Pine River athletes sign college letters of intent

Three Pine River student athletes signed national letters of intent in a special recognition ceremony at the high school last week.

Megan Kollmeyer will be playing junior college volleyball at Harper College in Palatine, Ill., while Haley Russell will be on the track team at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Nick Warner will be playing baseball at Siena Heights University in Adrian.

Kollmeyer noted that Harper College is near the Chicago area. A libero at Pine River, she indicated she’ll be playing the same role at Harper.

Kollmeyer will be going for a degree in dietetics.

“Not a lot of schools actually have that program,” she said. “When saw they had the program, I e-mailed the coach.”

She had contacted the school in October of her junior season. She figures on getting a chance to play right away

Kollmeyer will be going to the school as early as possible to start practicing.

“Learning to play with new people,” will be among her biggest challenges on the collegiate level, Kollmeyer indicated. “The level of play will be good down there too because of the variety of schools.”

Russell will be working on a degree in exercise science. She decided on Cornerstone at the beginning of March.

“It has a family atmosphere and they made me feel I’m a part of the family,” she said, adding that the school presently doesn’t have its own track. “They do a lot of traveling.”

Russell has been a shot putter and discus thrower at Pine River. She anticipates also throwing the hammer at the college level. Last season at the state finals, Russell placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 37-10 ¾.

“They have a lot of runners, they don’t have too many throwers,” Russell said.

The weather has slowed down action for the Bucks and other area track teams. Russell is hoping to throw 41 feet in the shot put and 125 in the discus. Her best efforts have been 39-2 and 119.

Russell said she’ll be working on her speed, technique and endurance as she gets ready for the college level.

Warner has been playing football, basketball and baseball.

“I went down there for one of their practices and they had everything set up good,” Warner said. “The facilities are nice. They offered me a chance to play there.”

He may start on the junior varsity team first and then move up.

“They want me to catch and they said I could play some infield and possibly pitch out of the bullpen,” Warner said. “The past few years, they’ve been around .500. Before that, they’ve had a different coach and lost quite a few games but they’re getting back on track.”

Warner also considered Albion and Olivet but said Siena Heights gave him the best offer.

“At the beginning of my career, I thought it would be football,” Warner said of his college sport. “After that, I said it would be baseball.”

Warner wants to focus on his hitting this season and bat around .350 and was hoping warmer weather in weeks ahead would give him a better chance to work on his hitting.