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 Beazley, 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. Beazley, 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 Quenee' Dale, daughter of Darcell and Antione Dale.
Here's what Saline High School girls' head coach Brian Boze has to say about his star runner:
Quenee' is a sprinter/hurdler specialist. As a junior, Quenee' accepted the challenge to compete in the 100m hurdles (her specialty) and the 100m dash at the state level. The difficulty here is that those two events are back to back in the meet order and is a very demanding task. She excelled, winning the 100m hurdles and finishing fifth in the 100m dash. Quenee' is the highest caliber track athlete we have ever had on the women's track team. She has competed on a national stage for many years, a true reflection of the countless hours of hard work and dedication she has put in to attain her success. Her abilities have helped to raise the level of competitiveness of our entire team. Quenee' can be a bit quiet in front of our large team, but when she speaks, EVERYONE listens. She's a great young woman.
Quenee' should make an immediate impact on the Big Ten level. She has world-class talent (She is the NATIONAL record holder in the 16-17 yr age group for the 100m hurdles) and once acclimated to the strength training and competitive demands of the sport, should be competing for All-American honors. We would not be out of bounds to say she has the ability to compete for an Olympic berth in 5-7 years.
Parents: Darcell and Antione Dale
College: Penn State University
High school events:100 hurdles, 100 dash, 4x100
Projected events in college: 60 hurdles, 60 dash, 100 hurdles, 100 dash
Why you chose Penn State: I chose Penn State because after taking my visits it just seemed I could be more myself there than anywhere else. I also chose it because of the many great athletes they have produced and the team national and Big Ten titles they have accomplished.
What the colleges told you about why they were interested in you: Many of the southern schools I was interested in told me they were interested in me because of how well I perform in the cold weather. All together each school told me they were mostly interested in me because I have a lot to work on and there is a lot of room for improvement.
What do you plan to study? I am currently deciding between sports management and athletic training, whatever I decide to study I plan on staying around the sport itself.
What are your career aspirations: I really hope to be able to go pro one day and run in the Olympics, and if not I plan on being a college coach and starting my own program and building from there.
What was the highlight of your SHS athletic career? Running the 4x1 at New Balance outdoor nationals and taking third place last summer was the highlight of my of SHS career. I've always competed on my own and traveled alone and never really had teammates to talk too while I was there and having a tight knit team really made such a big and incredible difference.
How do you think the SHS program prepared you for the next step? Coming from Lincoln to Romulus to Saline, Saline has definitely prepared me the most academically. It taught me to work hard in the class room as well as on the track. Having the team aspect has also prepared me beyond measures, teaching me you really cant do it all on your own and sometimes its okay to depend on someone when you cant do it all.
When did you realize you might be college material? I think winning states and winning my first national title as a freshman was when I realized I wanted to further my running career to the next level.
How do you feel about getting the chance to compete in college? Getting the chance to compete in college without the hassle of breaking my parents bank account is honestly an indescribable feeling. I am truly blessed to being able to go to the college of my choice and in return do what I love to do, run. I know competing in college is a whole different ball game but I'm ready to work even harder to fulfill my dreams.
Which person/coach do you credit most for helping you develop your skills/abilities, and why? With this year being my 10th year running I've had around six or seven different coaches. Each coach has brought something new to the table and has built me into the person I am today. I do have to credit Coach Q, and Coach Davis for seeing something in me when I was only seven years old and Coach Hall and Coach McCauley for never giving up on me when I wanted to give up on myself.
Relevant stats: 8.4 in the 60 hurdles, 13.8 in the 100 hurdles.
Relevant honors: 2x national champ, 2012 national record holder, 2x outdoor State champ 100 hurdles and 3x 4x1 State champ, 2013 indoor state champ, Second place in Puerto Rico for the USA team.
Academic honors: Honor roll all four years.