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WSC Track And Field Signs Three Recruits

Posted: 23 April, 2013

WAYNE - Wayne State College head track and field coach Marlon Brink announced today that Cassidy Tinsley-Hanika of Omaha, Tessa Ives from Verdigre and Jessica Pongratz of O’Neill have either signed letters of intent or committed to compete for the Wildcats and continue their track and field careers and attend Wayne State College in the 2013-14 academic year.  The three join Mary Alderson from Fremont Bergan (sprinter), Michael Dendinger of Coleridge (throws), Andrea DeSimone from Plattsmouth (distance), Emily Kaup of Stuart (mid-distance), Cristina Murillo of Bertrand (distance) and Aryn Smidt of West Point-Beemer (dstance) as members of the 2013 women’s track recruiting class.
                Cassidy Tinsley-Hanika is a four year letter winner in cross country and track and field at Burke High School in Omaha and will compete in both sports at Wayne State.  She is a three-time Class A State Cross Country qualifier and as a junior in 2012 ran a leg on Burke’s 4 x 800 meter relay team at State Track.  Tinsley-Hanika has also qualified for the Class A State Track Meet in the 1600 meter run.
                “Cassidy has had some success at the high school level and I think will be able to help strengthen our distance squad,” remarked Brink.  “I think her experience of competing at state will be a definite plus that she will bring to our team.”
                Tessa Ives is a multi-sport standout from Verdigre High School that will compete in the throws for the Wildcat track and field team.  She is a two-year state track qualifier in the discus and has earned All-Niobrara Valley Conference honors in volleyball and basketball.
                “Tessa is a very good all-around athlete that I think can become a good discus/hammer throw at WSC,” said Brink.  “She will be a good addition to our throwers and should benefit with having some experienced throwers to train with.”
                Jessica Pongratz is from O’Neill St. Mary’s High School and will compete in throws at Wayne State.  She is a three year Class D State Track qualifier in the shot put and a two year state qualifier in the discus, medaling at state once in each event.  Pongratz was fifth last spring in the Class D shot put and in 2011 as a sophomore finished fifth in the Class D discus.  She also excels in volleyball and basketball, earning Class D-1 Omaha World Herald Second Team All-State honors as a senior and helped O’Neill St. Mary’s to a runner-up finish in basketball this spring with a 24-3 record.
                “Jessica has potential to become a very good collegiate thrower,” commented Brink.  “She has the size, strength and explosiveness that we look for and she has experience as a state meet qualifier.  I think Jessica will be a big surprise to some people when they see what she can do in our program.”        
                Wayne State College is an NCAA Division II school located in Wayne, Nebraska and competes in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

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