Greenwood’s Austin and Kuhlmann sign with college programs

Two of Greenwood’s most accomplished athletes take their talents to the college level.

Grace Austin signed with the Virginia Tech Division I dive team and Jaedyn Kuhlmann signed with Lubbock Christian’s cross country and track programs in a signing ceremony Monday at the Greenwood Library.

Kuhlmann and Austin both burst onto the scene as freshmen at Greenwood, as the cross-country runner won the District 5-4A women’s individual title in 2018, while the diver won. a bronze medal at the 2019 UIL State competition.

Austin is now a three-year veteran of the UIL State competition, and Kuhlmann has qualified for the I-4A Region Cross Country Championships in her four years.

Austin chose the Hokies over Missouri because she loved the Virginia Tech campus and had a good relationship with the Rio Ramirez School’s dive coach.

“I’m really excited,” Austin said. “I think this is one of my biggest accomplishments. I’m just excited to go have fun.

“(The Division I level) has always been my biggest goal and I just wanted to accomplish it,” Austin added.

Austin made a name for himself at the high school level with his 1-meter performance, but his strength in the sport is platform.

“I mainly do platforming,” Austin said. ” It is my favorite. I am the best at it.

Austin said on Monday his goal was to win the NCAA on the platform, which was done by his former COM Aquatics teammate Tarrin Gilliland in Indiana last spring.

“She’s not really panicking,” Greenwood diving coach Traci McGinnis said of Austin in competition. “She’s pretty calm, cool and serene. Not today when speaking in front of people, but when she dives. Going to Division I is really good for her. Finally go out and get the competition and the daily competition that she needs, I think this will probably be her best chance to really show what she can do because she will be pushed every day.

Austin was well supported by his fellow divers at his signing ceremony, as Midland High senior signatory and Tennessee Nicholas Stone, Midland High senior and East Carolina signatory Averi McQuitty and team diver. American Sam Pickens were present for the occasion.

“I think it’s really good,” Austin said. “We all go to the D1 Grandes Ecoles together and achieve all of our goals. “

Kuhlmann said she plans to run at multiple schools, but chose LCU because she felt comfortable with the team’s runners.

“It’s right next to my house and I felt at home when I went to visit him,” Kuhlmann said.

Kuhlmann said she developed a passion for competitive racing when she was in seventh grade.

“It’s always a challenge,” Kuhlmann said of the race. “It always goes up (to a race) and you never know how it’s going to turn out.”

She said her parents Jennifer and Manuel instilled in her the discipline so that she could realize her potential through hard work.

Kuhlmann runs every day and wakes up between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. when she chooses to run in the morning.

Kuhlmann also competes in the school’s three longest races with the 3,200, 1,600 and 800 meters.

“She works hard and she really wanted to,” said McGinnis, who coaches Kuhlmann in cross country. “It’s one of those things that she worked for. She knew what she wanted to do, she just didn’t know where. I really feel like Lubbock Christian will be a perfect fit for her. closer to home but not yet home She has the potential I can’t wait to see how far she can go with that.

Kuhlmann plans to major in education with the long term goal of teaching and coaching.

Austin will specialize in health, nutrition, diet and exercise.

Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports

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