Kansas inks 10 athletes during early signing period
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Interim head coach Carrie Cook-Callen and her staff searched near and far to find the next class of Jayhawks and during the early signing period inked 10 athletes from five different states to National Letters of Intent (NLI) last week.
The 2018 signing class includes Even Bail (Overland Park, Kan.), Hannah Gregg (Kansas City, Mo.), Kinsey Hagedorn (Glencoe, Ill.), Miranda Horn (Chesterfield, Mo.), Margo Hunter (Overland Park, Kan.), Addie Kershner (La Crosse, Kan.), SaVannah Serven (Bushnell, Ill.), Sarah Schulz (Eureka, Mo.), Hailey Smith (Liberty, Mo.) and Lillian Thomas (Dayton, Ohio).
“This group of fall signees is a great start to filling out our 2018 recruiting class,” Cook-Callen said. “The assistant coaches have done a really good job of finding women who possess the qualities we are looking for athletically and in terms of the future of Kansas rowing.”
Bail lettered in basketball and tennis at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas. She qualified for the tennis state tournament her junior and senior year, placing ninth in doubles and taking third place as a team both years. Bail plans to major in mass communications during her time at Kansas.
“Evan is a strong and very talented multi-sport athlete who has had a key role in several programs’ success,” assistant coach Rachelle Pauly said. “She leads by example with hard work, determination and positivity.”
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Gregg is a three-sport athlete, competing in swimming, softball and track & field at Staley High School. Gregg has numerous conference and state championships under her belt, including 2015 Missouri Class 4 State Softball Champions and a third-place finish in the 2017 Missouri Class 4 State Softball Tournament. In 2017, Gregg helped the Falcons win the conference girls’ track & field championship and led SHS to three conference swimming championships. Individually, Gregg has received all-conference and all-district honors for discus and was on the all-conference swimming team from 2015 to 2017. Gregg plans to major in biology with plans of becoming a dermatologist.
“Hannah Gregg brings a competitive edge to the 2018 novice class,” assistant coach Kelsey Arnold said. “She always strives to be the best she can at everything she does, whether it’s in the classroom, on the field, or becoming the best version of herself.”
Hagedorn prepped at New Tier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and lettered in volleyball, soccer and powerlifting. She was also a member of the New Tier Rowing Club. Hagendorn was part of the Second Varsity Eight boats that won the 2017 Midwest Scholastic and Scholastic Nationals. Hagendorn won the Silver Oar Award from her rowing club last month and as of March 2017 she is also the Natural Athlete Strength Association powerlifting national champion. During her time at Kansas, Hagendorn plans to major in biology.
“Kinsey Hagedorn has great work ethic on and off the water,” Arnold said. “She strives each day to do the best she can and improve herself to benefit the entire team. Kinsey carries a quiet confidence in her abilities as a rower and we look forward to being a part of her journey as she continues to learn and grow in the sport.”
A native of Chesterfield, Missouri, Horn prepped at Parkway Central High School lettering in basketball and volleyball. During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 basketball season, Horn received Honorable Mention All-Conference. Horn also competed for the St. Louis Rowing Club. Horn plans to major in journalism – news and information to pursue a career in sports journalism.
“Miranda Horn brings natural leadership and the potential to become a top rower in our program,” said Arnold. “She has the ability to bring her teammates together through team-bonding experiences and will contribute to our positive team culture.”
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Hunter has won two track & field letters up until her senior year at Shawnee Mission South High School. Along with track & field, she has also been a member of the Kansas City Rowing Club. Hunter is also very involved with academic associations such as National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. Hunter will major in elementary education with a focus in English as a second language.
“Margo is passionate, determined and brings rowing experience to the signing class of 2018,” Pauly said. “We are excited to see what Margo can accomplish at the collegiate level.”
A Kansas native, Kershner is a four-sport athlete out of La Crosse High School. Kershner helped La Crosse to a volleyball sub-state championship three years in a row and finished fourth during the 2015 state tournament. During the 2016 season, Kershner was a part of the La Crosse volleyball team that set the school record for most wins in a single season (34).
As a senior, Kershner led the team in digs and serving percentage. Kershner helped the La Crosse basketball team to 2014 sub-state champions and led the team in rebounds her junior year. Along with volleyball and basketball state appearances, Kershner placed third in the 2014-15 regionals for golf and placed fourth at state as a team. Kershner will major in chemistry to pursue a career in medicine and radiology.
“Addie is a tough multi-sport athlete that has that farm kid, hard-working mindset,” Pauly said. “She is athletic, aggressive and very enthusiastic. It will be exciting to watch her develop into a rower.”
Serven is a three-sport athlete at Bushnell Prairie City High School in Bushnell, Illinois, having competed in volleyball, basketball and track & field. Serven won the 2014-15 Basketball Freshman of the Year award and is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year having received the award the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season. Serven was selected to the United Invitational All-Tournament Team for three straight years from 2015 to 2017 and earned Prairieland Conference Volleyball Honorable Mention after her senior season. During the track & field season, Serven competes in discus and shot put. Once at KU, Serven plans to major in biology in hopes of going to medical school to become a plastic surgeon or forensic pathologists.
“SaVannah is a well-rounded athlete as a result of her multi-sport background and has several qualities that give her the potential to become a great rower in our program,” Arnold said.
A native of Eureka, Missouri, Schulz lettered in swimming and volleyball at Eureka High School. In 2015, Schultz was awarded the 100 percent honors by swimming and earned the Wildcat Spirit Award at the end of the volleyball season. Outside of her high school swimming and volleyball, Schultz also rowed for the St. Louis Rowing Club. Schultz plans to major in sport management once at KU.
“Sarah Schultz is a dedicated and driven athlete who brings rowing experience to the 2018 novice class,” Arnold said. “Sarah understands the importance of putting her teammates first and carrying out an enthusiastic and positive attitude in everything she does.”
Smith comes to Kansas from Liberty, Missouri. Smith was a standout on the soccer field, having been named to the all-district and all-conference honorable mention lists during her time at Liberty High School. Smith was also on the all-district and all-conference second team for her excellence as a defender and was named captain of the high school team her senior year. Once arriving in Lawrence next fall, Smith plans to pursue a major in secondary education.
“Hailey has been in the captain role for her soccer team, setting an example with her great work ethic and competitive spirit,” said Pauly. “She thrives in a competitive atmosphere.”
Thomas lettered in tennis and rowing at Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, Ohio. Thomas placed second in the women’s youth 4x at the Head of the Hooch in both 2016 and 2017. During the 2016 season, Thomas was awarded Most Improved Rower and has since captained her team in 2017. Thomas will major in pre-medicine and works toward her goal of becoming a neonatologist.
“Lillian brings previous rowing experience but is also a true student of the sport by continuing to ask purposeful questions to better herself,” said Arnold. “She also brings infectious positive energy and excitement everywhere she goes.”
The 2018 signing class will join the Jayhawks during the 2018-19 season next fall.
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