Jared Fleming admitted he stuck his foot in the door.
After that, it was up to Kent State.
Van Wert cross country/track runner Fleming signed a National letter-of-intent with Kent State on Wednesday. He’ll run both cross country and track.
Fleming has been to the state in track his sophomore and junior years and won the state championship in the 800.
He’s a four-time state qualifier in cross country, with his best finish being 10th as a junior.
Fleming said he didn’t start looking at colleges until after cross country season this year. He emailed a runner he knew at Kent State inquiring about its track and cross country programs.
“The next day the (Kent State) coach emailed me back,” Fleming said. “I kind of stuck my foot in the door, but they took it from there.
“Then, when I went to Kent State, I really liked spending time with the team and the family atmosphere.”
Kent State’s cross country coach is Mark Croghan, who has competed in three Olympics (1992 in Barcelona, 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney).
“It’ll be great being coached by a three-time Olympian,” Fleming said.
In football signing news at Bath, offensive lineman Andrew Garland signed with Urbana.
Garland was first team all-WBL, first team all-district and special mention all-state. He was selected to play in the Ohio North-South All-Star game this spring.
The 6-3, 295-pound Garland was a member of The Lima News’ Dream Team. He helped Bath break 17 offensive records this year.
In soccer signings at Bath, twins Conner and Logan Rockhold made it official and signed to play soccer at Findlay.
The Rockholds helped Bath to the school’s first-ever WBL boys soccer title in 2011 and its first regional appearance in 2012.
Conner Rockhold finished his career with 65 goals, including 22 this season. He’s Bath’s all-time leading scorer. He was first team all-WBL, first team all-district and second team all-state.
Logan Rockhold had 48 career goals, including 21 this year. He’s second on the all-time Bath scoring list and is Bath’s career assist leader with 33. He was first team all-WBL and first team all-district.
Coldwater football players signing were quarterback Austin Bruns, offensive lineman Jordon Harlamert and linebacker Zach Dickman. The group helped power Coldwater to a 15-0 record and a Division V state championship.
Bruns signed with Ashland. Bruns, at 6-4, 215-pounds, is a passing and running threat. In the regular season, he threw for 1,903 yards with 23 TDs and three interceptions. Bruns also ran for 469 yards. He was first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference, first team all-district and first team all-state. He was the Division V state Offensive Player of the Year.
Harlamert signed with Hillsdale. He was first team all-MAC, first team all-district and first team all-state.
Dickman is headed to Mount St. Joseph. At linebacker, he anchored the Coldwater. In 10 games, 93 tackles, eight for loss. He was first team all-MAC and the MAC defensive Player of the Year. He was first team all-district and first team all-state. He was the state’s Division V Defensive Player of the year.
Bruns and Dickman were members of The Lima News’ Dream Team.
Coldwater cross country runner Jill Kanney agreed to be a preferred walk-on at Ohio State. She was first team all-MAC and first team all-state.
Columbus Grove runner Jake Graham signed to run track and cross country at Lake Erie College, just east of Cleveland.
Delphos Jefferson fullback/defensive lineman Quinten Wessell signed with Findlay. The plan is for him to play linebacker with the Oilers. He had 133 tackles, including 19 for loss. He also ran for 627 yards as a fullback. He was first team all-Northwest Conference and second team all-district.
Minster wide receiver Troy Kauffman signed with the University of Dayton. He was honorable mention all-MAC.
Ottawa-Glandorf two-way lineman Wyatt Karhoff signed with Findlay. Karhoff had 86 tackles and six sacks. He was first team all-WBL, first team all-district and first team all-state. He was a member of The Lima News Dream Team.