Jacobs' choice: Pole vault at Nebraska

When you're as athletically versatile as Andrianna Jacobs, picking your college sport can be as difficult as choosing your school.

Rochester Century's Andrianna Jacobs signed an athletic scholarship with Nebraska today, where she will compete in the pole vault.

When you're as athletically versatile as Andrianna Jacobs, picking your college sport can be as difficult as choosing your school.

But the Rochester Century senior has made her decision. Jacobs will settle in at the University of Nebraska next fall on a track and field scholarship, making it official by this afternoon on National Signing Day. The Cornhuskers are getting a prized recruit. Jacobs is the No. 1-ranked high school pole vaulter in the country.

The three-time Class AA state pole vault champion cleared 13 feet, 7 1/4 inches this summer, finishing first in the USATF National Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Fla. It was the top height recorded by a high school girl in the country last year.

Still, Jacobs had to seriously mull what she was going to do once she got to college. She also is an elite diver. She finished fourth in the state in diving last year and second the season before that. She's also one of the state's better gymnasts, but at 5-foot-8, says she's too tall to compete at an elite level there.

"I went back and forth between deciding on diving and the pole vault (for college), even up to a few months ago," Jacobs said. "But I have some big dreams in the pole vault, and I feel like I have to focus on them."


Jacobs went on official visits to Nebraska, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Mississippi.

"I really liked the coach, the team and the whole atmosphere," she said. "Everyone is really working hard, is friendly and knows what they want."

• Century's Fankie Mickelson also is signing a letter of intent today to play softball at NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls.

Freiburger, Robinson go big time

Southeastern Minnesota is home to two of the best girls hockey players in the state. They are Rochester Lourdes student Rebecca Freiburger, who plays for John Marshall/Lourdes, and Kasson-Mantorville's Katie Robinson, who plays for Dodge County.

Both will play Division I women's hockey, Freiburger signing with Ohio State and Robinson with Minnesota.

Freiburger, a forward, scored 59 points last season (38 goals, 21 assists) for the Rockets. Robinson, a defenseman who verbally committed to the Gophers as a sophomore, had 15 goals and 25 points last season.

Freiburger debated between Mankato and Ohio State, but was lured by the academics of Ohio State and the chance to play for former Olympian Jenny Potter.


"They've got a great coaching staff," Freiburger said. "To be able to be coached by a four-time Olympian like Jenny Potter is really exciting."

Robinson couldn't wait to sign up with the Gophers, who are the defending national champions.

"I'm extremely excited," she said. "It's going to be fun to make it official."

Nelson bound for Denver

Dover-Eyota's Madison Nelson credits a change in AAU summer teams for her landing a Division I basketball scholarship.

"I went to one that gets you noticed more," said the 6-foot, athletic forward. "When you're from a small school like Dover-Eyota, people don't know you as much."

The University of Denver liked what they saw and offered Nelson a scholarship. Nelson toured the school, loved what she saw, and verbally committed. Today she will make her commitment official.

Nelson, also a track and field athlete, said it was her overall play that attracted Denver.


"They like my versatility, that I can play all different positions and that I can get to the basket," she said.

Nelson helped lead Dover-Eyota to a state championship last year and had 30 points and 16 rebounds in the semifinals. In the finals she had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

• Other D-E athletes signing today are Megan Hintz (basketball, Minnesota State Moorhead), Hollywood Hermanson (hockey, Augsburg) and Cole Martin (soccer, Wartburg).

Hart, Holtz going D-I

Nelson isn't the only Rochester-area girl set to sign a Division I basketball letter of intent.

Sarah Hart, from rival Plainview-Elgin-Millville, also will do it, signing with St. Bonaventure in New York. The 5-8 point guard averaged 12 points per game for P-E-M and shot 50 percent from the field.

She likes St. Bonvenature being close to New York City. But not TOO close.

"I don't know if I could handle all that," she said.


Hart said it's been her goal since middle school to land a Division I basketball scholarship.

• P-E-M classmate Chloe Holtz will join Hart in the Division I ranks. She'll sign with South Dakota State for track and field.

Holtz cleared 5-5 last spring in the high jump.

More Red Wing stars

Red Wing has three more athletes signing with Division I schools today, volleyball player Sydney Book (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), cross country runner Kianna Stewart (South Dakota) and swimmer Hunter Connelly (Minnesota).

Book recently was a terror in the Section One, Class AA tournament. The outside hitter had 24 kills in the semifinals, then 15 kills in the third game alone in Saturday's championship match loss to Stewartville.

Stewart was 11th in last week's Class AA state cross country meet. And Connelly was a state champion last winter in the 100 backstroke. He is the brother of Gophers freshman football lineman Nick Connelly.

Winter picks Upper Iowa


Rochester Mayo volleyball and basketball standout Anna Winter is one of the most dominant girls athletes in the area. The 6-foot-1 senior has settled on volleyball for college, signing today with NCAA Division II Upper Iowa.

Also a stellar student, Winter liked what she saw from Upper Iowa's academics.

"I was looking for a school strong in math and science, and they have good programs in both," Winter said.

The affable Winter said it wasn't easy to settle on just one sport, however.

"I'm thinking of just volleyball for now," Winter said. "But I've never done just one sport before."

• Mayo has one athlete signing with a Division I school today. Lindsey Greenlund is headed to Minnesota to run track. She has made it to state the last two years in the 800 meters.

Z-M's Olson chooses NDSU

Zumbrota-Mazeppa's Morgan Olson has known since just after her freshman year where she was going to take her considerable softball skills. She verbally committed to Division I North Dakota State that summer.


"It was one of the last schools I visited, and it just felt like home and a family to me," Olson said. "It felt like it was about more than just softball."

But there is a robust softball program at NDSU. The Bison were ranked 25th in the country to end last season. Olson, a pitcher/outfielder, will bring plenty to the team. She batted .600 as a junior with eight home runs. Her ERA was 0.40.

Olson also brings a taste for the classroom. She's a 4.0 student.

Other signings

• Mitchel Acker, a Pine Island middle-distance running star, is headed to Division I South Dakota State. Acker was third at state last year in the 800 in 1:57.89. He ran a 1:55.70 in prelims.

• Kenyon-Wanamingo's Ethan Cota, who romped to the Class A 106-pound wrestling title last year and finished the season with just one loss, will sign with Division II school Augustana. Cota was fifth at state as a sophomore.

• Triton has a pair of athletes expected to sign today at Savannah State in Georgia, where they'll play Division I golf. Jaden Thiemann and Ethan Otterbein will join 2015 Triton graduate Zach Otto on the team.

• Lake City's Madi Green will play women's basketball at Division II Minnesota State Moorhead. Green is a 6-2 center who averaged 14 points last year.

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