2013 College Signings: Why They Chose Their Schools

College signings are always interesting to see, but everybody wonders why one athlete chose one schol and why another athlete chose a different school.  Inside you will find out why certain athletes chose the school that they did in their own words. 


Let OHRunners know where you will be competing in college by sending an email to jimfindlay1@gmail.com.  Be sure to include your name, your high school, your college choice and your specialty or specialties (such as distance, XC, sprints, hurdles, pole vault, high jump, horizontal jumps, or throws).  If you signed a National Letter of Intent, please include a picture of you signing or at the very least, a picture of you wearing gear form your chosen school.


Ohio's Class of 2013 College Signings article series.


See the Full Ohio Signing List on our Signings Page - this list will be updated continuously updates as more information becomes available.


See the Full National Signing List - this will also be continuously updated as more information becomes available.



Sam Wharton on why he chose Stanford University

     Stanford was the obvious choice for me. I wanted a college with great academics and a great running program. Stanford definitely has both of those, and as an additional bonus, it is far away and at this age, it’s a great opportunity to spread my wings a bit and explore. I felt extremely comfortable around both Coach Milt and the guys on the team. They gelled really well together and I could see myself hanging out and becoming good friends with a lot of these guys. Also, one thing I considered was if something did happen (knock on wood) and I wasn’t able to continue my running career, Stanford is a great atmosphere that I would be comfortable in regardless. Plus, we have one of the best, if not the best, recruiting classes in the nation, so we will definitely be in the hunt for national championships.


Hannah Hartzell on why she chose Butler University

     I am really excited to continue my education and athletic career, next year, at Butler University. When choosing a college, I knew that I wanted a small school feel that wasn't too far from home. I also wanted a school with a priority on academics (I'm going into Communication Exploratory Studies) and a strong up-and-coming distance running program.
     When I visited Butler University, I saw just that. I could see myself there. I became a little less nervous about the transition to college, because-- for the first time-- I was genuinely excited! I was very impressed with the coaching staff's philosophy and the team atmosphere, which is so important because these are the people I will be so close with over the next four years. I immediately could see how friendly and welcoming the team was as well! I'm looking forward to growing as a student, an athlete and an individual. The Butler University distance program is rising in the national ranks and becoming a force to be reckoned with, and I can't wait to be a part of that.


Lamar Hargrove on why he chose Tiffin University

     After speaking with staff at Tiffin on unofficial and official visits, I fell in love and everything spoke to me. What spoke loudest to me was the professional staff, the beautiful campus, class sizes, and the overall hospitality of the university. I feel that Tiffin University will make a great impact on my life and will become a great asset to me.
     Tiffin makes me feel welcome and at home just like Cincinnati, Ohio. Tiffin is a small university, with small class setting. In this university I will not be left behind and I am for sure about that.  Also with having my degree, I will be able to go further in life and it will open doors for me.  
     Although studies are very important, so is running track. Running track for Tiffin is another goal I must accomplish. Knowing what I want out of life, I set the standard high for track and academics. I know with setting high standards comes hard work to become a champion in all that I do. I’m willing to put in the work that it takes every day to become and remain successful.


DeVanae Mitchell on why she chose the University of Toledo

     Senior year is the year of decisions that will affect you for the next four years in college and beyond.  During this time I had the opportunity to talk with different coaches all with different personalities who wanted me to be a part of their track program next year. I knew I was going to have a hard decision to make but in the end I chose to take my talents to the University of Toledo.
     Coach Campbell welcomed me with open arms when I went on my first visit there. I got to meet majority of the track team and even saw a few familiar faces. In making my final decision I wanted to feel safe, comfortable, and most importantly have my gifts and talents grow and flourish.



Davonta Beckham on why he chose Indiana Tech

     There where plenty of reasons why I chose Indiana Tech. A huge factor that ultimately made my decision was the team. The team atmosphere was like a family. They all pushed each other very hard and encouraged each other. That is the type of team I wanted to surround myself with. The coaching staff was great from the head coach down to the assistant coaches and trainers. They were well rounded and damanded excellence out of their athletes. Before I wrap it up, the campus was also very nice! I feel like I will have a great education, a great time and a great track and field career while at Indiana Tech.


