Eleven Belle Plaine High School seniors are moving on to continue their athletic and academic careers at the college level this fall.
Activities Director John Bergs hosted a symbolic signing day ceremony on Wednesday, April 28, at the high school gym to honor these students and their achievements.
Many students had already signed with their university athletic programs, but Wednesday was an opportunity for parents and coaches to recognize this next step.
“Every student up here does not just excel in their field of competition but in the classroom as well,” said Bergs.
He noted that the accomplishments are especially impressive after many students lost full spring seasons last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Four students will run cross country or track at the college level, two will play basketball, two will play softball, one will continue with baseball, one with dance, and one with golf.
Track and Field and Cross-Country
Jordyn Williams will compete in cross-country and track at the University of Sioux Falls next year.
Throughout her high school cross-country career, she was both a three-time state participant and a three-time All-Conference athlete. In addition, Williams lettered five times. In track, she was named All-Conference three times and was a six-time letter winner.
Ari Koepp will compete in the track triple jump at Concordia University in Chicago next year.
“I have been jumping as long as I can remember thanks to my dad (who jumped also under Coach Foust),” she said. “It has become a passion of mine and also something I really enjoy.”
She is a five-time letter winner and two-year captain. Koepp placed third at the 2019 conference meet in triple jump during her sophomore year.
In addition, she won Girls Team Conference titles in 2017 (number 13), 2018 (number 14), and 2019 (number 15). She also received an All-State Academic Award in 2019.
Savanna DeYoung will run cross-country and track at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, next year.
She has been involved in cross-country since seventh grade and started running varsity as a freshman in high school. She ran at the cross-country state competition three times, not including this past season where she would have qualified had there been a tournament.
DeYoung lettered four times in cross-country and three times in track. She was named an All-Conference athlete twice for track and twice for cross-country throughout her high school athletic career. DeYoung also earned Academic All-State honors once in cross-country and twice in track.
Lizzy Schmidt will go on to run track at Augustana. She is a two-time Belle Plaine captain who lettered six years.
She was named All-Conference, All-State, and All-State Academic four times. She plans to study nursing in college.
She earned the following Girls Team titles: 2016 (7th grade) - 8th in 4x800, 8th in 4x400 at state; 2017 (8th grade) - 4th in 400, 2nd in 4x200 at state; 2018 (9th grade) - 6th in 400, 6th in 4x400, 5th in 4x800 at state; 2019 (10th grade) - 3rd in 4x400 at state.
Lauren Johnson will continue her basketball career at Bethel University next year. Johnson was a team captain who has five varsity letters and has been named an All-Conference athlete three times.
She also earned All-State honorable mention twice. Johnson is the fourth all-time leading scorer and single game points scored leader at 39. She is a two-time Minnesota River Conference champion.
Sarah Lenz will play on the girls basketball team at the University of Jamestown next year.
Lenz said she has been playing basketball for as long as she can remember. She started her career as a seventh grader on the C-squad and moved up to play as a varsity starter by the time she was an eighth grader.
Lenz is a three-year captain, four-time All-Conference athlete, and five-year varsity letter winner. She was named the Minnesota River Conference Player of the Year twice. This year she earned All-State honorable mention and was selected to play in the State All-Star game, where she helped lead her team to victory.
Brooke McGlinchey will continue her softball career at North Central University in Minneapolis. She has been recognized numerous times as an incredibly valuable teammate and lettered in softball three times.
Lauren Water will go on to play softball at Culver Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. She is a four-year letter-winner and has played softball since she was 8-years-old. She played at the club level for the last six years.
Daisy Vinkemeier will attend Augsburg University in Minneapolis to play girls golf.
She started playing golf at just 4-years-old and played junior golf from kindergarten through sixth grade. By the time she was a seventh grader, she was playing on the varsity level.
During summer breaks, she played in the competitive Minnesota Junior PGA against athletes from the entire State of Minnesota.
She was named All-Conference honorable mention her freshman and sophomore years and lettered in golf every year since seventh grade.
Jaelyn Borresen committed to dancing at St. Cloud State University this fall. Borresen was a three-time varsity High Kick and Jazz captain, two-time MRC All-Conference and Minnesota All-State Dance Team athlete, and one-time MSHSL State Dance Team participant.
She earned five varsity High Kick and Jazz letters and participated in Miss Dance Team Minnesota her senior year.
Joey Burgemeister will continue his baseball career at Dakota State University in Madison SD.
He played on the varsity team since he was a freshman and was named All-Conference honorable mention as a sophomore.