Local runners begin making college commitments

    Brian Shrader, who just added
a third consecutive 4A-II cross country title to his resume, announced
over the weekend that he has verbally committed to run for the
University of Oregon.  The Sinagua HS senior, who also owns five titles
in track and field, set a new course record of 15:15 in winning the
state title.
    Shrader is just the latest to make a decision on
his college career, but one of the more prominent. The signing period
isn’t until February.
    The website AZTrackXC.com also reports that Steve Magnuson
from Ironwood Ridge HS, who won the 5A-II state cross country
championship, has committed to the University of North Carolina, and Beanna Leslie
is reportedly headed to Azusa Pacific University.  Leslie, from Valley
Christian HS, is the 2009 state T&F champion in the 100 and 300
hurdles, the 200m, and the 4×400 relay.
    Flagstaff HS has placed three runners: Alex Baca to Scottsdale Community College, Ariel Mierendorf to Fort Lewis College, and Chloe Phillips to Mississippi State.  A couple of teammates from Saguaro HS have decided to continue running together, as Carolyn Brown and Loren Wynn
have committed to BringhamYoung University.  Brown won the 4A-I Desert
Sky Regional in the 800m and Wynn finished first in the same regional
competition, in the 3200m and 1600m.
    The University of Arizona has convinced a couple of local runners to stay in state, as Alexandra Myers from Sinagua HS and Cami Jackson from Mountain View HS have committed to the Wildcats. Hunter Gibson, the 2007 5A state high jump champion, is headed for the U.S. Naval Academy.