Name: Natalie Buratczuk
School: St. Charles North, senior
Sport: Track and field
Why she was selected: Buratczuk took fourth in high jump at the IHSA girls track and field state meet.
Bartelson: When someone asks you to reflect on your high school career and all you accomplished, how do you tell your story?
Buratczuk: I always reflect on how much I’ve developed mentally as an athlete. When I was a freshman, I was so nervous about competing at bigger meets and it caught up to me at sectionals that year. After that, I became more dedicated to track and became focused on the future and the want to someday compete at the collegiate level. Once that clicked for me, I became determined to make that happen for myself and had a successful junior season ending with third at state. Senior year, I was able to commit to an amazing Division I track program and have another successful season ending with a second all-state title.
Bartelson: What did it mean to you to represent the St. Charles North track program?
Buratczuk: Being able to represent St. Charles North at state two years in a row is incredible and holds so much pride. Not only am I representing myself and the North title, I’m representing everyone who helped me get there. My parents, my team, my friends and all of my amazing coaches are represented when I make it to state.
Bartelson: Perhaps besides state, unless it is, what’s your favorite accomplishment?
Buratczuk: I am extremely proud of my junior season and how I was determined to get to state and being able to prepare myself for that. My freshman year, I didn’t qualify for state, so being able to clear the 5-foot-3 junior year at sectionals felt like a major accomplishment because of how long I’ve been waiting to add to my story from freshman year.
Bartelson: Eastern Michigan is the next chapter. What do you hope to “write” in the next phase of your track career?
Buratczuk: The possibilities are endless with another four years with an incredible track program. However, I hope to continue to grow as an athlete and person and hopefully compete at the highest levels of the NCAA. So much can happen in that amount of time and I hope that it’s an accomplishing chapter.