Braden River High School’s Emma King stands 5-foot-10, yet she couldn’t clear 4 feet when she was thrust into high jump because of her height as a sophomore.
Then last year, she told first-year Pirates track and field head coach Stefanie Minihan she wanted to jump higher. After improving her high jump to the point she was clearing 5-4, King drew college attention.
Inside Braden River’s media center on Thursday, King was one of five Pirates to sign a national letter of intent to continue their athletic and academic careers in college. King signed with Tulane.
“Tulane was my first-choice school, before I was even decent at track,” King said.
Minihan has coached track for 16 years and said King is the first athlete she has had sign with a college.
Meanwhile, the Braden River softball program had four of its seniors sign. Sarah Crawford signed with the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Ali Yawn signed with Palm Beach Atlantic and twin sisters Casey and Brooke Farrow signed with Chipola, a junior college.
“For the softball aspect, I have a better chance of playing and getting a spot on the field,” Yawn said.
Crawford said she fell in love with UAB during her visit to the campus over the summer.
“It’s kind of like a weight off your shoulders, but I finally get to call myself a Blazer,” said Crawford about the recruiting process coming to a close.
The early signing day period began Wednesday and runs through Wednesday. On the first day of the period, student-athletes at Bayshore, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Saint Stephen’s, IMG Academy and Inspiration Academy signed.
Football’s signing day is in early February.
Jason Dill: 941-745-7017, @Jason__Dill