LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky track and field teams announced an initial 2014-15 signing class of eight to join the teams next season, on Thursday.
The initial group of signees is made up of seven women and a man.
The class has won a collective six state titles, and also boasts two junior college transfers that reached the NJCAA Championships.
A breakdown of each of UK’s first eight additions to the 2014-15 signing class is below.
Avery Bussjager – Walton High School – Marietta, Georgia
A decorated competitor as a prep, she was named 2013 Marietta Daily Journal Runner of the Year. She comes to UK as a two-time Georgia State Champion, having won the title in cross country in 2013, and in the 3,200m in 2014. She recently finished 14th at the Footlocker South Region Cross Country Championships. Bussjager owns a 3,200m personal best of 10:46.93 and a 5k best of 17:41.00.
Noah Castle – Wauseon High School – Wauseon, Ohio
Noah Castle is the fourth-best discus thrower in the nation for the class of 2015. He is the school record holder in the discus with a personal best of 189’1” (57.63m). He was conference, regional and district champion. Castle was also the state runner up in the discus for Ohio. Listed at 6-fot-6 and 245lbs, he was the starting tight end for his football team as well as in the starting lineup for his basketball team. Castle was a first-team all-state selection in football; two times first-team all-league in football and first-team all-district and all-league in basketball. He intends to major in business/economics.
Destiny Carter – Transfer – Iowa Central CC – Danville, Illinois
A sprinter and horizontal jumper with experience at the junior college national championship level. Carter qualified for the 2014 NJCAA Division I National Championships in the long jump, 100 meters, 200m and 4x100m. She finished second in the 200M prelims, but did not start the final. Carter made the final of the long jump at Nationals, placing seventh and she was part of the sixth-place team in the 4x100m relay. She owns a long jump personal best of 6m/19’8.25” and personal bests of 7.53 at 60m indoors, and a 100m best of 11.39 and a 200m best of 23.24.
Nicolette Gordon – Chattanooga Christian – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Nicolette is the defending Tennessee pole vault champion. She won all but one of the meets she competed in in 2014. She owns a pole vault personal best of 12’6” (3.8m).
Olivia Gruver – Baltimore, Maryland – Franklin HS
An accomplished pole-vaulter, having cleared 13 feet, and won at multiple high-level stages. She won the 2014 Maryland State Title indoors. Gurver was notably the 2014 Penn Relays pole vault champion having cleared a PR 12’3.5”. She also won the Baltimore County Championship in 2014.
Precious Hitchcock – Transfer – Coffeyville Community College – Cedar Shoals HS
An accomplished sprinter who joins UK having competed at the highest level in the junior college ranks. Hitchcock qualified for the NFCAA Division I National Championships last year, finishing third in the 4x100m relay, and also having made the final in the 4x400m relay. She owns a 100m personal best of 11:54, a 200m best of 23.63 and a 60m best of 7.67.
Devynn Miller – Fort Collins HS – Fort Collins, Colorado
An experienced runner having finished in the top 20 at NXN-Southwest three years in a row and having twice run at Nike Cross Country Nationals. Her team won the Colorado State championship in cross country this fall. She owns personal bests 10:53.96 for 3200m and 17:56.10 for 5k cross country. As a Colorado native, she also has extensive experience running at high altitude with times of 2:15.65 for 800m and 5:12.65 for 1600m in the thin air.
Samantha Staples – Crystal Lake Central - Crystal Lake, Illinois
A strong distance prospect, with experience at the highest levels of the prep ranks. Staples owns personal bests of 4:56.99 for the 1,600m, 10:46.28 for the 3,200m and 17:07.3 in the 3-mile cross country. She will join UK as a former USATF Youth Champion at both 1,500m and 3,200m, and as a former Illinois State Champion in cross country.