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Cougars Ink Illinois Sprinter and Hawai'i Pole Vaulter
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/06/2012
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Feb. 6, 2012

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Mercedes Young and Kristine Felix have signed National Letters of Intent to attend and compete in track and field for Washington State University starting in the fall of 2012, Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan announced Monday.

Young is a sprinter at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Ill., and Felix is a two-time state pole vault champion from H.P. Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Hawai'i.

A three-time All-South Suburban Conference quartermiler, Young was the runner-up in the 400m dash at the Illinois state AA Championships last spring, running a time of 55.72 seconds. She had placed sixth in the 400m at the state meet as a sophomore. Young has also qualified for state competition in the long jump, triple jump, and as a member of the 1600m relay. Last summer at the AAU Junior Olympics Games (New Orleans) Young ran a PR time of 55.35 in the prelims of the 400m and finished fourth in the finals (55.77). At the the AAU Area 10 national qualifying meet (Normal, Ill.) she ran a PR 200m time of 24.59. Young plans to major in criminal justice at WSU.

"Mercedes has a great amount speed for a 400m runner. She will be able to contribute in the 200 and 400 and probably on both relays," Cougar sprints coach Ellannee Richardson said. "In the first 30 minutes of Mercedes' official visit she told me that she wants to go to college, earn a degree, work really hard and run fast. Those are probably the four things any collegiate coach wants to hear from a prospective student athlete. That type of attitude and commitment will take her very far in the Cougar track and field program."

Felix won the girls pole vault titles at the Hawaii state championship meet as a sophomore and junior, vaulting meet records of 11-feet, 8 inches in 2010, and 12-feet, 6 inches in 2011. She is a three-time Maui Interscholastic League pole vault champion clearing MIL record heights each year. Felix also won MIL 100m dash and 400m relay titles as a freshman and was the 100m dash runner-up as a sophomore. She has been selected to the MIL All-Stars three years, was twice the Baldwin High MVP and twice named the MIL Athlete of the Year. Felix is very involved in school activities, has a 4.068 grade point average, and plans to major in movement studies at WSU while working toward a physician's assistant career.

"Kristine has great power, speed, and confidence, so everything about her vault is very dynamic and exciting," Cougar jumps coach Matt McGee said. "Reaching 12-6 as a junior was a great accomplishment, but even more so in that she was recovering from a broken leg suffered early 2011. I would not at all be surprised to see Kristine surpass the 13-foot mark this season. Her great athletic ability and also being a 4.0 student makes Kristine a brilliant addition to vault group and team."

Washington State Cougars Athletics