Evart runner signs collegiate letter

EVART —  Evart senior Brooke Belleville might have the best of both worlds as she gets ready for a collegiate career.

Belleville signed a letter of intent for Wisconsin-Stout on Monday and said she’ll have the option of running cross country.

She’s currently in basketball and will run track this spring for the Wildcats. She ran cross country for Evart every season except her sophomore year when she was in volleyball. 

Stout is a Menominee, Wis., near the Minnesota border, Belleville said. It’s an NCAA Division III school. She heard from the school last fall.

“Their assistant track and cross country coach recruited me,” Belleville said. “I went on the website.”

The coaches and Belleville went through the email process to connect. She said she’ll run both sports, at first, and then decide if she’ll stay in both or just one.

“That’s the school that reached out to me,” Belleville said. “They’re not giving me anything but it’s the most affordable. Most of the Division III schools in Michigan are private and it’s a lot of money.”

Stout is Division III, but not a private school.

Stout is confident she’ll be able to make a successful transition to the longer distances in college cross country. Events in track at Stout for Belleville will depend on what she decides to run as an Evart senior.

      “I’m going to try new things like the 400 and 800,” she said, noting that she qualified for the state finals in spring last season. She does plan on sprinting again this season.

“It’s different training,” at the collegiate level, Belleville pointed out.

She’ll be reporting to Stout in August. She recalls deciding to pursue a college career when she felt she could compete at that level.

“I’m nervous being away from home,” Belleville said. “But other than that, I’m excited to get away. It’s a new environment.”