WAUSAU — Two local high school athletes signed national letters of intent with NCAA Division I programs Wednesday.
Mosinee’s Bailey Schultz made her commitment to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay softball program official and Wausau West’s Alyssa Faucett did the same with the University of Minnesota track program hours later.
Faucett, who set the Warriors’ girls program record in the 200 meters last spring, said the opportunity to run in college has been her goal since at least her freshman year.
“I think I have always been working for (the opportunity). It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to achieve and a goal that I’ve wanted to reach,” the West senior said.
Schultz shared a similar thought, and showed her emotions as the moment became a reality during a short signing ceremony at Mosinee High School Wednesday morning. It was a dream Schultz said she has had dating back to her elementary days.
“I really wanted to go Division I for basketball (initially), but that changed, obviously,” said Schultz, an outfielder with the Mosinee softball team. “Just to sign Division I, that has always been my dream.”
Schultz is a three-sport athlete at Mosinee and was a first-team selection on the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association all-state team and an honorable mention pick on the Associated Press all-state girls basketball squad as a junior.
Schultz played with the Stevens Point-based Fire Pro 18U softball team this summer, which attracted more college interest. UWGB was among the first programs that expressed interest in Schultz, and she also made an official visit to the University of Minnesota.
“I felt Green Bay was the best fit for me,” Schultz said. “The coach (Beth Spoehr) really believed in me and that’s what really pulled me in toward the campus and the university. It was the coach and the program and where she is headed with it I think is going to be remarkable.”
Faucett said Minnesota was a “dream school” for her.
“I’m not sure why. I have never been there, never seen it before now. But it always has been somewhere that I have wanted to go,”
The West sprinter/jumper took an official visit to the Minnesota campus this fall and also had received interest from South Dakota State University, Illinois State, Winona State and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
“(Running in) the Big Ten has always been a dream,” Faucett said of her decision. “There is no way anything else can compare to the Big Ten feeling.”
Faucett is the second West athlete to run for the Gophers women’s track team within the past five years. Wausau West graduate Jessica Waldvogel just completed her senior season with the Gophers last spring in which she was part of a NCAA national outdoor championship meet relay for the second straight year.
Faucett said she has never met Waldvogel but that the former West standout has been an inspiration to her.
“Ever since I was a freshman I’ve kind of looked up to her and wanted to reach the goals that she had set. I’ve kind of set her as the level that I’ve wanted to achieve,” Faucett said.