Next stop for the Hawkeye 10 Conference 800-meter champ: Sioux City.
Creston senior Taylor Hudson signed a National Letter of Intent Friday to run on the track and field team at Morningside College, an NAIA institution in Sioux City.
A classmate, Briar Evans, signed an LOI last week to play football for the Mustangs, where a former Creston player is already a member of the team.
Hudson’s versatility — she has run the 1,500 and ran the 400-meter distance on state-qualifying relays for Creston — is a key factor in her recruitment, according to Morningside head coach David Nash.
“We’re just excited to have Taylor, not just for her work ethic, but also her versatility,” said Nash, one of the most successful middle distance runners in Morningside history. “There are so many more events in college. We’re excited to see where she might fit in.”
“She’d be good in the 800 and she could be a good 1,500 runner,” said her high school coach, Clay Arnold. “I used her a lot in the 400s. But she’s a half-miler. That’s her specialty. She’s already the conference champion and she’s really focused this year.”
Hudson said her college decision came pretty easily.
“You go around and visit schools, and walk around campus, and you just know what feels right to you,” said Hudson, who also considered Central College and Northwest Missouri State University.
“I went up last weekend and watched them run,” Hudson said Friday. “They all get along and push each other. There’s a great coaching staff and the team is really close. It has a family feel like we have here. It felt like home.”
Hudson plans a double major in chemistry and medical laboratory science.
Hudson is a member of the Creston school-record 4 x 800 relay along with Emily Wignall, Katlin Briley and Audrey Bolinger last year in 9:54.34.
At last year’s state meet, Hudson ran a 1:03.27 split on the fourth-place 4 x 400 relay, after running a 1:02.81 split in the prelims, anchored the 10th place medley relay in an 800 split of 2:25.06 and finished 19th in the 800 meters in 2:27.09.
In the Hawkeye 10 meet at Clarinda, she won the 800 meters in 2:27.91 and ran a 1:02.72 lap on the second-place 4 x 400 relay unit.
She also ran at state as a sophomore as anchor on the 15th-place medley relay in a time of 2:31.
“Taylor has been working hard all winter,” Arnold said. “She went out for cross country (in addition to volleyball) in the fall to prepare for this track season. Taylor has some big goals for this year.”
Also signing with the Morningside track and field team on Friday was Corning standout Tiffany Shepherd, who joins older sister Tabitha, a senior team captain on the Morningside team this year.
Shepherd will compete in cross country and track and field for the Mustangs.
She is a four-time state qualifier in cross country and has reached the state track and field meet in each of her first three seasons for the Red Raiders.
“Tiffany has been an important part of the success and growth of the running programs here at Corning,” head cross country coach Sandy Winter said. “I believe she will see many successes throughout her collegiate career.”