Sammie Zishka on why she chose the University of Iowa

     I chose the University of Iowa because it was the best fit academically and athletically. Academically, Iowa is very well known for its medicine programs. I am planning on studying physical therapy, so I feel very confident I will receive a fantastic education at the university.
     From a running standpoint, I was looking for a place that is noted for developing distance runners to their full potential. With some research, I found out Iowa does just that. Coach Anderson is very committed to the team and he has had success in the past. I am honored to be a part of the program next year. I like his coaching style and the team's chemistry. Iowa has all the tools any runner would need to become a strong, successful athlete. It offers great facilities and has awesome places to train in and around Iowa City. I am so excited to start my collegiate career at the University of Iowa.


Sam Prakel on why he chose the University of Oregon

     There was not just one deciding factor that made me pick Oregon. Many aspects combined to make the University of Oregon the right fit for me. First and foremost, I believe that I can achieve what I want to achieve both academically and athletically at Oregon. Their exclusive honors college was appealing to me and will provide the right balance between running and school. Furthermore, I meshed well with the coaching staff and think that they can help me rise to my potential as a runner. Finally, the support in Eugene and at the University for track and field is unbeatable. I’m glad to be a duck!



Lauren Francis on why she chose Xavier University

     Cross Country and Track have been a big part of my high school years. I love to run and enjoy the friendships you make with your teammates and competitors alike. As cross country came to an end this year, I knew I would not be able to give up running competitively and decided to start taking a closer look at running in college. I wanted to choose a university that would help me grow academically, spiritually, and athletically. I felt Xavier University would help me succeed in all of those areas.  After visiting their campus for a second time, I knew that's where I belonged. I enjoyed the small, close knit Catholic University and all that it has to offer!



Zach Humrischouser on why he chose Ashland University

     Making a college choice for me was one of the more easier things to accomplish my senior year. I have always wanted to attend Ashland University since I was in elementary school. Ashland offers a great education program, which I will be majoring in, and the cross country and track teams are competing on the national stage every season. Coach Mack puts together a unique program and it felt like a family when I made my visits over the past year. Also, I have become great friends with fellow recruits that are going to Ashland for running along with the current guys there. Not to mention the food there is amazing. I feel Ashland will help me grow in the classroom, athletically, and spiritually. I am excited for the next four years at Ashland University!


Sydney Leiher on why she chose Syracuse University

     I chose to continue my education at Syracuse University because it was the perfect fit for me athletically and academically. I also knew I wanted to go away to college and experience something different so that was a determining factor as well. When I went on my official visit everyone was really down to earth and you could tell that the overall vibe on the team was fun. 

     Syracuse currently has a really young team so the progression of the program over the next few years is going to be exciting! Academically Syracuse has one of the best sports management schools in the nation which is exactly what I want to major in. I am looking forward to my next 4 to 5 years at Syracuse! GO CUSE!!!


Dylan Dyke on why he chose the Ohio State University

     Probably one of the biggest reasons that I chose Ohio State over all the others was just how everyone at the school made me feel.  The coaches, the throwers, and even the people that I had never met before just made me feel at home.  As soon as they started showing me around campus I just fell in love with it.  Don’t get me wrong; when I went out to Washington, over to Indiana, and up to Michigan, I liked them all.  I couldn’t find one bad thing to say about any of them, and on top of that I knew that with an OSU degree I would not have a hard time finding a job after college.
     Once I heard that Ross Richardson was the coach at Ohio State I started asking the guys about him and they had nothing but good things to say about him.  They kept bragging about him and saying that not only was he making them stronger but that he was making them into better athletes and I thought that being stronger would help me throw farther but being more of an athlete would help me way more than just being super strong.

Therese Haiss on why she chose the University of Oregon


     I chose the University of Oregon because I have dreamed of being a student athlete there ever since I realized running would be a part of my collegiate career. I never believed I would be good enough for such a phenominal program but when I visited the school I understood that no other university could provide me with as much room to grow as UO will. I also enjoyed the environment, specifically all the trees. I believe there are 500 varieties of trees on campus. More importantly I really love the team and the coaching staff. They are humble and a lot of fun and I am so excited to be able to call myself a duck.


Maryn Lowry on why she chose the Iowa State University


     I chose Iowa State University because I really liked the coaches and the team and, while being pretty far from home, I felt very comfortable there. I was looking for a school that had a strong biological sciences program and ISU offers that as well as a pre physicians assistant program. I liked the size of it and how it was a large university, but in a smaller town and with a great community feel to it. Iowa State is known for developing athletes, and talking with the girls on the team they said how their mileage was gradually increased and they responded really well to it and have improved drastically since high school. My coach Bill Valenzano has planned all my training since I was a freshman, and when I asked the coaches about what their training schedule is like, it really corresponded to what Coach Valenzano has been having me do. I had a great feeling when I visited and just knew it was where I was going to end up.