Two T-Birds ink with four-year schools
A pair of Cloud County Community College female track and field athletes have signed letters of intent with four-year schools.
Sophomore sprinter Chanice Forbes will be continuing her career at Missouri State University.
Takyra Hilton, a sophomore thrower, signed with Washburn University.
Forbes fell in love with Missouri State University during her campus visit, and on Thursday, she made the match official as she signed her national letter of intent with the Bears.
"They were the first school to really reach out to me. I went on a visit and liked everything about it; from how the team practiced, to the coaching staff and how they connected with everyone," said Forbes, who plans on majoring in Information Technology. "I felt it was the perfect fit for me."
Missouri State is a NCAA Division I institution, and the women's track program is a nine-time Missouri Valley Conference champion.
Forbes, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, has made her mark at Cloud County as a 200-meter and 400-meter sprinter, while also being a key piece to the Cloud County 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams.
Currently, Forbes has helped the Cloud County 4x100-meter relay team to the 10th fastest national qualifying time at the NJCAA level of 48.42 seconds, and the 4x400-meter relay team has the eighth-fastest time in the country at 3:55.42.
Individually, Forbes claimed a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash at the 2018 Region VI Indoor Championships (59.31) and backed that up with a sixth-place finish at this year's Region VI/KJCCC Indoor Championships (59.43).
Cloud County head women's track coach Ted Schmitz said that Forbes has continued to progress since suffering an injury during the NJCAA National Indoor Championships as a freshman, and is primed for a big outdoor season this spring.
"Chanice had a good indoor season as a freshman, but hurt her hamstring at the national meet and was basically never at full strength for the outdoor season," Schmitz said. "It was disappointing for her last year, but she has continued to work hard through that. Right now, she's probably running the best she has since she's been here."
Back at full strength and her rehab firmly in the rearview mirror, Forbes says she believes there is still plenty of room for growth this season and as she transitions to the NCAA Division I level next season.
Hilton will get to continue her collegiate career in her home state of Kansas, as the Hill City native signed Thursday with Washburn University, a NCAA Division II program in the MIAA.
The biggest selling point for Hilton becoming an Ichabod was the Washburn coaching staff, under the direction of head coach Cameron Babb and throws coach, Jason Robbs.
"The campus was really nice and they have great facilities, but really, my decision was based off the coaches. I talked with (Robbs) for hours before I even made my visit," Hilton said. "We talked about their plans for me. I feel like their coaching can help take me farther."
Hilton, who said she plans on becoming a social worker after she graduates, joins a long line of throwers to come out of the T-Birds' program and move on to the NCAA Division I or Division II ranks, which include her fellow sophomore teammate Avi Bulai (University of Mississippi).
The shot put has been Hilton's specialty in a T-Birds' uniform, as she currently ranks ninth in the country amongst NJCAA athletes with a national qualifying mark of 43-10 3/4 inches set earlier this month at the Friends University Spring Open.
So far this season, Hilton has earned a third-place finish in the shot put at the Region VI Indoor Championships (43-0 1/2) and came in 10th overall a week later at the NJCAA National Indoor Meet with a toss of 41-11 1/2.
Her best career mark came on April 28, 2018 at the Southwestern Invite when she won the event with a throw of 45-5 1/4.
"Takyra has consistently improved since she's been here and I think she will only continue to get better as she progresses and moves on to the next level," said Cloud County head coach, Ted Schmitz. "I think (Washburn) will probably make her a hammer thrower, as well. It'll take her a little time to perfect it, but she has always had the talent to do it and talent that will continue to be developed."