North's Williams off and running to New Mexico
April 16--Grace Williams can't wait to run away from home.
The Bloomington North senior cross country and track standout felt a strong tug to stay in town, to move a few blocks away to Indiana University. But the familiar was, well, just too familiar. Visits ensued to Boise State and New Mexico.
The Lobos won her over after a January visit. She accepted their academic and athletic scholarship offers last Tuesday and signed the day after.
"I love Bloomington and I love IU," Williams said Friday. "I just want to see what else is out there since I've lived here for so long. That was one of the biggest motivators for me."
Both Boise State and New Mexico had the kind of coaches and up-and-coming programs she was looking for, but the trip to Albuquerque sold her. It was just a matter of New Mexico's coaches returning the love, and the phone call she was hoping for came.
"When I went, I almost felt it," Williams said. "I loved the team and the coach and the way they approach things and treat everybody. It's a close-knit team. It made me excited to be a part of it.
"We went on a long run in the mountains, and it was like, 'Wow. I could be here.'"
Yeah, the weather and scenery didn't hurt UNM's cause, either.
"I'm actually super excited for the weather," Williams said. "The altitude will be tough at first, but they ease you into it. And I'm excited to see how it will affect me in the long run. It'll be a big change, but I'm excited to be uncomfortable. Changing things up will be good for me."
Williams expects to eventually run the 5 and 10K distance in track, though a part of her wants to give the steeplechase a try. She plans to major in psychology and study Spanish as well.
Until then, she's going to soak up the remaining time she has with her teammates, winding down a career that includes three top-30 finishes at the state and a couple of semistate titles in cross country, and in track, the school record in the 3,200 (10:47.35) and two state medals at the same distance, ninth as a sophomore, seventh as a junior.
"I just want to run fast, relax and have fun the rest of the season," Williams said. "And enjoy the last couple of weeks with my team. It's hitting me now. I want it to be a good one."
Eastern Greene's state runner-up squad will have a heavy presence at this summer's Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star game in Terre Haute.
The Gold team head coach will be Eastern's Joey Paridaen, who is off to Evansville North next season, with Travis Wray assisting. The squad will include center Brady Anderson, quarterback Caleb Hamilton, lineman Eli Britton, receiver/defensive back Joel Weimer, tackle Josh Vincent, tight end JW Howard and offensive lineman Wyatt Scott of Eastern Greene; linebacker Chance Howard, running back Keaton Cox and lineman Levi Jerrels of Linton and Edgewood offensive tackle Ryan Stuffle.
The Black team will include a pair of Owen Valley standouts, quarterback Daniel Burkett and lineman Tyler Fears. Duane Potts will be an assistant coach.
The game will take place June 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Indiana State's Memorial Stadium.
South running trio signs
Three members of the Bloomington South boys' track program have nailed down their college plans, as Jake Wisniewski will run at NCAA Division II Southern Indiana, Codie Pullon is going the junior college route at Vincennes University and Caleb Miller is headed to NCAA Division II/NCCAA Cederville University in Ohio.
Wisniewski was the Panthers' No. 2 finisher at the state cross country meet and a two-time First Team All-Area runner and has broken 4:30 in the mile during track season.
Pullon put together a more than solid cross country season after injuries derailed him the year before and will look for continued success in the same program where former Panther Evan Franklin has thrived the last two years.
Miller, a member of the state cross country team and a miler in track, heads to a strong track-only program at Cederville that's won four straight Great Midwest Athletic Conference outdoor titles.
Pole vault pioneer
Pauline Siebenthal, a 1912 Bloomington High School grad and an Indiana University student, was a pioneer when it came to women's pole vault, setting what was then the world record in 1915. Her efforts will be recognized as one of the latest members to join the Indiana Track and Field Hall of Fame in Terre Haute.
According to a recent story from a newspaper in Switzerland County where Siebenthal once lived (the small Ohio River town of Vevay), women's track and field records were first compiled in 1904, with the initial "fence vault" record of 4-10 1/2 set in 1900. The 1912 record book listed 5-8 as the mark to be broken which Siebenthal did at her first meet in Bloomington.
In 1915 after a few practices with IU's coach Clarence Childs, she cleared 6-1 and it made headlines all across the country.
One article noted that Childs, IU's football coach at the time, "has been almost as much astonished at Miss Siebenthal's remarkable athletic powers as any one else. He has stated that, in his opinion, she is today the most remarkable and proficient girl athlete in the United States."
The IAAF officially recognizes another female vaulter from Lincoln, Nebraska as the first to reach 6-1 in May of 1915.
Cannon to Connecticut
Bloomington North multi-sport athlete Abby Cannon is taking her skills to a prep school next year as a junior.
Cannon, an All-Conference soccer forward, starter on the basketball team and a top thrower in track before a torn ACL suffered in the first week of September, is headed to Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn. The injury prompted her to look at the prep school route, her father said.
Loomis is ranked by Top Drawer Soccer as its national No. 1 prep program for the past two years. Abby committed to the school not just for the year after next, but to forego her senior year at North to enroll at Loomis in the fall of this year as a repeat junior and attend for two years.
She will continue to play all three sports at Loomis.
Olivia Hurley to Kenyon
Bloomington South softball player Olivia Hurley has committed to play at NCAA Division III Kenyon in Ohio next year.
Hurley is a third baseman and catcher for the Panthers.
Kenyon was 29-11 in 2015, and is bouncing back this year from consecutive losing seasons. Kenyon is a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference, which includes DePauw.