WACO, Texas – Baylor head track and field coach Todd Harbour announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Thursday.
We are extremely excited to welcome this group of young men and women to the Baylor family,” Harbour said. “We are currently a very young team, and this group we are signing is a special and very select one. They all come from great programs and represent everything we are looking for in a student-athlete. They will join a great group already on campus and will help us continue on the tradition of excellence.”
The class features five women and two men, including three Texas athletes and the other four from Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan and Missouri. The women's class is made up of three distance runners, a high jumper and a multi-events athlete.
The women’s athletes have won a combined 18 state titles, including three-time cross country champions in Celia Holmes and Mazie Larsen and the Michigan state cross country champion in Kayla Windemuller. Meanwhile, multi/high jump performer Alyssa Miller was crowned the AAU heptathlon champion last season.
Meanwhile the men’s group features a pole vaulter and a middle-distance runner. KC Lightfoot captured the pole vault state championship at Lee’s Summit, Mo. while Jake Merrell is a state champion in three different middle and long-distance events.
For the latest news on the Baylor track & field team, follow its official social media accounts: @BaylorTrack.
FULL LIST OF WOMEN’S SIGNEES
Celia Holmes | Waco, Texas | Live Oak HS | Distance
Boasts personal best of 5:06.69 in the 1,600 meters and 11:05.17 in the 3,200 meters…11-time TAPPS 2A state champion…Secured three straight TAPPS cross country titles from 2015-17…Is a three-time state champion in 1,600m and 3,200m…Also won state title twice in 800 meters.
Coach Todd Harbour Quote: “It has been a great privilege to watch Celia develop into one of the all-time top distance runners in Central Texas. We are blessed that she has decided to stay close to home and continue her education and running career with us. Together with Mazie and Kayla these three young ladies will be a part of some outstanding teams in the very near future. I am excited to watch Celia continue to develop over the next few years.”
Mazie Larsen | Gretna, Neb. | Gretna HS | Distance
Owns personal-best times of 5:01.54 in the 1,600 meters and 11:14 in 3,200 meters…Three-time Class B Nebraska state champion in cross country…Class B state champion in the 3,200 meters last season…Six-time medalist in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
Coach Todd Harbour Quote: “We are extremely excited to welcome Mazie to the Baylor family. She is one of the top middle-distance runners in Nebraska and comes from a very strong running family and program. Mazie just finished winning her third-straight cross country title. She will add some much needed depth to our women’s distance group.”
Moorea Long | Paola, Kan. | Paola HS | High Jump
Three-time Kansas 4A state medalist and a two-time regional and league champ in high jump…Helped Paola HS girls team to its 13th consecutive regional and league titles…Silver medalist at the USATF MVA Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships with a jump of 5-5.
Coach Stacey Smith Quote: “I’m very excited to add Moorea to the jumps crew. She’s a talented young lady who will bring more depth to our women’s high jump. Very grateful that she has decided to join our Baylor family and be a part of a great track and field program.”
Alyssa Miller | McKinney, Texas | McKinney Boyd HS | Multi/High Jump
Boasts personal best of 5-10 in high jump, 18-9.5 in long jump and 14.07 in the 100-meter hurdles…Crowned AAU heptathlon champion last season…Is the Texas Relays high jump runner-up with a height of 5-9…State medalist in the 100-meter hurdles last season.
Coach Jeff Chakouian Quote: “Alyssa is a one of the best overall athletes in the state of Texas. She is a rare athlete who has achieved a lot of success already but still has a lot of potential. Through the recruiting process we realized she is a great fit for our program on and off the field. We are really excited to welcome Alyssa to the Baylor family.”
Kayla Windemuller | Hamilton, Mich. | Holland Christian School | Distance
Owns personal bests of 2:15.01 in the 800 meters, 4:52.6 in the 1,600 meters, 10:19 in the 3.200 meters and 17:05.88 in the 5,000 meters…Fastest 3,200 time by a Baylor recruit to date…2016 Michigan state cross country champion…Also a two-time state champion in the 1,600m and 3,200m events…Placed third at New Balance Nationals in the 5,000m event.
Coach Todd Harbour Quote: “Kayla is one of the top female distance runners in the Midwest and will be a tremendous blessing to our program. The very first conversation I had with her I knew that she was an outstanding fit for our program. She comes from a great program and we eagerly await her joining us next year.”
FULL LIST OF MEN’S SIGNEES
KC Lightfoot | Lee’s Summit, Mo. | Lee’s Summit HS | Pole Vault
Owns personal best 17-8.5 in pole vault…Class 5 Missouri state champion…Earned All-America nods at New Balance National Outdoors last season…Medalist at the USA Junior Championships with a height of 16-10.75…Had a runner-up finish at the New Balance National Indoors with a height of 17-1…Also a Great Southwest class champion.
Coach Brandon Richards Quote: "I am very proud and excited about KC joining the Baylor pole vault team. He is a class act, a great athlete and a fierce competitor with huge potential. Being one of the top ranked high school pole vaulters in the nation, I expect KC will be a top contender in the Big 12 and nationally his freshman year. A great addition to the Baylor family!"
Jake Merrell | Quitaque, Texas | Turkey Valley HS | Middle Distance
Boasts personal-best time of 1:51.56 in the 800 meters and 4:13.0 in the 1,600 meters…Is a three-time state champion in the 800m…Also a two-time champion in the 1,600m…Won three 1A track state titles in 800m, 1,600m, 3,200m last season…Was the first Texan to accomplish those three state titles at the UIL level.
Coach Todd Harbour Quote: “Jake Merrell is one of the top middle-distance prospects to come out of the State of Texas in some time. He is an all-around athlete excelling in all four major sports in high school. We are excited to see what he will be able to do when he is just able to focus on his primary sport. We are so very excited to welcome Jake to the Baylor family. He already has his eyes set on a couple of our oldest school records, and we are going to do all we can to help him achieve his goals.”
© 2018 KCEN-TV