Posted Apr. 14, 2016 at 9:45 PM
PITTSBURG — It was a day Pittsburg High School senior Ashlee Beitzinger will remember for the rest of her life, as she signed her letter of intent to join the Pittsburg State track and field team as a pole vaulter Thursday.
“Signing [my letter of intent] means I have a lot more duties to fill when I go to PSU,” Beitzinger said. “I am going to work harder than I ever have and make sure that I can be the best I can be.
“Going to PSU has always been a big dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to go to a division II [university] or higher. Being in my home town means a lot because I will be close to my family and they’ll be able to come support me at my events.”
With family and coaches by her side, the wait was over for Beitzinger, who inked her name to continue her athletic career with the storied Gorilla track and field program. Beitzinger has spent the last four years excelling in the pole vault with the Purple Dragons, who were instrumental in her development in the discipline.
“Having Coach [Leroy] O’Bray and Coach [Gary] Ausemus has helped me a lot throughout my career,” Beitzinger said. “Coach O’Bray was my first pole vaulting coach. We had no idea what we were really doing at first, but we worked each day and and have figured it out. I am just really blessed to have them both in my life.”
Beitzinger will be in a transition period as she prepares for her collegiate career. Instead of participating in three sports as she did in high school (tennis, basketball and track and field), Beitzinger will be focusing her attention on pole vaulting, which she believes will help her to continue to develop.
“It is going to make me such a better pole vaulter,” Beitzinger said. “I am going to break [personal] records like no other. I have to figure out everything that I’ve been doing wrong, but I know Coach [Kyle] Rutledge is going to help me out.”
Though Beitzinger garnered a lot of attention from several other schools, she always had her heart set on being a Gorilla. When she found out she had the opportunity to realize that dream, the decision was a no-brainer.
“I got a lot of letters throughout high school,” Beitzinger said. “I was just waiting for Pitt State to ask me. [After they offered me a spot] I was really excited, and I don’t know, I have just been really waiting for this day…I have worked so hard for this, and I am ready to show what I’ve been working hard for.”