ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Just a hop, skip and a jump away… and for her, maybe less than that.
On Wednesday inside Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, the school’s most decorated track and field athlete of all-time, Kassidy Betzing, signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Ohio University women’s track and field team.
Betzing — who has competed at the OHSAA Division II State Championships in all-3 seasons, with her senior campaign still to come — enjoyed the recruiting process and is grateful for the opportunity she’s receiving from OU coach Clay Calkins, as well as all the other college coaches who have reached out.
“I never thought I would be here,” Betzing said. “God has given me all these abilities and I’m so happy to be using them. My whole family and all of my coaches have supported me so much. All the opportunities I’ve had, I’m so grateful honestly.”
A three-time competitor in the state long jump, Betzing was seventh as a freshman with a leap of 17 feet, 2¾ inches. She was runner-up with a distance of 18 feet, 9½ inches as sophomore, while placing fourth as a junior with a leap of 17 feet, 6¼ inches. Kassidy was also part of the Lady Marauders’ 2017 4x100m relay team that finished eighth in the state.
MHS track and field head coach Mike Kennedy was happy for Betzing, and noted that she serves as an example that hard work pays off.
“First of all, I’m really excited for her,” Kennedy said. “I think since her freshman year, we knew she was going to be a D-1 prospect. She means a lot to our program, she works really hard. She’s talented, we have a lot of kids come through who are talented, but they don’t do anything with it. She has really worked hard and been the epitome of what a kid should do in school, whether is be for academics or athletics. She earned this spot and deserves it.”
Kassidy has won the long jump at the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division championship in all-3 chances, and currently holds the league record in the event at 17 feet, 7½ inches, set last spring.
Betzing — who is currently undecided on a major, leaning toward physical therapy or audiology — talked about why Ohio was the right choice for her and what kind of goals she has when she joins the Bobcats.
“The first time I visited, it defiantly felt like home,” Betzing said. “It’s always been so close to home. Whenever my parents want to come see me I’m not too far away, but I am far enough to where I’ll be separated.
“Obviously I want to keep improving with my jumps. The ultimate goal is to win a MAC championship. Hopefully I’ll have a good relationship with my teammates and coaches.”
Kassidy is also a three-time district champion in the long jump, setting the district meet record of 18 feet, 7 inches as a sophomore. In the long jump at the Region 7 championships, Betzing has a pair of runner-up finishes to go with a gold medal as a sophomore.
Betzing — who holds a 3.9 grade point average, currently placing her 11th in the Class of 2019 — has also been an All-Ohio honorable mention on the basketball court, and a first-team all-district volleyball player.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.