Four seniors on the Saline High School girls track and field team, which placed second in the state last year, have committed to continue their academic and athletic pursuits at NCAA Division 1 colleges. On Feb. 13, family, friends and coaches gathered as Alexa Ross, Kennedy Beasley, Elianna Shwayder and Quenee' Dale participated in a ceremonial college signing ceremony in front of the athletics office at Saline High School. Ross, a sprinter, has committed to Miami of Ohio. Beasley, a distance runner, will compete at Michigan State University. Shwayder, also a distance and cross country runner, will continue at Harvard University. Dale, a hurdler and sprinter, has committed to Penn State.
Today we feature Alexa Ross, daughter of Blake and Debbie Ross.
Saline High School girls track and field head coach Brian Boze on Alexa:
Alexa is a long-sprint specialist (200m and 400m) who is able to run all three sprint relays. This year she has also been voted a captain by her peers, signifying their respect for her and her leadership abilities. With a 130 girls, being elected a captain is truly an honor. Alexa has embraced all facets of the program- hard work on the track, off-season commitment to fitness and strength, academic success and being a great teammate. Her legacy will be twofold: her accomplishments on the track and her commitment to being a great track athlete and a great teammate.
Alexa is just now growing into her abilities. At the MAC level, she will continue to be a 200/400 specialist who should easily excel into an All-Mac performer. She has high standards and is the type of athlete that likes to work--all good ingredients for success. Academically, Alexa will succeed and be a tremendous asset within the community she eventually settles into to begin her post-collegiate career.
College: Miami University (Ohio)
High school events: 200 meters, 400 meters, 4x100 Relay, 4x200 Relay, 4x400 Relay
Projected events in college: 200 meters, 400 meters, 4x200 Relay, 4x400 Relay
Why you chose your college: I chose Miami University because it was the best fit for me both academically and athletically. The balance they offer really resonated with me, along with the coach and the other girls from the team. I fell in love with the campus from the moment I stepped foot in Oxford, Ohio, and I just knew that it would be a good fit.
What the colleges told you about why they were interested in you: At Miami, the coaches really prioritized the idea of building teamwork, and establishing a positive relationship among the girls on the team. The coaches also stressed the idea of being a student-athlete and being able to find balance. The coaches felt I demonstrated these qualities throughout my high school career.
What do you plan to study? I intended to major in kinesiology and French while at Miami University.
What are your career aspirations? My first goal will be to graduate with a kinesiology degree, and from there I am considering physical therapy, sports medicine related careers or even becoming a physician’s assistant.
What was the highlight of your SHS athletic career? One of the many highlights for me in my high school track career was competing at the New Balance Outdoor National meet last season. I also am very proud to serve as a captain for this upcoming season.
How do you think the SHS program prepared you for the next step? Saline High School’s program has always prioritized academics over athletics. The emphasis on academics has pushed me to do my best in all aspects of my life. I plan to continue to leverage these leanings at Miami.
When did you realize you might be college material? I have always had a desire to continue my running at the collegiate level. To answer the question, I did not really know I was college material until I started receiving recruitment letters last year.
How do you feel about getting the chance to compete in college? I am extremely excited I will have a chance to compete in Division 1.
Which person/coach do you credit most for helping you develops your skills/abilities, and why? Two coaches come to mind when answering this question. The first is Coach Juan Lauchu who began mentoring me during my freshmen year. Coach Lauchu has been my strength and nutrition coach for the past four years. He has taught me to recognize the importance of stress management and mental toughness required both on the track and in the classroom. The second person I would like to credit is Coach Brian Boze who has spent countless hours training the sprinters, and teaching me the finer details of what it takes to be a great runner. I cannot imagine the runner I would be today if I did not have their dedication and commitment. Thank you Coach Lauchu and Coach Boze for all you have done!
Track Stats: 200 meters- 25.3 seconds; 400 meters- 58.8; 4x100 meters- 48.35; 4x200 meters- 1:45.08;
Track Honors: State Champion in 4x100 meter; Regional Runner Up in 200 meter;; SEC Champion in the 200 meter; SEC Champion in the 4x200; Regional Champion in the 4x200; Regional Champion in the 4x100; 3rd place in the 4x100 at New Balance Outdoor Nationals (Emerging Elite); Captain of the Track Team for the 2014 season.
Academic Honors: Honor Roll- 4 consecutive years; Member of the Saline National Honor Society; French Award (2012); Dual Enrolled at Eastern Michigan University for French.
Other extra curricular activities: French Club member; Link Crew Leader; National honor Society member