The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 4, 2013

Daily Item Female Athlete of the Year: Mount Carmel's Varano honored for stellar junior season


Ali Varano helped guide the Red Tornadoes girls soccer team to the District 4 Class A quarterfinals. She scored a game-winning goal against Troy with less than 10 minutes to play in the first round of districts.

She ended the season with a team-high 20 goals (two in the playoffs) and was the area's third-best scorer among District 4 teams, earning her a HAC first-team all-star nod at forward.

In basketball, the Red Tornadoes graduated a pair of 1,000-point scorers, but Varano was a huge part -- along with all-state forward Christina Perles -- in keeping Mount Carmel on the winning path. The Red Tornadoes claimed their third consecutive District 4 Class AA banner.

Varano was a HAC-II first-team all-star. She scored 20-plus points seven times throughout the season, with a season-high of 29 and then 24 in the first round of the PIAA Class AA state tournament. She led Mount Carmel with 15 points in a second-round loss to Pine Grove.

She averaged 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 steals in her junior season.

The Red Tornado kept it up in the spring, earning medals in two different events at the District 4 Class AA championship meet (100 and 400 meters). She posted area-best times in the 200 (26.25) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (47.3), and was a Daily Item first-team selection.

"During track, I run a lot of different events. I'm not sure I found what's my best yet," Varano said laughing. "I was a little disappointed with how districts went, but I'm excited for next year and won't let that happen again."

In a dual meet against Shamokin, Varano told her coach she wanted to try the 300 hurdles. She not only ran the event well, but she nearly broke a Mount Carmel school record and qualified for states in the process.

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