MINSTER — Minster senior Cassie Francis said she likes a regimen. On Thursday, Francis made sure she will live on a regimen in college.
Francis, who’s been a key member of Minster’s Division III state track runner-up finishes the last three years, signed a letter of intent on Thursday in Minster’s library to run collegiately for Xavier.
Francis will run the 800-meter race for the Musketeers, which has been a successful event for her throughout high school. She finished second in the Division III 800-meter run her freshman season.
“I want to keep sports, running in my life,” Francis said. “Especially with my personality, the regimen (is good). I’m really excited — I think it will give me a new focus.”
Playing collegiately isn’t something Francis seriously thought she would do until last year. She said she had received numerous pamphlets and recruiting letters from colleges in the mail since her freshman season and brought one of a dream school to show coach Jessie Magoto.
“I had been hoarding just tons of letters from all these different colleges,” Francis said. “One specifically, the University of Connecticut, I’d always had a dream of going there. I had one from their track and field program that I had from freshman year. I kind brought it to her, and that kind of sparked my interest in college running. …It was a really good conversation (with Magoto).”
Francis said she’d looked at various colleges over the last year and settled on Waynesburg University in Pennslyvania or Xavier.
“That was an option, a really big option,” Francis said of Waynesburg. “I would say it’s exactly like Xavier, just on a smaller scale. It’s five hours away versus one and a half hours away. That was a big factor. But once I got to Xavier, I guess you could say there was no comparison at that point. I guess all factors just fell into place, with school, sports, faith and family distance.”
Francis, who hopes to be accepted into Xavier’s nursing program next month, said she’s also excited to be going to college in Cincinnati, even though she’ll have to travel to do outdoor activities she likes.
“That kind of helps, gives me stuff to do,” Francis said. “ …It’s pretty cool to go to a big city for a change rather than small towns.”
Francis was also a member of Minster’s state cross country team, which won the Div. III state title each of the last two seasons. She placed 36th individually in the D-III race as a junior and 47th in last month’s state race.
Francis, who was a part of a state champion 4×400-meter relay team as a freshman, said the Wildcats are hoping to earn a state title this year after three consecutive runner-up finishes.
Regardless of what happens this track season, though, she’s said she’s proud of what the cross country and track programs have accomplished.
“We’re looking to finish that off on a good note,” Francis said. “But, I’m definitely very pleased with it. All thanks to my teammates and coaches who made it possible.”
Francis said she’s also being looked at for cross country by Xavier but doesn’t know whether or not she’ll compete in that program yet.
“I will train with their cross team,” Francis said. “I guess it’s if I develop… I’m definitely looking to improve in the 5K or 6K.”
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.