SFA Track & Field Announces Signing Class
July 3, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The 2013 Southland Conference Men's and Women's Indoor and Outdoor champion Stephen F. Austin track and field team signed 29 athletes to National Letters of Intent announced conference coach of the year Phil Olson Wednesday afternoon. The incoming class consists of 17 female athletes, and 12 men, and includes 13 distance and middle distance runners, eight sprinters and hurdlers, four throwers, two pole vaulters and two jumpers.
The Ladyjacks' 2013 class includes Taylor Anderson (Frisco, Texas), Taylor Bohr (Justin, Texas), Kayla Brewer (Centerville, Texas), Macy Davis (Wellington, Texas), Chelsea Gill (Waco, Texas), Taylor Glasz (Cibolo, Texas), Shelby Gresham (Garrison, Texas), Courtney High (Vanderbilt, Texas), Janae Jackson (Mesquite, Texas), Madeline Kaufman (McAllen, Texas), Bridgette Kozar (San Antonio, Texas), Samantha Ottman (Keller, Texas), Amber Reddic (Longview, Texas), Rana Ryan (Trophy Club, Texas), Kacie Tuerck (Temple, Texas), Jaisha Washington (Mansfield, Texas) and Tasia Williams (Irving, Texas). The 'Jacks' class consists of Anthony Gallardo (San Antonio, Texas), Nathan Jones (Longview, Texas), Jared Love (Longview, Texas), Quinlin McGregor (Amarillo, Texas), Edwin Munoz (Kaufman, Texas), Daven Murphree (Big Sandy, Texas), Jonathan Mitchell (Weatherford, Texas), Derek Orlando (Katy, Texas), Thomas Reynolds (Harleton, Texas), Cole Stallcup (Celina, Texas), Kaleb Vasquez (San Antonio, Texas) and Sam Wallace (Cinco Ranch, Texas).
"This is the deepest class we have signed in my 14 seasons at SFA," said Olson. "We have graduated many young men and women, so our needs are great in every area. The exciting thing is that we have signed some national-caliber athletes, especially Daven Murphree in the pole vault, who will represent the USA at the World Junior Championships in August. Additionally, we have a slew of state champions in all event areas. We will have a young team next year, but on paper at least we look very talented."
One of the strongest recruiting classes in program history, the incoming class boasts some pretty impressive numbers. The class consists of 14 individual state champions, nine team titles at the state meet, two high school All-Americans, two individual national championships and one junior national team member.
The Lumberjacks improved upon one of the top pole vaulting duos in the country. With 2013 All-American Colton Ross, and 2013 NCAA First Round qualifier Cameron Meyer having at least one year of eligibility remaining, the 'Jacks added even more punch with the addition of Daven Murphree, a two-time high school All-American.
One of the nation's top high school prospects in 2013, Murphree won three consecutive state championships at Harmony High School. He closed out his prep career being ranked No. 1 in the event during the indoor and outdoor season. The 2013 Texas Relays pole vault champion took the individual honors at the meet in Austin by clearing the second-highest high school mark in meet history (17-8.50).
Murphree still has an opportunity to bring in more honors during the 2013 season. The 2013 New Balance Indoor and Outdoor National Champion won the pole vault at the 2013 USA Junior Track and Field Championships and qualified to compete on the national team in the Pan American Junior Championships in August.
Kaufman's athletic talent was recognized at a very early age. A four-time team MVP, she qualified for the regional championships in four separate events all four seasons, and participated in five events at regionals as a sophomore and junior. She leaves Memorial High School as the best pole vaulter in school history (12-0.00), in addition to numerous meet records set during her career.
A state qualifier in 2012, Kaufman is a versatile athlete who could pay dividends for SFA in several events. She enters her collegiate career with personal records of 5-3.00 in the high jump, 17-4.25 in the long jump and 58.8 in the 400 meters.
Brewer is another member of the 2013 class that brings a résumé of winning to a program that has already posted 10-straight SLC team titles. Brewer advanced to the state championships all four seasons, and played a key role in helping guide Centerville to the 2010 state title.
A seven-time state medalist during her career, Brewer ended her senior season by earning runner-up honors in the long jump, and placing fourth in the 100 meters at state. She has recorded a personal best of 19-0.00 in the long jump, 5-4.00 in the high jump, and 12.19 in the 100 meters.
