Aug. 25, 2014
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mick Byrne announced the addition of a strong class of student-athletes to join the Wisconsin women’s track and field program this fall.
The Badgers’ incoming class is highlighted by throwers Kennedy Blahnik and Oluwabanke (Banke) Oginni; sprinter Ebony McClendon; pole vaulter Taylor Amann and distance runners Rachel Fledderman, Alexandria Fons, Lianna Mack, Megan O’Neil and Shaelyn Sorensen.
“We feel that we have filled a few holes in our roster with this year’s recruiting class and look forward to their contribution over the next 4-5 years,” Byrne said. “We are excited to welcome this talented group to the Badger family.”
Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
As a senior, Amann finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in the pole vault with a clearance of 12 feet ... a three-time state qualifier, she had a personal-best clearance of 12-6 in 2014 at the Badger Invitational … won 10 events during her senior season at Arrowhead … placed fourth in the pole vault in 2013 at the state meet and was the Classic 8 Conference champion in the pole vault.
Algoma, Wis., (Algoma)
Blahnik was named the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association Female Track Athlete of the Year as a senior and won her third-straight Gatorade Wisconsin Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award … set the Wisconsin state record in the discus in 2014 with a throw of 169-2 … won eight individual state titles during her career, setting the state meet record in the discus with a throw of 161-5 in 2014 and the shot put with a heave of 49-1 1/2 in 2013 … won every meet she competed in during her junior and senior seasons … four-time Packerland Conference champion in the discus and shot put … also played basketball and helped Algoma win the 2013 Division 4 state championship and finish runner-up in 2014 … honorable mention all-state for basketball and co-conference player of the year as a senior … also played volleyball and was named first-team All-Packerland Conference.
Albuquerque, N.M. (Sandia Prep)
Fledderman repeated as the 1600-meter and 3200-meter champion at the 2013 New Mexico State meet … she won New Mexico state titles in cross country in the 1600 and 3200 meters during the 2011-12 season … was sixth in the 3200 meters at the 2014 Great Southwest Classic … has a personal-best time of 5:14.31 in the 1600 meters and 11:17.28 in the 3200 meters.
Franklin, Wis. (Franklin)
Fons became the third freshman in Wisconsin history to win a WIAA Division 1 state cross country championship in 2010 … won the 2011 WIAA Division 1 cross country title in a personal-best 4000 meters time of 13:56.48 … also finished 15th at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 2011 … has a personal best of 10:53 in the 3200 meters.
Prairie du Sac, Wis. (Sauk Prairie)
Mack finished eighth at the Wisconsin Division 1 state cross country meet as a senior, 12th at Division 2 state meet as a junior and 29th at the Division 1 state meet as a sophomore … on the track she finished fifth in the 3200 meters (11:04.99) at the WIAA Division 1 meet her senior season and placed 15th in the event as a junior.
Chicago (Brooks College Prep Academy)
As a senior, McClendon won both the 60 meters (7.45) and the 200 meters (24.58) at the Illinois Class 2A Top Times Championships … her 60 meters time of 7.45 ranked sixth in the U.S. during the 2014 season … she also won the 100 meters (11.73) at the AAU National Junior Olympics and placed third in the 200 (24.26) … placed second in both the 100 meters (11.80) and 200 meters (24.39) at the 2014 IHSA Girls Class AA State Championships … finished fourth in the 200 meters in 24.89 at the class AA state track meet in 2013 … finished third in the 100 meters (11.92) and ninth in the 200 meters (24.65) at the 2013 AAU Junior Olympic Championships … placed fifth in the 100 meters (12.08) at the state meet in 2011 and also finished runner-up in the 100 meters (12.14) at the USATF Region 7 Junior Olympics … as a freshman, placed fourth in the 100 meters (12.21) at the state meet.
Chippewa Hills, Mich. (Chippewa Hills)
Her senior year, O’Neil won the Mid-East Cross Country Championships in 18:15 … also finished second in the 800 meters (2:17.09) and 1600 meters (4:53.92) at the 2014 Michigan Division 2 state meet … at the Michigan Division 2 state cross country meet, finished eighth (18:50.5) as a senior, seventh (18:14.2) as a junior, ninth (18:29.2) as a sophomore and third (17:47.8) as a freshman … won both the 800 meters (2:14.88) and 1600 meters (5:07.70) at the 2013 Michigan Division 2 state meet … finished runner-up in the 800 meters, runner-up in the 1600 meters and fourth in the 3200 meters at the state championships during her sophomore year … as a freshman, placed third in the 1600 meters and runner-up in the 3200 meters at the state meet.
Oluwabanke (Banke) Oginni
Hoffman Estates, Ill. (Hoffman Estates)
As a senior, Oginni won the shot put at the Illinois Class 3A Top Times Championships with a heave of 48-0 … she also placed third in the shot put (43-10 3/4) and ninth in the discus (125-5) at the Illinois Class 3A state meet … finished fourth in the shot put (41-11 1/2) and ninth in the discus (120-6) at the state outdoor meet her junior year and also finished second at the Top Times Championships in the shot put (43-9 1/2) … was the state runner-up in the shot put (44-1 1/4) her sophomore season.
Lake Elmo, Minn. (Tartan)
Sorensen finished second in the 3200 meters at the 2014 Minnesota state meet in a personal-best time of 10:30.45 and placed fourth in the 1600 meters in 4:57.38 … has a personal best of 4:56.52 in the 1600 meters, which she ran at the sectional meet in 2014 … finished fourth at the Class AA state cross country in a personal-best 4000-meter time of 14:37.9 … was the Class AA female winner of the Minnesota State High School League’s Triple A award in 2014, honoring excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.