OSU Has First Track Signings

April 15, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State, which is reinstating its women's cross country and track and field teams this coming fall, has announced the first two signings for the program. Kaitlin Poggi (Gladstone, Ore./Gladstone HS) and Noelle Harer (Seaside, Ore./Seaside HS) will be part of the program when it begins competing, OSU head coach Kelly Sullivan announced Thursday.

'This is a milestone in re-establishing running at Oregon State University,' Sullivan said. 'We're really excited that these are both in-state athletes and that we're establishing a connection in the state of Oregon - one of our major goals has been to do that. And both of these athletes are coming from very successful programs within the state. Both Gladstone and Seaside have great tradition - they've had kids go on and do well at the college level over the years.

'For (Gladstone coaches) Joan Kintz and Tim Marshall and (Seaside coach) Neil Branson to be real supportive of our program right out of the blocks is a great step.'

Poggi placed fourth in the Class 3A state cross country championships last fall and was third in the state in the 3,000 meters during her junior track season. Poggi has run track all four years at Gladstone but did not concentrate on cross country until she was a junior.

This winter, Poggi was named the Tri-Valley League Player of the Year in girls basketball and was an all-state second-team selection. She also played soccer as a freshman and sophomore, earning all-league honors.

'I like Kaitlin because of her athleticism and her upside as a runner,' Sullivan said. 'She's very athletic, and some of the best collegiate distance and middle-distance runners over the years have been those who have shown overall athletic talents and competed at a high level in other sports like soccer, basketball, swimming ...

'There's no question that Kaitlin is an all-around athlete and someone who, in the future, when she's focusing on running for the first time, could be a real diamond in the rough; she's also a 4.0 student.'

Harer placed 13th in last fall's Class 3A cross country state championships. In the 2003 track and field state meet, she was seventh in the 800 meters and was on the second-place team in the 1,600 relay. She also earned All-Cowapa League honors in soccer and played basketball for four years.

'Noelle is a raw young talent who is just now going to begin focusing on running versus doing a variety of sports in high school,' Sullivan said. 'I lover her potential and her leg speed. We will see her as an 800-meter/1,500-meter runner over time, and she also has a 3.7 GPA.'

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