Four more Park City students take athletic skills to college
On Monday, four high school seniors gathered near the administration offices at Park City High School to sign letters of intent to play their respective sports in college. Park City seniors Grace Wiczek, Amanda Riely, and Elise Beller and Rowland Hall senior Austin Davison are all planning to play at the next level. (Davison played baseball for the Miners this season).
It was the biggest single day of signings at PCHS this season, bringing the total number of signings close to 12 for the Park City 2019 graduating class.
Athletic director Jamie Sheetz said the signings show the school’s athletic and academic strength, and the attentiveness of the larger community to the needs of students.
“To be cliché, it takes a village, but we have that going on here in this small town of Park City,” he said.
Beller signed with the University of Utah, where she will compete on the swim team and pursue a degree in nursing.
“The U has a great swim team and nursing program, and when I went on my official visit I just fell in love with it,” she said of her decision.
Beller was born in Boston and moved to Park City in the first grade. She has attended PCHS for four years.
She said she is most proud to have won state titles in 13 events during her time with PCHS. Most recently, at the Class 4A state championship meet on Feb. 8 and 9, she took first in the 200 yard individual medley, the 500 freestyle, contributed to the 200 yard freestyle relay team’s first-place finish and anchored the 400 yard freestyle relay team in its state-winning run alongside senior Jessi Beyer, sophomore Helena Djunic and senior Emma Strong-Conklin. She also won state Swimmer of the Meet.
But she said the team atmosphere and the friends she made were what she most enjoyed about her time as a Miner.
She will join coach Joe Dykstra’s swimming team to compete in the Pac-12 conference. The Utes sent one swimmer, Jordan Anderson, to the NCAA championships on March 23.
Wiczek, the Miners volleyball outside hitter, signed with Dartmouth after a high school career where she helped her team win its first-ever state title her junior year, as well as runner-up this season. She plans on studying political science.
“I fell in love with the culture at Dartmouth, the pride that everyone took in their work and in every opportunity to represent the school,” she said. “To me, the campus felt like a home away from home and I am nothing but excited thinking about being there the next four years.”
Wiczek said she was most proud of helping change the culture of the Park City volleyball team.
She will play on coach Gilad Doran’s NCAA Division I team in the Ivy League. The Big Green concluded this season with a 5-9 conference record and 10-15 overall.
Wiczek was a first-team All-State player in 2017 and 2018. Over her senior season she accumulated 414 kills, 52 aces, 52 blocks and 222 digs.
“I will miss putting on the red and white jersey representing Park City High School,” she said.
Riely has committed to play softball at Case Western University in Cleveland. Born in Atlanta, she moved to Park City in the eighth grade and attended PCHS all four years. Riely plans on studying nursing and possibly exercise science, saying Case Western’s strong nursing program, ranked in the top 20 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, was a big draw.
Over her time at PCHS, Riely is most proud of helping her team end a seven-year postseason drought this season. (They play Cedar in the first round of playoffs this Saturday). Individually, she said she is most proud of her batting average her junior year, which led the entire state of Utah with a .672. She was a 2018 All-State honorable mention. The 2019 softball season is ongoing.
She will play for coach Josie Henry’s Spartans in the NCAA Division III. The Spartans ended their season with an overall record of 25-13, narrowly missing out on the Division III championships.
Riely said she will miss her Miners team when she moves to Cleveland in the fall.
“I love the camaraderie of the team at PCHS and how hard we’ve fought all four years to get to the playoffs,” Riely said.
Davison, a Rowland Hall student who lives in Park City, was born in Denver, and his family settled in Park City in the first grade. He has attended Rowland Hall for four years, and joined the PCHS baseball team for his senior season when the Winged Lions didn’t have the players to field a team. On Monday he signed to play baseball for Trinity University in San Antonio.
Davison said Trinity’s baseball program and business program set it apart from other liberal arts schools. He plans on studying business finance and playing catcher for the Tigers, who compete in the NCAA Division III under coach Tim Scannel. The team is currently 34-10.
Davison said he is most proud of his two-time nomination to the All-State baseball team his sophomore and junior years.
“My teammates are some of the best guys I’ve met, and I’m so sad to leave them next year,” he said.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.