By Kellen Browning,
Five Davis High athletes committed to the colleges of their choice today at a signing ceremony held in the North Gym in front of assembled students and family members. The five seniors were Hannah Siemens, Fiona O’Keeffe, Ryan Kreidler, Andrew Arnheiter and Chenoa Devine.
Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson described the signings as “quite a commitment, quite an accomplishment,” and introduced each athlete to the audience, recognizing accolades while the student signed the National Letter of Intent–or a ceremonial version of it, as the real letter was signed yesterday on National Signing Day.
Siemens, who committed to Northeastern University for rowing, achieved third and fifth-place team finishes at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships.
O’Keeffe, a two-time state champion in cross-country, two-time fourth-place finisher at Nike Cross Nationals and 2014 California Gatorade Runner of the Year, committed to Stanford University for cross-country and track after making up her mind just two days ago.
“I am so excited to spend the next part of my life at Stanford,” O’Keeffe previously told The HUB. “The academic opportunities are amazing there, coupled with an incredible coach and a wonderful group of runners. I’m especially looking forward to joining a great class.”
Kreidler, who is also celebrating his 18th birthday today, is a two-time All-Delta Valley League player, MaxPreps All-American, two-time preseason All-American and part of the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Section championship team.
Kreidler signed his letter of intent for UCLA baseball, and said he verbally committed to the school last year after several visits.
“In baseball, things happen a little bit faster than other sports,” Kreidler explained. “I had been recruited for about a year and a half before I committed, so I just thought it was time. […] The more I went [to UCLA] and the more I hung around players and coaches, the more I loved it.”
Arnheiter, the 2014 Delta League golf MVP, has received All-League honors and has three top-10 finishes in American Junior Golf Association competitions.
After looking for “a school that was a top Division 1 golf school as well as academically a strong school to go to,” Arnheiter selected UC Davis.
“It’s nice [to be able to commit now and] not to have to worry about anything else for senior year,” Arnheiter said.
Devine signed with UC Berkeley for swimming, and is a 2016 Olympic Trial qualifier, National Junior Team participant, six-time All-American Honors recipient and defending section champion in the 500-yard freestyle.
Devine decided on Cal about a month ago after a visit, and said her decision was “mostly based on the combination of academic and athletic prowess [at Berkeley]. They had the best offer, and it kind of felt like home.”
The early signing period for athletes is from Nov. 11 to Nov. 18, and the regular period begins April 13, 2016. Lorenson said there will be another signing ceremony in April for all NCAA athletes.