The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

March 22, 2013

Wessels finds right fit

FULTON, Ill. — Unity Christian senior Erin Wessels made school history two years ago.

She did it again Thursday and will do it for a third time today.

In 2011, Wessels and Callie Willoughby, who was then a senior, became the first Unity athletes to advance to the Illinois state track meet. Today, Wessels will become the first Knight to compete at the state indoor track meet.

On Thursday, Wessels signed a letter of intent to continue her athletic career in college, a first for the school, according to administrative assistant Barb Wright.

“It's excellent,” Unity principal and former track coach Chris Pluister said.

Wessels will join the track team at Trinity Christian College next year.

“Trinity is my dad's college; that's where he graduated from,” Wessels said. “There's such a great sense of community there. They're a great christian college. So I know when I go there, I'll be able to grow in my faith, as well as pursuing a profession that I want to do the rest of my life.”

Attending a Christian college was one of the main priorities for Wessels.

“My faith is really important to me,” she said. “I wanted to continue to grow in it.”

Trinity coach Bob Brickman seemed pretty happy with his end of the bargain, too.

“She's a really good jumper and sprinter,” Brickman said. “That definitely fit a need on our team. … I know she's a good fit for Trinity Christian College in what we're looking for as an individual on top of her track talent.”

Wessels, who was a key contributor for Unity in volleyball and basketball, said she was looking forward to the specialization that occurs in college.

“I'm really excited to see what it's like training year-round,” she said. “In high school, you do volleyball. You do basketball, all those different things. I think by focusing on one sport year-round, I'll be able to improve a lot more and improve with my teammates and build a great team bond.”

Pluister and Brickman both think she’ll do well at the next level.

“She's got the right work ethic,” Pluister said. “She still has room to improve. She hasn't nearly peaked.”

Brickman said: “I think she has a lot of upside. I see her being a big contributor for us over the next four years.”

Wessels, who said she plans to major in business communications and possibly minor in Spanish, will be joining a successful program.

“I don't know how many years in a row it's been, but we're always top-three in the conference,” Brickman said. “We try to stay there. If we can keep signing more individuals like Erin, we should move up in those rankings.”

But first she has an appearance to make a state indoor meet. She’s ranked 10th in the triple jump.

“I'm really excited to have the opportunity to go,” Wessels said. “Before when we were just Unity — and weren't co-oping with Fulton — we didn't have any indoor meets, so I didn't have the opportunity. It's great to be able to. It should be fun. It will be a good experience to compete with other athletes who have a passion for track like I do.”

Then she was one more season at the high school level before taking the next step.

“For this last season, I really want to, first of all, work on my triple jump,” Wessels said. “It's a new event I just picked up last year, so I'm really excited to have more time practicing that. I got injured last year long jumping, so I want to get back in the swing of that. I always want to improve my sprinting times. There's a lot of goals and I'm aiming toward outdoor state in May.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 4-16-14 1B-Photo, Robinson Kings' Robinson trying to keep up with himself CLINTON -- Deshond Robinson knew he was fast, but he didn't know how fast he had become since winning the open 400-meter dash at the Iowa high school state meet last spring. Earlier in his high school career, Robinson was pretty reluctant about comp

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DeWitt heats up on cold night CLINTON -- Following the meet last Tuesday night in Camanche, Central DeWitt coach Eric Olson huddled his girls track team around the finish line after a lukewarm performance. He called out his team for not being aggressive and not having that desire

    April 16, 2014

  • Fillies blank the Boilermakers MORRISON, Ill -- Lauren Rice didn't allow a hit and struck out 13 Kewanee batters Tuesday as Morrison defeated the Boilermakers 12-0 in Three Rivers Conference softball. Rice got plenty of offensive support. The Fillies recorded 13 hits. Shannon Finn

    April 16, 2014

  • LumberKings blanked, 2-0 DAYTON, Ohio -- Limited to seven singles, the Clinton LumberKings were shut out by Dayton 2-0 on Tuesday night in Midwest League baseball. The loss was the LumberKings' third straight, while the Dragons picked up their sixth straight win in front of

    April 16, 2014

  • Clinton defeats West DAVENPORT -- Competing without its No. 2 player wasn't enough to stop Clinton's boys tennis team Tuesday. The River Kings defeated Davenport West 6-3, winning four singles matches and two in doubles. Evan Hood, Cyrus Colah, Sameer Ansari and Connor N

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16-14 2B-Photo, Fulton Relays Steamers win on home track FULTON, Ill. -- A couple of minor setbacks didn't really bother Bryce Holesinger at all Tuesday evening. The big picture was bright for Holesinger and his teammates on the Fulton/Fulton Unity boys track team. Not only did the Steamers win their third

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kings, Rebels 2nd at DeWitt DEWITT -- Clinton claimed second place in the Class A division and Northeast took second in Class B on Tuesday at the Saber Invitational boys track and field meet at Central DeWitt High School. The River Kings finished with 92 points, two ahead of Ma

    April 16, 2014

  • Grand View sweeps Ashford aside CLINTON - Grand View took advantage of Ashford's inability to bring runners home Tuesday, beating the Saints 6-4 and 8-0 in a non-conference college baseball doubleheader at Ashford University Field. The Ashford offense recorded 18 hits on the aftern

    April 16, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Wildcats aren't champs but we're all still watching Calipari

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is a college basketball phenom for his ability to knit together championship-caliber teams of freshmen. How long will Calipari's success last as other coaches catch on?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-15-14 13-Photo, Masters Bubba more than local hero? AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He plays a sexy game of golf, owns two green jackets and -- in what constitutes a show of major respect in these parts --Bubba Watson made rabid Georgia Bulldog fans take a break from spring football to watch some golf this weekend. A

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

High School Sports