After another dominant showing at the Class A state track and field championships in May for Custer's Tori Glazier, it made sense that a lot of different schools would want her to come run on their campus.
Glazier won her fifth consecutive Class A 800-meter title, and had schools from as small as Augustana to as large as Nebraska recruiting her.
There was one thing she found out in the recruiting process: even though she visited Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota State and Wisconsin (unofficially), she knew she wanted to run for a South Dakota school.
That led Glazier to Brookings, and South Dakota State.
"I always saw myself going there. I think I’ll be challenged there and hopefully they can help me to reach my potential. I also think it’s special to represent our state and not go out-of-state," she said. "When I was younger I always wanted to go to SDSU. Then as I got older, I thought about going out-of-state. It just kind of seems special. It’s nice to represent South Dakota and show what South Dakota athletes can do."
She also has family ties to SDSU as her brother and both of her parents are Jackrabbit alums.
She'll be joined by many other South Dakota athletes, as another thing that drew Glazier to SDSU was the chance to compete with some of the girls she competed against while at Custer.
"All the ones that I've raced against, I have good relationships with, so I think it’s going to be fun," she said. "They’re all competitive and good athletes."
While in Brookings, Glazier said she will run cross country in the fall and focus on the 800 and 1,500 during the spring track season.
After finishing third as a team for both the indoor and outdoor seasons in the Summit League last year, Glazier said her goal is to help the Jackrabbits win conference championships.
Hopefully, she said, conference championships can lead to something bigger.
"I definitely want to improve; hopefully help bring home conference titles and make a difference on the team," she said. "I want to be a point scorer and hopefully one day be a national champion. That’s the ultimate goal."
Williamson hopes to forge own trail at Northern State
For Belle Fourche's Mandee Williamson, the decision to attend Northern State was a tough one.
Williamson said because both of her older sisters attended NSU, she was apprehensive at first about going to Northern State.
"I want to be my own person, and I felt like I was following my siblings a little bit. But I knew it was right for me," she said. "I definitely felt like they cared about my education. I felt at home and that was the deciding factor, just being able to be comfortable in that place."
What the Wolves will be getting is a 5-foot-11 inch guard who played some power forward during her time with the Broncs. She averaged 9.9 points per game during her junior season.
She is joining Lexi Wadsworth from Hamlin, Sydney Stofferahn from Dell Rapids and Zoe Hardwick from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Williamson also considered Dakota Wesleyan and Black Hills State, but didn't like the idea of being so close to home, as Spearfish and Belle Fourche are only 13 miles away from each other.
"I didn’t think being so close to home was what I wanted," she said. "I also have sisters in Aberdeen who also went to Northern, so I knew that was where I wanted to be."
The pace of play for NSU was also appealing to Williamson. She said Belle Fourche was able to speed the game up at times, but she said NSU plans on tailoring its offense to the kind of players it has.
The biggest thing for Williamson is the relief of knowing that she has it signed on a piece of paper that she'll be attending school to play basketball next year.
Now she can take that fact and run with it, saying she hopes the pressure of being recruited and picking is off her shoulders and will lead to a solid senior year.
"I don’t have to worry about if I get hurt, I won’t be recruited anymore, don’t have to worry about having an awesome senior season. It’s not as much pressure," she said.
Last season Northern State went 24-7, and this season already has a win against No. 3 ranked Harding University.
Belle Fourche and Williamson will kick off their season by travelling to Hill City Dec. 8.