Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie (WQOW) -- Wednesday, April 11, is the day high school athletes can make their college decisions official by signing their letters of intent.
In Chippewa Falls, Autumn Olson signs to play softball with Viterbo University in La Crosse. Olson says it was a mix of academics and athletics that led her to choose the V-Hawks program.
"It had a really good nursing program, and softball was just a really good perk there, and I've heard a lot of good things about nursing and the softball program," Olson says, "it is a dream come true, since I was little I always wanted to play college softball, and this is a huge dream and accomplishment."
Also on her way to Viterbo is Eau Claire North's Kate Klauck, who'll be joining the V-Hawks women's volleyball program. Klauck was a first-team All-Big Rivers Conference performer for the Huskies.
"For me it was all kind of very stressful, overwhelming," says Klauck about the recruiting process, "but in the end I think everyone knows that the team fits them and the coaches that you're going to want to spend the next four years with."
Klauck is one of nine North athletes signing letters of intent. The group includes basketball players Jack Kron and Noah Hanson, both of whom were first-team All-BRC selections. Kron is headed to UW-Eau Claire, while Hanson will attend UW-River Falls.
"Just the way they play, they like to get up and down a little bit, which is how I like to play," says Hanson, "and they like to play a lot of guards, they like to shoot the ball so the fit playing-wise, I thought was really good."
Several track & field athletes also sign, including Arik Skiftad with UW-Eau Claire, and Carter Voelker with UW-Platteville.
"Going to other meets and watching college runners run, it's just like been a big dream of mine," says Voelker, who also plans to run cross country with the Pioneers, "and being able to finally reach that next step, it feels amazing."
"I've been talking to the coach [UWEC's Chip Schneider] a lot, and I actually competed against the coach's son last year, so that was always fun seeing him at meets all the time," Skifstad says, "just the atmosphere, he's a really great guy."
Also signing at North are Jaelin Williams (baseball, Waubonsee (IL) Community College), Derica Ohms (soccer, Bryant & Stratton College), Savannah Palmer (track & field, cross country, UW-Platteville), and Joey Neunfeldt (football, track & field, UW-Stout).
At Menomonie H.S., five athletes sign their letters of intent: Bret Lecheler (baseball, Upper Iowa), Elle Hemauer (track & field, UW-Eau Claire), Madison Davis (track & field, Viterbo), Jessica Coffin (diving, Iowa State), and Megan Manor (softball, Dakota State Technical College).