expected to be completely awesome right away,” she said. “URI is not as intensive an environment. I’m there for the academics.”
Among Brehler’s achievements at GHS are two individual state cross country championships, two All-New England citations, and 10 individual Eastern Connecticut Conference championships in indoor and outdoor track. She has been named an All-State athlete three times and holds the Class SS cross country course record, along with seven school records in indoor track, outdoor track and relay events. In Saturday’s CIAC Class S state championship in New Haven, Brehler earned second place in the 1,000-meter run and third in the 3,200-meter.