After Magnificat High School athletic director Paul Barlow recognized the students donning hats and shirts showing off their soon-to-be college homes, it was time to sign.
Of the 11 athletes at the high school’s signing day Friday, eight signed with NCAA Division I schools, two signed with NCAA Division II schools (Elizabeth Ward, volleyball, Seton Hill University; Emily Elliott, lacrosse, Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and one signed with an NCAA Division III school (Brenna Varga, basketball, Baldwin Wallace).
“It’s a great testament to their ability to find a place that’s right to them,” Barlow said of the wide selection of schools. “Whether it’s a Division I level or a Division III level, it’s somewhere that they’re comfortable, somewhere that they feel they can contribute and where they’re going to be able to succeed. With or without the athletic piece of it.”
Leading the way for the Blue Streaks were Ailish Chambers (track) and Christin Baumbick (soccer) who signed with the University of Notre Dame and the Ohio State University, respectively.
With her senior season already over, Baumbick said she’s glad to finally know where she’s going so she can focus on enjoying the rest of her senior year. She said the culture of Ohio State set the Buckeyes apart from other schools she was looking at including Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee.
For Chambers, with her senior track season still to come, having her choice made will make that final season much easier. The only other school she took an official visit to was the University of Pennsylvania.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Notre Dame; it was my top school,” Chambers said. “As soon as they offered me a spot on the team it was a no-brainer. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I can focus on results rather than what I have to do next year.”
The other athletes that signed were Elizabeth Bebie (soccer, Saint Bonaventure University), Katie Butler (gymnastics, Eastern Michigan University), Caroline Kucia (volleyball, Cleveland State University), Alexis Moore (rowing, University of Rhode Island), Antonia Trickett (lacrosse, Akron University) and Olivia Rondini (tennis, Bryant University).
“It was such an overwhelming process and it’s nice to have it off my back,” Rondini said. “This last year was really amazing. It was very stressful because I didn’t know where I was going but every time I went to a tournament I tried to tell myself, ‘It’s fine, you don’t need to know right this second.’ It was very fun going through this process.”
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