Kenai Central senior Katherine Amen and Nikiski senior Sally Glaze both accepted athletic scholarships to colleges in the past week.
Saturday, Amen signed a cross country and track and field scholarship with Montana State University in Bozeman. Montana State is an NCAA Division I school.
Meanwhile, Glaze accepted a basketball scholarship to The Master's College in Santa Clarita, Calif. The Master's College is an NAIA Division I school.
Amen said the key to getting her Division I deal was self-promotion. She put together a packet with her running times, her academic credentials, some newspaper articles and some videos of her running. She sent that package off to seven different schools.
"Self-promotion helps out a lot," said Amen, who is a member of the 3,200-meter relay team from Kenai that holds the state record. "I wouldn't be getting a scholarship if I hadn't done that."
The Montana State women won the Big Sky Conference indoor track and field title this year. It was the team's first conference title since 1983.
The coach for the Fighting Bobcats is Dale Kennedy, who is in his 20th year at MSU. During his tenure, he has produced five All-Americans, 19 NCAA qualifiers and 144 all-conference choices.
His teams also stack up pretty well academically. In 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000, his men's and women's cross country teams were named Academic All-American teams.
Amen should fit in there, because she has a 4.0 grade point average at Kenai Central. She plans to study engineering while running for the Fighting Bobcats.
"(Kennedy) liked that I was a really well-rounded athlete and student," said Amen, who has done swimming, cross country, cross-country skiing, basketball, track and soccer as a Kardinal.
That mix of sports led to a tough decision this spring. Amen will be playing soccer and not running for the track team.
"(Kennedy) was fine with it," Amen said. "I told him I would be committed to running once I got there.
"It was my last chance to have fun playing soccer. I could have done Boys and Girls Club this summer, but I wanted to train for running. I just wanted to play soccer one more time."
Meanwhile, Glaze finishes off the recruiting class for The Master's College women's basketball coach Ken Sugarman.
Glaze was the starting point guard on two Bulldogs teams that took Class 3A state titles.
"Sally comes from a championship program, and has a well-rounded game," Sugarman said in a prepared statement. "She defends, handles, passes and shoots the ball with confidence.
"Combine that with her work ethic, competitive fire and tremendous character, and she fits really well with our team."
Glaze, a 5-foot-8 guard, averaged 16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.3 assists per game while leading Nikiski to the championship this year. She scored 32 points in the championship game, was named MVP in the region and first team all-state.
Nikiski coach Ward Romans had nothing but praise for Glaze as she departs for college.
"Sally has been a blessing to coach these past four seasons," Romans said in a prepared statement. "She has developed into one of the top players in the state this season because of her hard work and dedication.
"Sally is gifted with tremendous athletic and great leadership qualities. Although Sally is a great basketball player, she is an even better person.
"Her caring and commitment to her coaches and teammates has been an inspiration. She will be a great loss to our program."
Glaze had been getting a number of recruiting calls in recent weeks. She is happy to finally know where she will be attending school, and equally happy to be attending The Master's College.
"I want to play for coach Sugarman," Glaze said in a prepared statement. "His program is very successful and his profile described him as having so much intensity when coaching, and that is the only way that I know how to play. I want to play with a team that shares the same joy in basketball like I do. I feel like I will get along with the people there really well. Lastly, I have a strong faith in God, and I feel this is where he wants me to be."
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