"This group of field event athletes is extremely talented," said jumps and multis coach Ron McCown. "Both Kayla and Madeline will be able to help the team in several events. Both young ladies are great students and have the desire to excel at the next level. Daven is an excellent student and an outstanding pole vaulter. He is a huge asset to this team. I am so pleased to have these three athletes in purple."
The SFA distance squad bolstered its ranks with its largest signing class in program history. Eight runners have been added to a Ladyjack squad, while five men join the 'Jacks roster. The incoming Ladyjacks will look to strengthen a distance squad that helped lead SFA to the Southland Conference Track and Field Triple Crown for the second time in the past three seasons in 2013.
"Overall, the class is the biggest ever and a lot of good talent from the state of Texas," said cross country/distance coach Cody Clark. "This class creates depth for the distance program, which doesn't include some very talented walk-ons that we hope to have join the team in the fall. I am ready to see what this class can produce in the coming years and I am super excited about the training group that we will have."
The incoming Ladyjacks are a talented class that leaves behind a paper trail of success from the prep ranks. The class of eight runners has seen numerous state qualifiers, three team state championships and two individual titles at the state level, led by Bridgette Kozar.
The Antonian College Prepartory product is a 2013 TAPPS State champion in the 3,200 meters, who guided her school to three team titles. She just missed adding another state title to her list of wins in the 1,600 meters finishing second overall. A versatile athlete, Kozar has competed in the distance and middle distance events, and also ran a leg of the 4x400-meter relay. An eight-time state qualifier, Kozar posted personal bests of 18:49 in the 5,000 meters, 11:21.34 in the 3,200 and 5:12.46 in the 1,600 meters.
Davis joins Kozar as another former 3,200-meter state champion, posting a personal best of 11:35.08 for Wellington High School. Davis is a seven-time state qualifier between cross country and track and field, who has the talent to compete in several different events. Her wide range of talent saw her compete at a high level from the 3,200 meters down to the 400, as well as running a leg of the 1,600-meter relay.
Ryan, a two-time district champion as a senior, is fairly new to the sport, but has a huge upside. Although her biggest success came on the track, where she posted personal records of 5:14 in the 1,600 meters, and 2:13.16 in the 800, she was still a weapon for her cross country team as well. Ryan advanced to the state championships in her final season and recorded an 18th-place finish in the fall.
High is a six-time state qualifier from Vanderbilt Industrial, where she was one of the state's top distance runners. A personal best of 11:29 in the 3,200 meters, High is a four-time state qualifier in cross country who closed out her high school career by advancing to the state championships in two events as a senior.
Ottman and Bohr come to Nacogdoches following successful high school stints at the 5A level. Ottman is a two-time cross country regional qualifier from a very tough district. She has personal records of 11:38.6 in the 3,200 meters and 5:16.5 in the 1,600 meters. Ottman also has some experience at the middle distances posting a personal record of 2:20.23 in the 800 meters.
Bohr arrives on the SFA campus from Justin Northwest High School. A two-time regional qualifier in cross country, Bohr has a tremendous upside. She has clocked a personal best time of 18:40 in the 5,000 meters, and 11:42 in the 3,200. Another Ladyjack signee with a wide range of talents, Bohr has also competed in the middle distances. She has recorded a time of 5:18 in the 1,600-meter run.
The SFA coaching staff will turn to Glasz and Anderson to be the future of the Ladyjacks' middle distance squad. The duo brings quality high school experience at the 800 meters and will also compete in the mile, as well as for a spot on the distance medley relay team.
A product from class 5A Byron Steele High School, Glasz has posted personal best times of 2:18.84 in the 800 meters, as well as a 5:24.75 in the 1,600 meters. Anderson is a three-time state qualifier in cross country, and brings a personal best of 2:19 in the 800 meters. Another versatile runner in the 2013 class, Anderson has also clocked a personal best of 11:55 in the 3,200 meters and an 18:52 in the 5,000 meters.
Similar to the Ladyjacks' incoming distance group, the Lumberjack distance signees also bring some strong credentials to the Piney Woods. The 'Jacks' distance class enters college having recorded seven individual titles and five team titles at the state meet.
McGregor is a three-time state champion who has experienced a high level of success on the track and in cross country. He posted one of the best seasons in Amarillo Highland Park history by winning the state triple crown. An eight-time state qualifier, McGregor won the 2A state cross country title, and followed that up by winning the 1,600 (4:18.90) and 3,200 (9:29.38) meters with personal best times.
