FULTON, Ill.--There was nothing but smiles Friday morning at Fulton High School as senior Chloe Lindeman chose the University of Wisconsin hat from the table in front of her and shed her blue hoodie to sport a Wisconsin Badgers t-shirt.
That is, of course, all after signing her national letter of intent to continue her track and field career at the collegiate level.
Friday marked the signing day for the Steamer, who has accumulated accolade after accolade in what seems like a very short time. She is the current state title holder in the shot put--both indoors and outdoors.
It's something that's really been on her mind from the beginning of her athletic career. She claims she has evidence: Lindeman says if you can find her goal sheet from freshman year of high school it will state that one of her goals is participating in sports at the DI level.
"The first time I really thought about college athletics was in eighth grade," Lindeman said. "I actually went to a basketball camp at the University of Wisconsin. I stayed there and I got exposed to all of that then. I saw my career progress and kept in mind that I wanted to do Division I athletics."
Lindeman will join the Badgers as a thrower, focusing on shot put, discus and possibly adding javelin to her resume. Lindeman has been working on discus and shot put since her freshman year, continually improving in both.
Shot put is where she holds most of her prestige. She's participated at the Illinois High School State meets all three years so far, boasting both runner-up and state champion claims. She also has won the Hershey's Youth National Indoor Championship meet not once, but twice, also breaking the meet record. At the New Balance National Indoor meet, she threw a mark that earned her a third place finish. These are all huge accomplishments on a national stage.
She knew from an early age strength would be her niche.
"I kind of realized early on. My mom always said 'You don't know your own strength' and I've always been the tall kid, strong kid," Lindeman said.
Still, track wasn't on the forefront of her mind. She was always into athletics, though, and that led to trying out the throws.
"I got into strength because one of my best friends. She got me into throwing," Lindeman recalls. "Before that I was playing basketball, playing volleyball, playing all different sports. One day she asked why don't we do track. I looked at her and said I don't run. She ended up saying throwing, I think you'll really like it. I stuck with it. Once I hit high school, that's when I realized I really wanted to continue doing this."
She still has a whole prep indoor and outdoor season to go--which is extraordinary considering all she has accomplished already. With both Fulton, state and national accolades, it's time for her to tackle the Big 10.
That's why it was nothing but smiles for the thrower on Friday morning when she showed her decision to fellow athletes, friends, teachers, coaches and family.
And she will definitely talk to you about it. In fact, she'll talk to anyone. Lindeman has a glowing personality and infectious positivity to her that may seem a little out of place with the strength she puts behind her throws.
Sociability is one of the things that hooked her on the Badger's track and field program. She felt a connection with throws coach Dave Astrauskas and the coaching staff and thinks she'll be able to grow while there.
"What was really behind the decision was how much I got along with the coach," Lindeman said. "I like to talk, I'm a people person. When I first talked to him my sophomore year he was really interested in me. He liked the way I presented myself and really wanted to get better even without all the coaching. That's how I made my first connection and it's really just continued from there."