Rachel Ho and Brandon Colonis have been swimming together almost from the day they first got in the pool.
When they made their college decisions, they joked whether they could still even be friends.
On Wednesday afternoon, the West Lafayette seniors sat side by side on the pool deck to sign their national letters of intent, one draped in Purdue black and gold and the other wearing a red tie and a white Indiana University baseball cap.
Colonis chose Indiana over Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa.
“The team there, I went on my visit and I felt like that is where I wanted to be,” said Colonis, who will study informatics. “They’re just so motivated together and they are going to do good things because with teamwork, you can accomplish anything.”
For Ho, the decision was easy. There’s a long line of family members who have gone to Purdue. Ho will join Central Catholic’s Jacob Thomas as incoming Boilermakers next year. Thomas will sign his letter of intent on Thursday.
“Purdue has been in my family for many generations,” said Ho, who plans to study general biology. “My parents went to Purdue, many generations of my family have gone to Purdue. It’s always been a part of my childhood. Getting the opportunity, I saw it was only fitting that I would continue on here in West Lafayette.”
Thomas was the Zionsville Sectional champion in the 100 backstroke last season and the 200 individual medley, in which he placed 14th at the IHSAA state finals. Colonis was the sectional champ in the 100 butterfly and finished sixth in the state.
Ho was Zionsville Sectional runner-up in the backstroke and fourth in the IM as a junior.
Decision day for Central Catholic catcher Evan Kennedy came in September, when the Knights’ catcher verbally committed to Purdue.
Wednesday came the celebration, with family and friends gathered at the school to watch Kennedy sign his letter of intent.
“It’s a celebration, yeah, but it’s a motivation to keep the hard work going and keep striving to reach the best I can be and striving to make the team I play for the best it can be,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy joins a Purdue program that already lists five players with area roots on its 2013 roster.
A three-year starter, Kennedy helped Central Catholic extend its streak of Class A state championships to five. As a junior he batted .300 with 32 runs, 12 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
McCutcheon outfielder Logan Sowers will sign with Indiana on Thursday. As a junior he batted .318 with 28 runs, five home runs, 18 RBIs and 11 stolen bases with a .978 fielding percentage.
Clinton Central’s Jeff Scott signed with Coastal Carolina on Wednesday morning. The Bulldogs’ team MVP, the versatile Scott batted .420 with 29 runs, 31 RBIs and 19 walks and also went 8-3 on the mound with an 0.84 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 662⁄3innings.
Coach Dave Shondell’s Boilermaker team made a big splash on signing day, receiving letters of intent from four top-50 recruits.
Ben Davis senior middle blocker Danielle Cuttino, ranked as the No. 10 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com, highlights a class that also includes outside hitters Christina Ambrose (No. 20, Orlando, Fla.) and Azariah Stahl (No. 21, Elkhart Central) and setter/outside hitter Lydia Dimke (No. 50, Ham Lake, Minn.).
“I am really, really excited about this class,” Shondell said. “It is a class that will really continue our momentum into the future. It’s certainly too early to tell if it is the most elite class we’ve ever had here, but on the surface it has the makings of something really, really special.”