Six sign with WSC women's track and field
Wayne State track and field coach Marlon Brink announced the signings of six student-athletes to the Wildcat women’s track and field program for the 2018-19 season during the recent NCAA early signing period.
The list of recruits include Cassidy Connell of Holdrege, Alison Dykman from Fremont, Nicole Heeren of Allison, Iowa, Jordyn Pester from Charter Oak, Iowa, Andrea Torres of Wayne and Molli Vasa from Colon.
Connell is a thrower from Holdrege High School where she is a multi-sport standout in softball, basketball and track and field. Last year as a junior, Connell was the Class B runner-up in the shot put with a mark of 40 feet, 8 3/4 inches and also placed 10th in the discus (121-3) while helping her team to a second-place finish in Class B. She was also a Class B state qualifier in the shot put as a sophomore and excels in the classroom with Academic All-State honors.
“Cassidy fits the perfect mold of an athletic thrower,” said Brink. “She is very quick and explosive and we feel will only get better and knows how to compete well when it counts.”
Dykman is a high jumper from Archbishop Bergan High School in Fremont. She placed seventh as a sophomore in the Class C high jump, clearing 5-2, and was district champion that year. Dykman also holds the school record in the high jump with a top mark of 5-3 1/2.
“Alison has all the tools to be a very good high jumper,” remarked Brink. “With year-round training we can help her reach new levels in her jumping that will allow her to be very competitive in the NSIC. She is also a good student and has the desire to push herself at the college level.”
Heeren is a thrower from North Butler High School in Iowa where she is a five-year starter in softball, four years in track and field and basketball and three year starter in volleyball. Last spring as a junior, Heeren was the Iowa Class 1A state champion in the discus (123-6) and runner up in the shot put (40-4 1/2). She was also a state shot put qualifier as a sophomore. Heeren is an All Top of Iowa Conference East selection in softball, MVP and All-Conference in basketball and second-team All-Conference in volleyball.
“Nicole excels in all sports, which I think will make her an outstanding collegiate thrower,” stated Brink. “She is still improving her technique, so we believe she is only going to get better in college.”
Pester is a middle distance runner from Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto/Charter Oak-Ute High School in Iowa where she is a four-year letterwinner in track and field and two years in cross country. Pester was the Iowa Class 1A 400-meter state champion as a junior with a time of 56.97 seconds and ran legs on the state champion 1,600-meter relay and distance medley relay team as a junior. She also qualified for the state cross country meet as a junior and earned All-Western Valley Conference honors in cross country as a junior and senior.
“Jordyn is a great competitor that will make a big impact on our team immediately,” stated Brink. “She has had great success at the high school level and is equally outstanding in the classroom. I am very excited to see what she can do against NSIC competition.”
Torres is a distance runner from Wayne High School who has competed in cross country and track and field. This fall, Torres placed 12th for the Blue Devils at the Class C State Cross Country meet after placing 44th as a junior. She is a three-year state qualifier in cross country and has earned Academic All-State honors.
“Andrea has made big improvements and loves to run, which is one of the “must have” qualities of a good collegiate runner,” said Brink. “She is also an outstanding student, which fits the mold of what we are looking for in our young ladies competing for WSC.”
Vasa is a hurdler and middle distance runner from Wahoo Neumann High School where she is a multi-sport standout in softball and track and field. Last spring as a junior, Vasa medaled in three events at the Class B state track meet, placing fourth in the 300 meter hurdles (47.4) while also running legs on the sixth place 3,200-meter relay and eighth place 1,600-meter relay team. In softball, Vasa earned All-State honors as a junior and senior and helped Wahoo Neumann win the Class C state title this fall.
“Molli is a good all-around athlete and has good speed and technique, which will help her make a smooth transition to the 400 meter hurdles in college,” commented Brink. “Her foot speed will also make her an athlete that can be able to contribute to our relays as well.”