Mount Vernon runner Jasmine Hill wanted a college that saw its athletes improve each season.
Studying up on Duke’s program, Hill became certain that this was the kind of school where she could reach her potential. After taking her official visit in late November, Hill committed to the Blue Devils’ track and field program, where she’ll run sprints next year.
“I loved the unity and pride that Duke has,” Hill said. “The name pretty much established a lot already, and I really enjoyed my visit. It made my decision really easy.”
As a junior, Hill concluded last season with a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter dash at the Virginia state outdoor track and field championships.
Duke associate head coach Shawn Wilbourn handled Hill’s recruitment, with Hill doing her research to see how runners have fared under his tutelage.
Wilbourn “has a lot of athletes that have done a lot since he’s been at Duke,” Hill said. “Most of the athletes have improved since coming to Duke. That’s something I looked for in a program, a lot of progression in the athletes.”
Hill chose Duke over Wake Forest and Vanderbilt.
Duke’s freshman class this season earned a No. 3 overall ranking according to Track & Field News magazine, and Hill said she’s hoping next year’s group garners the same kind of recognition.
“I want to be a part of that and hopefully be a part of a strong freshman class for Duke,” Hill said.
Christen joining Alcorta at North Carolina
Caroline Alcorta, the 2013 All-Met cross-country female athlete of the year, will have a familiar face joining her at the University of North Carolina next season.
Lake Braddock’s Hannah Christen recently committed to become a Tar Heel and will room with Alcorta during their freshman season. Christen chose North Carolina over Georgetown, Virginia and Penn State.
“It was where I felt most comfortable,” Christen said. “It’s where I want to be. It’s even better that I get to be with Caroline since we raced against each other for four years.”
Christen was the Virginia 6A runner-up (17 minutes 52 seconds) and placed 21st at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (18:08) in San Diego this past Saturday.
Alcorta said she’s glad that Christen will be on the same squad next year as opposed to the two continuing to compete against each other.
“It stinks to race against her because she’s such a nice girl,” Alcorta said. “I’m excited to compete with her as a teammate.”
Mackenzie Haight chooses William & Mary
After placing 34th at the Foot Locker national race (16:07), Marshall runner Mackenzie Haight will continue distance running at William & Mary next season.
Haight said the school was not on his radar initially until the coaches called to recruit him. After visiting, he likened the coaches and runners to family.
“I trust the coaches and felt comfortable at the school,” Haight said. “It’s important to feel comfortable when making that decision.”
Angell to Harvard, Weaverling to Virginia
Washington-Lee’s Sarah Angell is the second runner in the metro area to commit to Harvard’s track team.
Angell, who finished fifth at the Virginia 6A state championship (18:18), will join Edison and All-Met boys’ athlete of the year Louis Colson as future Crimson runners.
Poolesville’s Chase Weaverling has committed to Virginia after considering American, Villanova, Pennsylvania and Brown.
Weaverling won the 2013 Maryland 2A cross-country state tile in Westminster, Md., with a time of 15:42.