Taylor signs with UNI
She’s going to stay a Panther.
Mt. Pleasant’s Leslie Taylor signed her letter of intent yesterday to attend the University of Northern Iowa and run track for the UNI Panthers next season.
“It seemed like the best fit for me,” Taylor said. “I want to major in elementary education, and I know their program is one of the best in the whole state. Also, their track program is rising, and I know I will be pushed there — I don’t want it to be easy, I want to be pushed.”
Taylor is currently in her final season with the Mt. Pleasant track and field team, and she has had plenty of success in the sport at the high school level. She’s a two-time state long jump champion, was part of the two-time state champion and state record holding shuttle hurdle team, and was a state champion in the 100-meter hurdles in her sophomore year.
She has qualified for 12 events at the prestigious Drake Relays — and is almost certain to add to that number after tonight’s deadline — and has placed in four events.
Now she looks to finish her last season strong and start her NCAA Division I career.
“Four years ago, I never would have thought that I’d be going to a DI school, but you always have high hopes,” Taylor said. “I hope I can stay in hurdles and long jump, and get better at both. I’m excited to have the whole year to focus on (track), and not just spring.”
Aside from track, Taylor has participated in softball and basketball, been part of Mt. Pleasant’s dance team, two-time state champion cheer squad, and been a two-year drum major for the school marching band.
Taylor inked her letter of intent yesterday in the high school media center with coaches, family and friends present. In the photo above, front row, from left, are Daryl Shy, Mt. Pleasant track jump coach; Jill Taylor, Leslie’s mother; Leslie Taylor; Tim Taylor, Leslie’s father; and Dave Hutchcroft, Mt. Pleasant girls’ track head coach. Back row, from left: Leslie’s sister and brother-in-law, Nikole Keaster and Brent Keaster, and Leslie’s sister, Sidney Taylor.