LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska track and field head coach Gary Pepin has announced the initial 2016 Husker signing class, featuring seven new members to the women’s team and five to the men’s team.
There will be more additions throughout the year. Click here to view photos of the 2016 Husker signing class.
On the women’s side, the Huskers’ seven signees come from six different states. They are: Rachel Brush (distance, Waukee, Iowa), Josilyn Dostal (jumps, Naperville, Ill.), Andy Jacobs (pole vault, Rochester, Minn.), Kiara Kearney (high jump, Colorado Springs, Colo.), Lillian Markusch (distance, Englewood, Colo.), Sydney Otto (javelin, DePere, Wis.) and Madison Yerigan (high jump, Seattle, Wash.).
For the men’s team, the five newcomers span the entire globe. Thayer County, Neb., native Simon Wiedel will follow his older brother Seth’s footsteps as a Husker sprinter and jumper. South Africa’s Erich Wiese will throw the javelin at NU, while New Zealand’s Jordan de Spong will run middle distance. Finally, the Huskers picked up sprinter Givon Washington from Argyle, Texas and high jumper Michael Williams from Surprise, Ariz.
Rachel Brush, Waukee, Iowa – Distance
Attended Waukee High School in Waukee, Iowa…set PRs of 4:45.97 in the 1,500m and 10:18.23 in the 3,000m…also set a personal-best 18:24.00 in the cross country 5K…as a junior in 2015, placed seventh in the 1,500m and ninth in the 3,000m at the Iowa 4A State Championships…also took fourth with the 4×800 relay team.
Josilyn Dostal, Naperville, Ill. – Jumps
Attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill…set a triple jump PR of 36-11 and long jump PR of 16-5…won the triple jump title at the Illinois 3A Naperville North Girls Sectional as a junior…captured the DuPage Valley Conference indoor long jump and triple jump titles to lead Naperville Central to the indoor conference championship in 2015…was an accomplished figure skater before turning to track and field as a sophomore.
Andy Jacobs, Rochester, Minn., Pole Vault
Attended Rochester Century High School in Rochester, Minn…set a pole vault PR of 13-7 1/4, a Minnesota state record and making her the top active high school vaulter in the country…was a three-time Minnesota state champion and holds the Minnesota state meet record…won the USATF Junior Olympics pole vault title in 2015 with her jump of 13-7 1/4…was a high school All-American in diving, as well as a three-time sectional champion and section record holder…was the Minnesota state runner-up in 2013 and placed fourth as a junior in 2014.
Kiara Kearney, Colorado Springs, Colo. – High Jump
Attended Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, Colo…set a high jump PR of 5-8…as a junior in 2015, placed second at the Colorado 5A state meet with a clearance of 5-6…took up track and field as a sophomore in 2014 and finished sixth at the state meet…placed fifth in the 2014 Junior Olympic National Championships…won the title at the Colorado Indoor Championships with a jump of 5-8.
Lillian Markusch, Englewood, Colo. – Distance
Attended Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colo…posted personal bests of 5:03.42 (altitude) in the 1,600m and 11:03.33 (altitude) in the 3,200m…as a junior, placed seventh in the 3,200m at the Colorado 5A State Championship.
Sydney Otto, DePere, Wis. – Javelin
Attended De Pere High School in De Pere, Wis…was the national champion in the javelin at the 2015 AAU Junior Olympics with a personal best of 143-6…competed in numerous events during the high school season, including the sprints, hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump and triple jump…also played volleyball, basketball and softball.
Madison Yerigan, Seattle, Wash. – High Jump
Attended Stanwood High School in Stanwood, Wash…set a high jump PR of 5-10…won the Washington 3A state high jump title as a junior in 2015, clearing 5-8.
Jordan de Spong, New Zealand – Middle Distance
A New Zealand native, set personal bests of 1:50 in the 800m and 3:51 in the 1,500m…finished fifth in the 800m at the 2015 Australian Junior Championships…finished runner-up in the 1,500m and 2,000m steeplechase at the 2013 Oceania Youth Athletics Championships.
Givon Washington, Argyle, Texas – Sprints
Attended Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas…set PRs in the 200m (21.1) and 400m (48.1) at the 2015 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Track & Field Championships, winning the gold in both events as a junior…also won the 200m and 400m at the TAPPS 5A North Regional.
Simon Wiedel, Thayer County, Neb. – Sprints/Jumps
Attended Thayer Central High School in Hebron, Neb…set PRs in the 100m (10.6, a school record) and 200m (22.07)…won the 100m and finished second in the 200m at the 2015 Class C State Championships as a junior…won both the 100m and 200m state titles as a freshman in 2013, and won the 100m gold in 2014…finished runner-up in the triple jump at the state meet in 2015 with a personal-best jump of 44-7 1/2…was third in the long jump (21-8 3/4)…older brother, Seth, competed for the Huskers from 2011 to 2014…helped the Titans to team state titles in 2013 and 2014.
Michael Williams, Surprise, Ariz. – High Jump
Attended Shadow Ridge High School in Surprise, Ariz…won the high jump 12 times during the 2015 season, but set his personal best of 6-10 at the 2015 Sunrise Mt./Shadow Ridge Meet…won the high jump title at Arizona’s biggest meet, the Chandler Rotary Invitational.
Erich Wiese, Republic of South Africa – Javelin
A native of South Africa, set a personal-best javelin throw of 237-10 (72.5m) at Rustenburg in 2015…was the 2015 National Secondary Schools champion with his PR throw of 237-10.