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Kaylie, Bailey, Cowboys and Rockets: Valpo's Politza, Chesterton's Ranta make college decisions

NEW CARLISLE -- The top two cross country runners in the Duneland Athletic Conference affirmed their college plans last week.

Valparaiso senior Kaylie Politza verbally committed to Oklahoma State, while Chesterton senior Bailey Ranta did the same with Toledo.

"It's nice to be back with the team, not to have to leave (meets) quick," Politza said. "Oklahoma State's been sitting at the top of my prospective colleges list for a while. It was kind of a gut feeling. I was checking out their rankings. They know how to develop middle distance runners very well. On my visit, the girls on the team were really amazing."

Politza, who also visited Colorado, Illinois and Wake Forest, eventually intends to coach at the collegiate level, and Oklahoma State's recent addition of Sports and Coaching Sciences as a major helped cement her decision.

"There were like, here, we just got this," he said. "I'm like, oh, cool."

On her Aug. 20 visit to Stillwater, Politza was caught off guard by how common the western apparel was, even though she knew the school's nickname is the Cowboys.

"I didn't think people wore cowboy hats and cowboy boots," she said. "I was like, oh my God. It'll be so fun. As long as I'm with people who are like my second family, I'll be fine."

Toledo was Ranta's front runner.

"I already kind of knew Toledo was the place for me," she said. "I was just getting to other schools to see what they were like. It was kind of hectic. I had to make a fast decision. They wanted a transfer girl, so I had to decide. They gave me a great opportunity and I'm excited about starting that process. I just love the coach, the team is a really strong atmosphere. It's just really amazing. I'm really relieved. Now I'm not really trying to prove myself, just see how well I can do. Now that I just committed, I have major senioritis. I'm like, OK, can I just leave now? what do I do?"

Toledo is also pursuing Lowell's Karina James, who visited Penn on Saturday, but the defending state champion expects to wait on her decision until after state.


Chesterton's Bailey Ranta and Valparaiso's Kaylie Politza have made verbal commitments to Toledo and Oklahoma State, respectively.


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