Ashland University head men's and women's cross country coach Tom Scott has announced the addition of 18 freshmen as the program's 2017-18 recruiting class.
"Coach (Jacob) Sussman and I couldn't be more excited about this incoming class next year," Scott said. "They are all extremely talented, but more importantly, they are all great kids. They are all kids that are going to be a joy to have around and truly want to help our cross country and track and field teams be the best that we can be. The next four years are going to be a very exciting time for AU cross country and track and field."
Information on each newcomer follows. All quotes are from Scott.
Cody Blum, Teays Valley – Blum has personal records of 10:19 in the 3,200 meters and 16:30 in the 5K. His major will be Actuarial Sciences. "Cody had a very successful senior cross country season, qualifying to the regional championships. He will be an immediate contributor in cross country this year."
Cody Booth, Indian Valley – Booth comes to Ashland with a PR of 16:08 in the 5K. "Cody is our most recent incoming freshman to commit. He is going to be huge contributor in cross country. He is a great all-around kid and loves the sport of running. He wants to be the best, and I'm so happy that he will be joining us this fall."
Lexi Butterbaugh, Amanda-Clearcreek – Butterbaugh's top 800-meter time as a prepster was 2:24. She will major in Biology. "Lexi comes to us as a multi-sport athlete, playing goalkeeper on her high school soccer team and running track in the spring. She qualified for the regional championships in the 800 meters this season."
Danny Friebel, Shelby – Friebel posted high school PRs of 1:54 in the 800, 4:28 in the 1,600 and 16:59 in the 5K. "Danny is going to be a great leader coming in. He is hard-working, talented and determined. He has taken huge chunks of time off his 800 this year, and placed ninth at the D-II state championships this year in the 800 meters."
Jake Hall, Maplewood – Hall's top prep times were 1:55 in the 800, 4:27 in the 1,600 and 16:18 in the 5K. "Jake is an amazing athlete. He runs both cross country and track, and plays basketball in the winter. Jake has placed fourth at the high school state meet in the 800, both his sophomore and junior years. His 4x800 relay team placed second at the D-III state championships this year, and he individually placed fourth in the 800 run this year."
Connor Ingram, Gahanna Lincoln – Ingram, who will be a Political Science major, has high school PRs of 1:58 in the 800 and 16:23 in the 5K. "Connor will be another great addition to our incoming class, and come in and be an immediate contributor in cross country. He will be joining the Ashbrook program here, as well. Connor qualified to the regional championships in the 4x800 relay this year."
Ian Johnson, Beavercreek – Johnson's top times in high school were 1:54 in the 800 and 16:58 in the 5K. "Ian is another kid who has been on fire this outdoor track season. He is going to be another great middle-distance runner, and is poised to be a great contributor in the years to come. Ian placed sixth at the D-I state championships in the 800 run, and was also part of a ninth-placed 4x800 relay."
Paul Lang, Johnstown-Monroe – In his prep career, Lang's top times were 51.68 in the 400 and 2:01 in the 800. "Paul is another incoming freshman who focused on the 400 in high school. He will make the transition of using his food speed, too, in combination with some endurance to become an 800-meter runner here."
Justin Mackey, Triway – Mackey ran a PR of 1:56 in the 800 in high school. "Justin is another very talented multi-sport athlete that will be joining us this fall. In high school, he spent his falls playing football, and ran track in the spring. His junior year, he ran 1:56 in the 800 at the D-II state track and field championships, and placed sixth."
Maureen McKeown, Wooster – McKeown, who will be an Early Childhood Education major, had prep PRs of 5:25 in the 1,600 and 20:03 in the 5K. "I have known Maureen for a couple of years now, as she has participated in our cross country camp the past couple of years, and she embodies what AU cross country and track and field is all about. Hard work, dedication, and she will do anything to help not only herself, but her teammates reach their potential. She was a member of Wooster 4x800 team that qualified to the regional championships."
Tracy Morgan, Wooster – Another former General, Morgan's top times in high school were 12:17 in the 3,200 and 20:20 in the 5K. "Tracy will be another amazing personality to have on the team. She is extremely smart and has a ton of potential, both on the track and in cross country. She was a member of the Wooster 4x800 team that qualified to the district championships."
Nathaniel Redden, Plymouth – Redden, whose major will be Computer Science, had high school PRs of 4:36 in the 1,600, 10:06 in the 3,200 and 16:52 in the 5K. "Nathaniel was the first kid from Plymouth High School to qualify to the state championships in cross country since 1988. He is an extremely hard worker, and also qualified to the regional championships in the 3,200 run."
Nicholas Reimund, Walsh Jesuit – Reimund has posted PRs in high school of 1:59 in the 800 and 16:57 in the 5K. "Nick is a kid who truly wants to be the best that he can be, and is really passionate about the sport of cross country and track and field. Nick has a bright future here at AU, and we can't wait to begin working with him."
Raechal Schoenberger, Watkins Memorial – An Environmental Science major, Schoenberger turned in prep PRs of 2:19 in the 800, 5:10 in the 1,600 and 19:24 in the 5K. "Raechal signed early for us and ran a personal best at the districts championships of 5:10 in the mile, qualifying to the regional championships. Her strengths are the middle-distance events, but she will also be a great contributor in cross country as well."
Sammy Shockey, Twin Valley – Shockey's PRs in high school were 49.7 seconds in the 400 and 1:59 in the 800. "Sammy has a ton of potential coming in, because his running age is low. He spent his falls in high school playing football and runs track in the spring. He has improved a lot this spring and has a ton of natural foot speed. He is part of his 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams that qualified to the state championships."
Warrick Stanford, Reynoldsburg – A Nursing major, Stanford's top prep times were 51.07 seconds in the 400 and 2:00 in the 800. "Warrick has a ton of natural foot speed, and is focused on the 400 and the 800 run. He qualified to the regional championships in the 400, the 4x800 and the 4x400."
Cody Tripp, Teays Valley – Tripp, an Exercise Science major, had prep PRs of 1:56 in the 800, 4:26 in the 1,600 and 16:50 in the 5K. "Cody is another very talented middle-distance runner that will be joining us. He is an individual that will do anything to help his teammates improve, and truly wants to be the best he can be. Cody qualified to the regional championships this year in the 800 run."
Makayla Wagner, Oak Harbor – Wagner's top high school efforts were 2:26 in the 800 and 19:38 in the 5K. "Makayla saw huge improvements her senior year in cross country, running a lifetime personal best by over a minute. She qualified to the regional championships in cross country, and was a member of the Oak Harbor 4x800 team and 4x400 team that qualified to the regional championships."