Gallardo is a four-time TAPPS 5A state champion. He recorded his first two state championships as a junior winning the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, then closed out his high school career by repeating the double as a senior. His victories came in Antonian College Prepartory's run to four consecutive team titles. Gallardo has been clocked with personal bests of 4:31.21 in the 1,600 meters and 9:34.87 in the 3,200 meters.
A five-time state qualifier on the track, Munoz just missed adding two more individual state titles to the incoming class' overall tally. Munoz posted a runner-up finish in the 3,200 meters (9:19.84), and was third in the 1,600 (4:24.87) this past season. Munoz was a four-time state qualifier in cross country, where he posted a ninth-place finish at the state meet this past season. He helped guide Kaufman to a state title in cross country as a junior. Munoz will be counted on to compete in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at SFA, in addition to the steeplechase during the outdoor season.
Vasquez will have the ability to compete in a wide variety of events for SFA. A state qualifier in cross country, as well as the 800 meters in track, Vasquez finished eighth at the state meet in 800 meters as a senior. He has recorded best times of 1:57.08 in the 800, 4:25.05 in the 1,600, and 9:39.00 in the 3,200 meters.
Wallace is another middle distance runner with a lot of experience at the state meet. He is a two-time state qualifier in cross country, as well as taking back-to-back district titles in the 800 meters. A 2013 regional finalist in the 800 meters, Wallace's talents range from the 400 meters (49.20), to the 1,600-meter run (4:26). He has also recorded a personal best time of (1:53.90) in the 800 meters.
SFA strengthened its throws squad on both the men's and women's team with the addition of four throwers. The help couldn't come at a better time for the 'Jacks, as two-time national qualifier, and 2013 All-American Jon Arthur has exhausted his eligibility.
"This class fills some definite holes we had in the throwing events," said Olson. "Of course, you don't replace an All-American and multiple conference champ like Jon Arthur, you only hope to shore up your event group. We will have all underclassmen next year, with a total of 10 throwers. We will be young but very eager to learn and get better."
Reynolds comes to Nacogdoches after a very successful career in the prep ranks. A former state champion in the shot put, Reynolds brings a personal best of 59-6 in the event. A two-time district and regional champion, Reynolds closed out his high school career with a state runner-up finish in 2013.
Orlando is another strong shot putter from the prep ranks. A Katy, Texas native, Orlando comes to SFA with a personal best of 53-3 in the shot put. A two-time regional qualifier, Orlando has been a finalist at the regional meet in addition to winning the area and district title in the event. A standout in the classroom as well, Orlando comes to SFA as a member of the honors program. Along with Reynolds, he will focus on the shot put and hammer throw for the 'Jacks.
Gresham and Tuerck will join the Ladyjacks' throws roster. Similar to Reynolds for the men, Gresham is a former state champion from nearby Garrison High School. She garnered the state's highest honor in the discus this past season and enters college with a personal record of 134-10 in the event. A three-time discus state finalist, Gresham has also seen success on the state level in the shot put as well. She is a five-time state finalist and six-time district champion between the two events. The east Texas native will look to take on more of a workload in college adding the hammer throw to her repertoire.
A former state finalist in the shot put and discus, Tuerck brings a personal best of 42-1.25 in the shot put, and 122-2 in the discus to the Ladyjack roster. She closed out her high school career by finishing third in the shot at the state championships. She also advanced to the state finals in the discus as a junior. A six-time regional qualifier between the two events, the coaching staff will look to utilize Tuerck's talents in the shot, discus, and maybe the hammer or javelin as well.
The Lumberjacks added one of the state's top high jumpers in Mitchell. A Weatherford High School product, he enters his freshman year as a three-time regional qualifier in the event. A Texas Scholar, Mitchell also received a scholarship from the Texan Optimist of May.
SFA added five sprinters/hurdlers to the women's roster, and three to the men's, including three from the east Texas area. The three Longview sprinters are Love and Jones for the men, and Reddic for the Ladyjacks. Jackson is from Mesquite, while Williams is a product of Irving Nimitz High School. Gill comes to SFA from Waco La Vega High School, while Stallcup is a Celina native.
"This is a very talented women's group," said sprints and hurdles coach Sean Lonergan. "We love the athleticism and versatility of this group. These young ladies will add immediate depth to our roster.
"With the men, we've added a good deal of speed in Jared (Love) and Nathan (Jones). They were members of Longview's state finalist 400-meter relay team. I really like the competiveness and mental toughness of the tradition rich Celina and Longview athletes that we have coming in," added Lonergan.