CHEYENNE — Shana Wilcoxson cites two major factors that guided her college decision: proximity and the chance to compete.
She found both just one county to the west.
The Burns track standout has signed to compete with the University of Wyoming women’s team next season.
“(I chose UW because) for one it was just a very good offer and second of all, for a first year it’s going to be quite a bit different from high school,” she said.
“I just wanted to have some of my family and friends still around so they can help me get through it and kind of adapt to the new atmosphere.”
Wilcoxson is the first Burns girls track athlete to sign with a Division I school since 2006.
Familiar faces on the team won’t be a problem.
Wilcoxson joins fellow Laramie County standouts Logan Yurek (Cheyenne East) and Danielle Alexander (Cheyenne Central) in the 2013 class. Yurek and Wilcoxson were teammates at East during two indoor track seasons. Being around people who Wilcoxson knows was just one part of the equation.
Being able to compete was the other. Wilcoxson was recruited as a jumper, specifically the triple jump.
She won the Class 2A girls state title each of the last two seasons and finished second and fifth, in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
But the triple jump is far from her only talent.
Over her prep career, Wilcoxson won nine individual state 2A outdoor championships, including all four events she competed in as a senior (triple jump, long jump, high jump and pole vault).
“(Wilcoxson) has shown great versatility in the jumping events,” UW assistant Shaun Meinecke said in a release. “She has achieved so much already with her high school career, and the potential for development is still very high.
“It’s exciting to work with someone with so many options and to help them find the right events to excel at.”
While Wilcoxson was recruited as jumper, that might not be where she ultimately lands. She said she will continue practicing pole vault in hopes of upping her performance there.
She also said there is a chance she could take part in the heptathlon. The event is made up of seven events: 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run.
Burns girls track coach Brooks Hoffman said, “I’ve always thought she’d be a really good heptathlon athlete.
“She could be really great at the multi-event stuff. Physically, she has the talent to do that really well. I’m excited to see she might do that.”
As for Wilcoxson, the notion of doing seven events at one meet doesn’t overwhelm her.
In high school, she competed in four at each meet with many them overlapping, forcing her to bounce for station to station.
Four more years of that is something she would be just fine with.
“It’ll keep me busy. And it’s going to be exciting,” she said. “It kind of follows what I have done in high school in the hectic-nes