Three members of the Blue Springs High School track and field team signed national letters of intent Friday morning in the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

Three members of the Blue Springs High School track and field team signed national letters of intent Friday morning in the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

Jordan Dodd and Ryan Podjenski will attend Northwest Missouri State University, where Dodd will run track and field and Podjenski will compete for the Bearcats’ cross country and track teams.

Ariane Jordan signed with Prairie View A&M University, a Division I school near Houston, Texas.

“This is our third signing of the 2009-10 school year, and we have had 34 student-athletes sign letters of intent with academic institutions,” Blue Springs activities director Tom Round said. “Days like this are always special – for our school, the kids, their respective teams and coaches and the members of their family.”

Jordan said she is excited to continue her track career with the Texas power.

“Although I am not on the Blue Springs track team, I am working hard and training with my Kansas City High Performance team,” Jordan said. “I’m working as hard as if I was competing at the high school level and I’m really looking forward to the challenges at Prairie View A&M.”

Podjenski reached one of his personal goals Friday – and hopes to continue progress toward another in Saturday’s Class 4 sectional at Blue Springs South High School.

“I had two goals – getting a college scholarship and earning a medal at state,” said Podjenski, who will run the 1,600 at sectionals. “It felt so good today to sign my letter with my family there and a lot of my friends in the auditorium.

“I’m

excited

about running track and cross country at Northwest Missouri State. The coaches really seemed like they wanted me to be a member of their team.”

Podjenski went to state as a junior but did not medal.

“I have to finish in the top four (to advance to state) at sectionals, and I am confident I can do that,” Podjenski said. “Then, I’m going to work hard to get that state medal. So far, my hard work has paid off because I got this scholarship.”

Dodd, who will compete in the 300-meter hurdles, the 200 and the 1,600 relay in Saturday’s sectional, said Friday was a special day for many reasons.

“You’ve written a lot about all the injuries I have had over the past two years, and it’s so great that the coaches at Northwest Missouri State would take a chance on me, when I never really had the chance to prove myself until this year,” said Dodd, who was the Golden Shoe winner – given to the athlete who scores the most points – at the Suburban Big Seven Championships conference meet.

“I always knew I could have a season like this if I could stay healthy, and this year has been amazing – even better than I could dream about.”

Dodd received high praise from Wildcats track coach Joe Cusack.

“Jordan represents everything that is good about our sport,” Cusack said. “Not only are the people at our school excited about his performances this year, but I’ll notice other coaches stopping what they are doing at meets to watch and support Jordan.

“He is a great talent and he has such strong character. And he’s not finished yet – he has two more weeks (as a member of the Wildcats track team).”

Five cheerleaders also signed letters to cheer at the collegiate level. They were Jennipher Cromley and Shelby Fletcher, Avila; Kenzie Fei, Lindenwood; Leya Hertel, Missouri Southern; and Mackenzie Patchin, Northwest Missouri State.