Senior cross country and track runner Josephine Blatny signed to continue competing in both sports at Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday, December 11 in the FHS commons.
Blatny first got into contact with this particular college last summer when Jackie McKenzie, an assistant coach for both cross country and track, asked if she was interested in running after high school. Coach McKenzie had previously seen Blatny run at different meets. This connection was one reason why attending Wesleyan was the final decision.
“Coach Jackie McKenzie and I have a really good relationship,” Blatny said. “I’m excited to continue my career in college.”
Wesleyan’s coaches are not alone in noticing Blatny’s success. She has been a top runner at FHS throughout her high school career. Head Cross Country Coach Kristi Peterson attributes Blatny’s triumphs to the hard work she puts in, and she also has ideas on how she will fare at the collegiate level.
“Never once did she complain about a workout, she just did it,” Coach Peterson said. “Her hard work certainly paid off. It takes some time to adjust to college life, but just having a family of girls who have a common goal will be helpful. It is definitely different than competing at the high school level. She will go from being the best on our team to being a member of a team who [has] many good runners. Sometimes that takes some time to adjust to that, but I believe Josie has the personality to make that a positive and it will help her succeed at a higher level.”
While the athletics were considered, academics and potential future plans were kept in mind. Blatny plans to pursue a career in law and had the opportunity to sit in on some of Wesleyan’s classes pertaining to this field. Additionally, she met with some of the professors teaching these courses.
“When I went on visits, I pretty much just fell in love with it,” Blatny said. “I met professors that are really nice and seem super educated. I like the smaller school; I think you have better relationships with your teachers.”
The signing itself was held in the FHS commons where Blatny was surrounded by her family and high school coaches when she made her commitment official. A crowd of students and teachers were also packed around the table to watch.
“It was crazy,” Blatny said. “It made me feel really good. It made me feel like I had an impact here, and I was super happy everyone came to support me.”
Blatny now has an idea of what awaits her after high school, but she still has goals for her last track season at FHS. Ideally, she would like to break the school’s two-mile time and qualify for State in this event along with the one-mile.