May 23, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Fifteen high school seniors, including ten from the state of Washington, have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Washington State University and compete for the Cougar Track & Field team, Head Coach Rick Sloan announced Friday. Ten of the recruits are distance runners.
The signees, their events and hometowns are: Brandon Brownell, decathlete, Olympia, Wash.; Geoff Casazza, distance, Reno, Nev.; Christopher Concha, distance, Reno, Nev.; Grace Coulter, distance, Bellingham, Wash.; Karen DeMartini, distance, Reno, Nev.; Kaylee Gardner, triple/long jumper, Bellingham, Wash.; Alex Grant, distance, Bellingham, Wash.; Andrew Jones, distance, Gillette, Wyo.; Barry Leavitt, hurdles, Benton City, Wash.; Kayle Peterson, distance, Port Orchard, Wash.; Brandi Probasco-Canda, 400m, Portland, Ore.; Kelly Ramirez, distance, Duvall, Wash.; Natalie Smith, distance, Bellingham, Wash.; Katie Troy, middle distance, Bellevue, Wash.; Kameko Wilson, 400m, Spanaway, Wash.
Andrew Jones, from Campbell County High in Gillette, Wyo., placed third in the 2002 Foot Locker Western Regional Cross Country Race and 17th in the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Cougar distance coach Jason Drake attended Campbell County High.
Geoff Casazza attends Galena High in Reno, and was the 2002 Nevada state champion in the 3200m.
Chris Concha and Karen DeMartini come to WSU from Reno High, also home to Cougars Danny Wolf (distance) and Hilary Smith (steeplechase). The Reno High girls' team won the state 4A track championship this year while the boy's team finished second. Concha was the 2002 Nevada state 1600m champion but was injured most of the 2003 season. DeMartini finished third in both the 800m and 1600m at the 2003 state meet.
Grace Coulter and Natalie Smith were members of the Sehome High state 3A cross country championship team. Coulter finished ninth and Smith 12th at the state harriers meet.
Alex Grant is another Sehome High product joining the Cougars. Grant was the 2002 state 3A boys cross country champion and has clocked a speedy 9:17 in the 3200m this spring.
Kayle Peterson, placed seventh in the 2002 state 4A cross country meet for South Kitsap High and this spring has run the 1600 in 5:10 and the 3200 in 11:13.
Kelly Ramirez, from Cedarcrest High, finished sixth in the 1600m at the 2002 state 3A track meet and has run a time of 5:08 this spring and has experience in the steeplechase. Last fall she placed eighth at the state 3A cross country championships.
Katie Troy, from Bellevue High, finished tenth at the 2002 state 3A cross country championships.
"I expect all of these recruits to have an immediate impact on cross country team next fall," Drake said.
Brandon Brownell is a decathlete at Yelm High School who is currently the state leader in the long jump with leap of 23-0. Brownell's 14.80 time in the high hurdles and 38.53 time in the intermediate hurdles are among the top three times in the state this spring. He also runs on the top-ranked 4x100m relay team.
Kaylee Gardner, from Bellingham High, won the triple jump at the 2002 state 3A meet, and placed fourth in the long jump. Her top long jump leap was 18-5 (2002) and she has triple jumped 38-8 3/4 this year.
Barry Leavitt attends Kiona-Benton High and is the current state leader (all classifications) in the high hurdles with a time of 14.20 and third in the state in the intermediate hurdles at 38.52. As a junior, Leavitt was the state 2A high hurdles champion and placed second in state in the intermediates.
Brandi Probasco-Canda attends Benson Poly Technical High in Portland and has clocked the sixth-fastest 400m time in the state of Oregon (54.64) when she won the state title last year. This year she has run in the Nike Indoor Championships and at the Arcadia Invite.
Kameko Wilson is a senior at Bethel High and the winner of the girls' 400m dash at the 2002 state 4A meet with a time of 56.64 seconds.
"We're pleased with the recruiting class that we have been able to secure to this point but we still have athletic scholarships available and our recruiting is on-going through the state meets and well into the summer," Sloan said. "We hope to tie down some more top recruits to strengthen our program next year. We are very excited about the future of Cougar track and field."